Jewish Groups Make National Appeal to Coordinate Efforts
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Jewish Groups Make National Appeal to Coordinate Efforts

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The National Appeals Information Service, including in its membership forty-six Federations of Jewish Charities from every part of the country, today announced that, following preliminary negotiations with representatives of leading organizations making a national appeal, steps have been inaugurated to consolidate the fund-raising efforts of these national bodies wherever possible into one joint campaign to eliminate duplication, reduce overhead and thereby effect economies and smoother functioning.

The decision to unite the campaign efforts of the foremost national organizations was made public here, together with a transcript of the discussions at a recent meeting in Chicago, attended by delegates of the National Appeals. Information Service and by presidents and other representatives of twelve national organizations and presided over by William J. Shroder, of Cincinnati, former president of the National Conference of Jewish Social Service.

In addition to the consideration of the problem of overlapping appeals from the standpoint of the federations, the problem also was considered from the viewpoint of the national organizations and a special session of this (Continued on Page 3)

The statement released today explained that more than eighty delegates representing twenty-nine cities from the Atlantic to the Pacific took part in the discussions at the Chicago meeting and that twelve national organizations also were represented among those present.


Dr. Solomon Lowenstein, executive director of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York, proposed that by way of beginning the unification of fund-raising, seven national organizations be selected to serve as a nucleus for the further development of the concerted national appeals. The organizations named included the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society of Denver, the National Jewish Hospital of Denver, the National Home for Jewish Children at Denver, the National Jewish Hospital of Denver, the National Home for Jewish Children at Denver, the Ex-Patients Tuberculosis Home of Denver, the Leo N. Levi Memorial Home of Hot Springs, the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society of New York and the Jewish Consumptives and Ex-Patients Relief Association of Los Angeles. The proposal was adopted and at a later session it was announced that the seven organizations concerned were planning a meeting in March for the consideration of plans to effect the proposed national council to direct these operations.


Dr. Lowenstein reviewed the work of the National Appeals Information Service and pointed out that the overhead of national organizations for money-raising was from ten to sixty percent of the amounts raised, making an average of about thirty-five percent overhead for such work. Louis M. Cahn director of the Chicago Jewish Charities, proposed that a given territory in the country be selected where a united campaign for the national organizations might be conducted to serve as an experiment both for future campaigns and also to inform the first large section of the public regarding the idea behind the merged fund-raising effort.


The National Appeals Information Service was founded several years ago as the result of a desire to bring better order in the campaigns which the national Jewish organizations carry on throughout the country and to inform Jewish communities regarding the organizations making the appeals, with special reference to the usefulness of the projects and the efficiency with which the fund-raising was conducted. From time to time attention of the general public has been called to the fact that national organizations conducting their campaigns independently, duplicate costs of campaigns and involve the local communities in expenditures of too high a proportion of their contributions for overhead, which with more systematic campaigning concentrated in one appeal for all, might result in the raising of a greater proportion of money for the direct purpose intended. Because of the lack of knowledge regarding the institutions, in many communities, help is given without regard to the relative importance of the associations appealing and without comparative study of the amounts equitably to be expected from given communities for a particular cause. This means too often that worthy organizations must depend on a haphazard method of determining the extent of their support. This situation the appeals service, with the cooperation of the national agencies themselves, is attempting to solve.

The question of the quotas for various, communities and the proportionate amounts to be given to each of the national organizations under the new plan was discussed at great length and it was decided that for 1930 the quotas should be fixed at the figure which each organization raised independently in 1929. Subsequent quotas, beginning with 1931, are to be fixed by a committee including representatives of equal voting strength from the national organizations and from the constituency of the N. A. I. S.


The seven organizations which are to participate in the experimental appeal in a locality yet to be determined have a total annual budget of $1,800,000. It is likely that the initial experiment will cover a territory embracing several small towns within the same general area, where seven agents of the appealing organizations now do and where it will be possible to save the overhead of several competing campaigns. The procedure found advisable in this initial effort will serve as a guide in future campaigns. The experience gained, together with the reports prepared, will be submitted at a meeting of the N. A. I. S. in June, to be held in Boston at the same time that the National Conference of Jewish Social Service will be in session.

The problem of fund-raising for the national agencies concerns three types of communities, first, the four or five large cities where federations make no appropriations to national organizations, the middle-sized communities where the newly-created council may be in position to conduct a single campaign both for local parochial and national Jewish organization requirements; and thirdly the thousands of small towns wherein it will be possible to send one man to represent all national agencies at once.

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