Strategic Focusing Process for FY 22-23 Summary Report to the Community

May 2021

The Board and Staff of the Jewish Federation of Howard County (JFHC) are pleased to present this Summary Report to the community in relation to our strategic focusing process that we began in February. Part of that process included a series of Listening Sessions with a number of community leaders, donors, local clergy, and other stakeholders. The issues covered were broad-ranging, such as our stakeholders’ hopes and aspirations for Howard County’s Jewish community, how they perceive the work of the JFHC, and where they see challenges and opportunities in the future. 

We came away greatly heartened that we have deeply committed and passionate stakeholders who look to partner with us as we all continue to build a stronger and more robust Jewish Howard County.  We gained valuable insights that shaped our thinking and will help inform our work in the future as we implement our plans.

In addition to taking into consideration the results of the Listening Sessions, the process required our Board to engage in deep conversations about the needs and trends within our community, in the context of our recent 2019 Brandeis University HoCo Jewish Community Study; and with staff, to develop aspirational goals for the next two years. This summary is intended to provide a high-level overview of the process we just completed. 

First, we identified our Priority Issue – the single, major focus that we believe is critical to JFHC’s continued success that reads:

JFHC seeks to engage and support more community members   for the

sustainability and growth that are essential to keep our community strong.

We further defined the Best Outcome that we hope to achieve; it reads:

As we increasingly meet people where they are on their Jewish journeys,

 we have many newly-engaged members of our community who will ensure the Federation's success for the foreseeable future.

Finally, we identified three broad Focus Areas that will serve to achieve our Priority Issue and Best Outcome; they are:

Area 1: Engagement Opportunities

Area 2: Organizational Leadership

Area 3: Financial Resource Development

For Area 1, our goal is to engage the younger demographic (i.e., families with children who live at home) and create collaborative, community-wide Jewish-focused programs providing social, cultural, and educational programs to help increase the number of first-time participants at JFHC events.

For Area 2, our goal is to identify and engage new JFHC Board members; new committee members, as well as to provide new leadership opportunities for existing committee members; and to ensure that we continue to have strong Board stewardship and oversight of our JFHC resources. 

For Area 3, our goal is to increase our total revenue by 7.5% by the end of FY 2023.  Without adequate financial resources, we cannot innovate and deliver the programs and services our community needs. We plan to create new and easier ways to donate and address changing philanthropic behaviors while enabling both existing and new donors to support JFHC in a meaningful way.

Moving Forward.  Now that we have finalized the planning process, we are committed to achieving our goals as our new Fiscal Year begins on July 1.   As we implement action plans to support our Focus Areas, we will continue many of our core activities that serve to empower community, inspire identity, and help others.  We look to you for your engagement as we move forward, and hope that you will continue to support our important work to keep building a strong Jewish community in Howard County. 

Thank you.

The Board of Directors and Staff of the Jewish Federation of Howard County

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