At its October 22 meeting, the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati Board of Trustees approved recommendations for allocating funds raised through the 2014 Community Campaign. These allocations will take effect on January 1, 2015.
Because of donor generosity and matching grants from The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, the 2014 Campaign brought in $5.6 million, an increase of $100,000 over the previous year.
Marcie Bachrach, who is in her third year as Vice President of Planning and Allocations, said, “We appreciate the generosity of our community and our partner, the Jewish Foundation. Our increased Campaign allows us to fund crucial services provided by our agencies.”
Approximately $1.76 million—31.5% of allocable dollars—will be distributed to programs in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).
Of that 31.5%, $140,000 will fund in part the Israel Religious Expression Platform (iRep), which works to advance religious diversity in Israel and advocates for civil marriage. This initiative—developed by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA)’s Global Planning Table—is being led nationally by Cincinnati’s Kim Heiman and Federation CEO Shep Englander. The Partnership2Gether (P2G) program, which strengthens connections between peers in Cincinnati and our Israeli partner city, Netanya, will receive $155,000.
Local programs will receive $2,766,042. In an effort to return to pre-recession funding levels, the Planning and Allocations committee recommended increases for the local and regional programs that were hit hardest by the economic crisis of 2008.
The top local allocations for 2015 will be:
- Mayerson JCC: $753,000
- Jewish Family Service: $630,000
- Rockwern Academy: $329,000
- Cincinnati Hebrew Day School: $250,000
- 13 local congregations: $190,000
- JVS Career Services: $151,000
- Cincinnati Hillel: $140,000
The 20 volunteers on the Planning and Allocations committee base their funding recommendations on the input of an additional 80 volunteer councilmembers, who visit local programs, interview agency executives, meet with program coordinators and clients, and prepare written reports and evaluations. They then assess the programs to ensure their effectiveness and their efficient use of Campaign dollars. Guided by the vision set forth by Cincinnati 2020, councilmembers look for programs that strengthen Jewish Cincinnati’s future. Final recommendations are made only when there is a consensus within each council.
Bachrach said, “Engaging so many volunteers enables us to make allocation decisions with broad representation from our community.”
Throughout the entire process of evaluating programs and recommending allocations, the most heavily weighted criteria are:
- What impact does the program have on the local population?
- How efficiently does the program operate?
- Can the program’s impact and goals be measured?
- Is the agency that provides the program accountable to the community?
- Is the program critical to the success of Jewish Cincinnati?
- Does the program align with its agency’s core mission?
- Does the program align with Cincinnati 2020?
- Does the program increase the Jewish identity of its clients?
Council evaluations are reviewed by the Planning and Allocations committee, who then present the final allocation recommendations to the Federation's Board of Trustees.