When people think about the Jewish Federation of Louisville, the first thing that comes to mind is the Annual Federation Campaign. The Campaign is critical to the success of our community, providing funding for a lot of the extraordinary things we do together.
The Federation is the Annual Campaign and much more. It addresses total resource development and works hard to ensure that the agency is a good steward of those resources.
One of the ways it seeks to increase available funding is by actively pursuing grants, thereby securing funding to enhance and expand existing programs, create new programming and undertake needed infrastructure projects.
Since the start of this fiscal year on July 1, the Federation, with the assistance of Grants Consultant Amy Fouts, has secured a number of grants and the results can be seen in many departments.
Thanks to a matching grant from Kosair Charities, a first time funding partner, the JCC was able to offer Yachad during Winter Camp. Yachad enabled four children with communications-spectrum disorders to participate fully in camp along with their peers.
The program, which has been offered in the summer, helps children with social and emotional challenges, Attention Deficit Disorder, Downs Syndrome and Developmental Delays. These children attended all 8 days of camp, which provided them with enriching, educational and fun opportunities consistent with individual behavior modification plans.
The Kosair Charities challenge grant leveraged funds from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Endowment, which was established to help low-income and vulnerable individuals and families.
Recently, Yachad became the National Inclusion Project’s first and only partner in Kentucky and southern Indiana for its Let’s ALL Play program. This grant will help train staff and implement the program this summer.
The JCC plans to continue to expand the program by offering Yachad during 2014 Spring Break Camp.
Spring Break Camp and the Early Childhood Education program received a grant from the Kentucky Arts Council Teaching Art Together program for an artist-in-residence program for Spring Camp. The Federation is still working on the details for implementing it.
The JCC’s CenterStage Acting Out program also focuses on children. Its objective is to bring the performing arts into the public schools. Since it is a professional acting company, each school pays a fee to bring shows like And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank and The Tale of Peter Rabbit to its students.
With today’s economic situation, not all schools can afford even the modest Acting Out fees. Thanks to grants from Metro Louisville, Target and Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, Acting Out has been able to bring their shows to more schools, and children who otherwise would never get to see a live performance now have that opportunity.
In the area of cultural arts, JHFE has also made a grant to support the Louisville Jewish Film Festival. This year’s festival includes 10 films and several special events in four different venues.
The JCC’s Seniors Program helps seniors stay healthy and connected, and an important part of that is the hot kosher lunch program. Offered weekdays in a congregate setting at the JCC or delivered to the homes of those who can’t make it to the JCC, seniors pay a nominal fee if they can afford it.
Since these meals are only available five days a week, a grant from the Meals on Wheels Kosher Meal Fund provides Mitzvah Meals – shelf-stable or frozen meals and kosher challah for the times when regular Meals on Wheels can’t be delivered due to road conditions and as supplemental meals. Homebound seniors receive five easy-to-prepare meals twice a year.
The JCC knows that children need to learn early about food and hunger. During Camp Tikkun Olam last summer, a group of teens learned about being philanthropists. They decided which issues were important to them, solicited proposals from nonprofits that work in those areas, reviewed the proposals and made grants to the most deserving organizations.
One of the grants they made was for healthy snacks in the Discover CATCH program. Starting with the youngest participants in the ECE program, children are taught healthy food and lifestyle choices. This grant provides healthy snacks for ECE and Spring Break Camp.
The popular movie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a strong draw for teens. Playing on the title, the JCC’s J-Serve program for the year is Hunger is Not a Game. Throughout the year teens are doing projects like bringing canned goods for the Jewish Family & Career Services Food Pantry. They will also be encouraged to participate in the Food Stamp Challenge – where they make the commitment for one week to eat only what they could afford to buy on the amount of money provided to a typical food stamp client – $4.50 per day.
Hanger is Not a Game will culminate on March 23 with the J-Serve Carnival. Thanks to a grant from J-Serve, teens will run booths, facilitate craft tables, educate participants about hunger, interact with visitors and participate in group activities like relay races at the carnival.
All the programming made possible by these grants is great, but none of it could happen if the Jewish Community of Louisville can’t provide the infrastructure to support all its parts. The Federation secured two grants this year that fall into this category.
Every donor to every Campaign wants to know that the organization he/she supports can maintain accurate, secure records of every donation and personal information, like name, address and phone number. With the pace of advancing technology, that means software must be updated regularly.
JHFE made a significant grant toward the purchase of the needed donor management system and C.E.&S. Foundation issued the Federation a challenge grant for it, which was matched by anonymous Federation donors.
Together, they enabled the agency to purchase and install a new donor relations management software system and included staff training, data migration and customer support.
The transition is underway now, and the Federation’s target date for full activation of the system is mid-February.
The JCL also received an in-kind marketing grant from Google AdWords. This ongoing grant provides a generous allowance that the Marketing Department can use to ensure prime placement of JCL messages when people do Google searches. This is particularly helpful in promoting JCC membership, the ECE program, CenterStage and more.
These are just the grants that have been received this fiscal year. There have been many other grants made prior to July 1 that have made a real difference. Watch for the launch of a redesigned jewishlouisville.org web site in the near future. This extensive reworking of the site to make it easier to navigate and to provide online registration and payment options for programming was made possible by a grant from JHFE.
The Federation is grateful to every grant maker for the support provided and will continue to seek additional resources to help the Jewish Community of Louisville fulfill its mission through the Jewish Federation, Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Community Relations Council, Hillel and Community.