S.F. Federation Announces New Fundraising and Grant-Making Models

The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, announced the creation of four new Funds for development and grant making. These Funds represent an immediate shift in the way the Federation will fundraise and award resources in its 2012-2013 grant making cycle. In addition, the Board also approved two key focus areas designed to complement the shift towards donor-focused funding models.

The four Funds – Community Core, Israel and Global, Bay Area Initiatives and Innovation will strengthen the role of the Federation’s community-wide impact while simultaneously giving donors more choice than ever before.

Through these four Funds, the Federation will introduce two new strategic initiatives.

The first initiative, Reducing Barriers and Increasing Access to Jewish Life is a multi-year effort to address two fundamental challenges facing the Jewish community – affordability and access. This initiative will help make Jewish school, camping, cultural experiences and synagogue membership more accessible for individuals and families. It will also build the capacity of Jewish organizations to be inclusive of 6,000 Jewish families who have children with special needs.

Capitalizing on the passion and excitement from Jewish young adults in the Bay Area, the main focal point of the second initiative, Bay Area Service Community, is to create a more fertile environment for volunteerism during a time when expression of Jewish engagement is changing. Recent data reflects that the rate of formal Jewish engagement among young adults in the Bay Area has dropped by over 25% since 1986. In order to address this, a wide variety of innovative projects is what the Federation believes will break this trend and cultivate a new cadre of leaders.

According to Jennifer Gorovitz, the Federation’s CEO, “The shift to focused funds and high-impact initiatives marks a turning point in the Federation’s 100-year existence. With the goal of creating lasting, system-wide social change, the Federation will be a leader of best practices in strategic philanthropy.”