THE Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado and the Jewish Community Foundation merged into JEWISHcolorado at the annual meeting of the federation this week.
After 67 years, the “Allied” and the “federation” brands in Colorado have been retired, as the community fundraising arms reinvents itself for a new generation of Jewish donors and users.
JEWISHcolorado will retain its affiliation with the Jewish Federations of North America — the continental federation umbrella organization.
To emphasize this, the new JEWISHcolorado logo is borrowed from the JFNA logo; and to emphasize the continued umbrella nature of JEWISHcolorado, the top of its new logo is shaped like an umbrella.
The “verbal logo” is “helping today, securing tomorrow.”
Doug Seserman, president and CEO of both the old and the new entities, told an enthusiastic crowd at the annual meeting of the most dramatic changes in the federation since its founding in 1946 (precursor organizations of Allied stretch back to the beginning of the 20th century).
He emphasized that while the name has changed, the mission has not — although the mission is now streamlined into two areas: securing, stewarding and sharing philanthropic resources; and mobilizing the community in times of crisis (“the Jewish 9/11,” in Seserman’s phrase).
Read related IJN editorial, "JEWISHcolorado's gamble"
Besides the name change, the other major changes are:
• The merging of the boards of the Allied Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Foundation.
• The focus on total financial resource development (“FRD”) as the measure of the financial success. FRD will combine the fundraising totals of the annual campaign (formerly the bailiwick of the Allied Jewish Federation) and of bequests and donor advised funds (formerly the bailiwick of the Jewish Community Foundation). Up to now, it is the campaign total that was the measure of growth or decline.
On the new criteria, this past year was the umbrella agency’s most successful, at $19.9 million, much of the boost coming from an unprecedented rise in new donor advised funds established with the Jewish Community Foundation.
• Narrowing of focus to four areas: strategic alliances; external grants; programming; internal efficiency.
• Strategic alliances: the alliance between Allied and CAJE established this year will be a model for some five to 10 additional alliances, in which JEWISHcolorado will assume the fundraising responsibilities and the agency or organization will focus strictly on programming.
“We’ve been trying to be everything to everybody,” said Seserman,” and this will be discontinued.
Read earlier coverage by Chris Leppek, "Reimagining Allied Jewish Federation into Colorado Jewish Foundation"
• External grants: the allocations system will be eliminated. Seserman called allocations “entitlements.” They will be replaced by a grantmaking system. No local Jewish agency will any longer be guaranteed any funding from JEWISHcolorado’s unrestricted gifts.
Applications for grants will be accepted in three areas: engaging the next generation in being Jewish; caring for the vulnerable; and aiding and advocating for Israel and the Jewish world generally.
• Programming: JEWISHcolorado will be more than a middle man, increasing programming of its own through the Jewish Community Relations Council, YAD, the Israeli emissary and PJ Library.
• Internal efficiency: Attempts will be made to streamline the costs of overhead and operations.
THE new branding and altered foci are the result of a three-year effort of “reimagining.” ? An initial projection, announced at last year’s annual meeting of Allied, has undergone further refinement, with the new names announced last year having been jettisoned in favor of JEWISHcolorado.
“We’ve studied. We’ve learned. We’ve listened,” said Seserman, referring to extensive personal and online interviews conducted by Allied about its goals, methods and image.
“This is the New Year of 5774, and this is Year One of JEWISHcolorado,” said Seserman to cheers from the audience.
Honored at the annual meeting were JJ Slatkin, Tiffany Glucksman, Jacki Cooper Melmed and CAJE (the latter as a community partner).
Copyright © 2013 by the Intermountain Jewish News