Who Gets What From Federation Dollars


The community's central fundraising body has approved the allocation of $25 million to programs near and far. 


The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s board of trustees has approved $25 million to fund a range of communal programs over the next year that concentrate on Jewish identity-building and help maintain a safety net for Jews in need.

The trustees, a body that includes more than 200 members, approved the allocations and Federation’s annual budget at its July 10 meeting.

This year’s allocations process, like in years past, illustrated the difficulty in funding a broad swath of communal programs when restricted giving — money donated for specific projects — outstrips unrestricted giving.

Of the $25 million restricted and unrestricted funds raised in 2012 that were available for distribution, the Federation volunteers tasked with divvying up the pie had less than half of that — $10.8 million — in unrestricted dollars to award to grant proposals.

The figure represents a small piece of the total $62 million in revenue raised by Federation in 2012, which officials say is the highest in the organization’s history. But $35 million of that came in the form of endowments, which are generally not available for spending.

Overall, the funding decisions for the next year — a complex, months-long process run mostly by Federation volunteers — didn’t contain a dramatic shift in focus from recent years. But some new initiatives are being funded and a few existing programs are losing their support.


The Center for Social Responsibility, which focuses on seniors and social services, was awarded a slightly higher amount of unrestricted funding than the other centers, getting a bump to $3,841,500 from $3,837,039 the previous year. The center also received $3.3 million in restricted gifts, much of which went toward the creation of a new food distribution program at the Klein JCC in Northeast Philadelphia.

The Center for Jewish Life and Learning received $3,791,787 in unrestricted funds; it also received $3,658,231 in restricted dollars.

The Center for Israel and Overseas was awarded $3,475,848 in unrestricted dollars and received $1,683,983 in restricted gifts.

For continuing coverage and analysis of the latest cycle of Federation funding, check back at jewishexponent.com in the days and weeks to come. 


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