Five Alternatives to the Federation Philanthropic Model

By Matthew Lipton-Schwartz

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), April 2012

The Federation's central coordination and planning model is over a century old. In keeping with the spirit of innovation associated with the Los Angeles Jewish community, some service delivery agencies are looking for alternatives to the Federation umbrella model. This research examines five agencies, which have developed alternatives to the Federation umbrella model: Jewish Family Service, the result of Federations pushing agencies to be self-supporting, independent entities; Jewish Home for the Aging, which has reserved the philanthropic model for endowments and major capital expenditures; Zimmer Children's Museum, was founded independently and moved into the Federation building; Beit T'Shuvah, where the clients and their families become the funders; and National Council of Jewish Women, which has abandoned the philanthropic model and turned to retail.

My research showed how each agency's transition away from total Federation dependence forced it to clearly understand its own unique need for donor support. The five Jewish agencies in the study successfully discovered where and why donor support was most necessary within their own agency structure and developed alternative funding strategies consistent with their respective missions or constituencies: Jewish Family Service, hands on oversight and financial support; Jewish Home for the Aging, macro decision-making and intense capital endowment; Zimmer Children's Museum, reciprocal Federation support; Beit T'Shuvah, healthy clients and their families; and National Council of Jewish Women, high-quality second-hand clothes. Once an independent Jewish agency discovers its unique need for donor support it should align and position the agency, as the five organizations have, to foster a successful connection between agency and donor.

Topic: NGOs, Philanthropy and Fundraising, Development, Jewish Federations, Nonprofits, Fundraising and Philanthropy, Jewish Organizations, Communal Organization

Name of Publication: HUC-JIR School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (formerly School of Jewish Communal Service) Masters Theses

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Genre: Thesis

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

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Bibliographic Information:
Lipton-Schwartz, Matthew. Five Alternatives to the Federation Philanthropic Model. HUC-JIR School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (formerly School of Jewish Communal Service) Masters Theses. Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). April 2012: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=14159


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