Philadelphia Federations’ Funding Challenge

from The Jewish Exponent:

Lamenting the Loss of Federation Dollars

Deciding which Jewish organizations and programs receive communal funding – and how much – has always been a difficult call. This year, volunteers and professionals described the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s allocation process as downright “impossible.”

That’s because the funds – which comes from unrestricted dollars raised from the Jewish community – shrank from last year by 14 percent, or by $1.8 million, to $16.3 million.

… In some ways, the numbers are misleading and only tell part of the story.

Federation officials say that the annual fundraising campaign declined by just 2 percent from the previous year, to $27.8 million, which marked a smaller decline than in most communities around the country.

And total revenue, which brought in money from endowments and other sources, including the United Way and federal funding, actually increased by more than $1 million, from $38.8 million to $40.6 million.

Among the revenues was nearly $8 million in the form of restricted and “pass-through” gifts, which donors earmark for use in certain priority areas and sometimes, for specific programs. These dollars go to Jewish causes, but they are not included in what in Federation parlance is referred to as the “allocable pool.”

… Among the largest allocations were:

  • $1.6 million for funding for six Jewish day schools in the five-county region;
  • $420,000 for the Jewish Community High School of Gratz College;
  • $700,000 for Jewish Family and Children’s Services for safety-net services, counseling and care management; and
  • $800,000 for the Jewish Agency for Israel for core funding of its Israel Department, and $500,000 for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee for services for at-risk families in Israel.

For more details on where Philadelphia is allocating their resources for the coming year, read the complete article, Lamenting the Loss of Federation Dollars.