Allocations of Limited Resources from 2012 Campaign Announced

[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]

The annual Federation Campaign is the lifeblood of the community. The dollars raised support and sustain the Louisville Jewish community’s local family of agencies and enable the community to meet its obligations to Jews in Israel and around the world.

When the 2012 Federation Campaign closed on June 30, the Jewish Community of Louisville’s (JCL) Planning and Allocations Committee had just $1,929,500 to allocate to meet local and international needs. That amount was $700,000 less than the total amount requested and $300,000 less than the amount that was allocated last year.
That means that difficult decisions had to be made.


Who Makes the Decisions?
The Planning and Allocations Committee is a standing committee of the Jewish Community of Louisville. It is charged with working with all agencies and organizations that request funding from the dollars raised by the annual Federation Campaign.

Members of the committee are volunteers who have a broad perspective on the Jewish community and are dedicated to sustaining and strengthening the Jewish community as a whole. They come from all parts of the community and strive to put the interests of the total community first during their deliberations.

These volunteers commit to attending meetings year-’round so they can fulfill both the allocations and planning functions with which they are charged.

Jay Klempner is chair of the 2012 Planning and Allocations Committee. Committee members are Harry Geller, Lance Gilbert, Jane Goldstein, Dennis Hummel, Glenn Levine, Hunt Schuster, Leon Wahba, Susan Rudy and Jacob Wishnia.

Each committee member took the responsibility seriously, invested many hours to ensure each entity was treated fairly and made decisions based on community priorities.

How Are Decisions Made?
The Planning and Allocations Committee began meeting last October so members could determine if the prior year’s allocations were being used as promised, and to promote collaboration among the agencies themselves, and the agencies and the JCL. They considered how each funded program served community priorities; its effectiveness; other funding sources; structure, support and involvement of its Board; planning; size and growth potential; sustainability; and responsiveness to prior Planning and Allocations Committee concerns.

Agencies were provided a timeline for this year’s process, invited to submit funding requests in writing and then invited to make a presentation to the Committee. The Committee was informed of the allocable dollars raised by April 30, and over the course of several meetings, deliberated on how to allocate those funds.

The committee’s final recommendations were unanimous and sent to the JCL’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, where they were reviewed and openly discussed. The Executive Committee approved the report unanimously and the Board approved it by an overwhelming majority.

What Are the Community’s Priorities and How Were They Established?
Stu Silberman, JCL President and CEO, researched how other Federations set priorities for their communities. He found a model used in the Columbus, OH, Federation that he thought would work in Louisville. Using the model, Silberman convened the professionals from the Jewish Community Planning Forum, composed of Jewish agencies and congregations in town, to discuss Louisville’s needs. The results of that meeting were compiled into a matrix categorizing Louisville’s needs into nine broad areas. This matrix was then reviewed with the JCL staff, who interfaced with the other agencies, the JCL Board, and the Planning and Allocations Committee. The Board and Committee prioritized the matrix into the six top priorities: Build Community, Repair the World, Aid Those in Need, Jewish Education, Cherish the Elderly and Support for Israel.


What Programs Do the Requesting Agencies Offer?
Locally, recipient agencies provide Jewish education, including Hebrew instruction, for children; a wide variety of cultural, educational and physical activities for people of all ages; support and counseling services to help people cope with life’s challenges; and the resources to enable the Federation Campaign to raise the dollars the community needs for the future.
The Israel and Overseas allocation enables the Louisville Jewish community to connect with Israel, participate in Partnership2Gether exchanges and meet our obligation to help Jews-at-risk in Israel and around the world.

The National Organizations allocation supports the fabric of Jewish life across North America, ensuring that most of Louisville’s college students will be able to participate in Hillel programs wherever they attend school and will be able to visit Israel with their peers on a Birthright Israel trip. It also supports a wide range of service programs that provide support and training for our local agencies.

What Are the Expectations of the Recipient Agencies or Programs?
When an agency receives an allocation, the community expects it to use those dollars in a transparent, responsible way. Each agency must deliver the programs and services it promised, making the most of the funds it has. It must have a board of directors or advisory committee empowered to oversee policy and operations of the funded programs, a realistic budget, plans to raise some of its own funding and a plan for a sustainable future.

In addition, the programs and services an agency provides must align with and promote the priorities established for the community and seek opportunities to collaborate with congregations, organizations and other agencies in the Jewish community.

The Planning and Allocations Committee also offers support to help recipient agencies meet these criteria, including mentoring and a regular liaison between the committee and the agency.

Next Year
The Planning and Allocations Committee is looking forward to pursuing the planning aspects of its charge in the coming year, and to changing its own structure. “We intend to appoint a vice chair for this year,” Committee Chair Jay Klempner said, “who, hopefully, will succeed me after next year.”

“It is also my intention to expand the committee by three to five more members,” he said. The individuals chosen must be “community-minded, have experience in the Jewish community and be able to devote the time needed to be part of the committee.” He is looking for individuals willing to make a three-year commitment to enable the committee to maintain continuity.

The 2012 Campaign brought in less money than in recent years, meaning this year’s Committee was faced with the difficult task of allocating scarcer community resources among increasing community needs.

Will 2013 Be Different?
That answer lies with you. “if we want to change the situation next year,” Klempner said, “we need to support the Campaign.”

Only if each member of the Louisville Jewish community answers the call to give to the 2013 Federation Campaign with a meaningful, heartfelt gift will we be able to increase the total dollars available to make our community the best it can be.

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