Hard Decisions = Huge Impact

June 7, 2016

How does Federation determine the needs and targeted priorities of the community? How does it decide which programs and services, offered through agencies, schools and other partners, will be funded each year to address these important needs? And how much each will receive? The allocations process is a lengthy and complex one, requiring months of deliberation and involving nearly 100 community volunteers along with the Federation professional staff.

“Whether the funds go overseas or remain here in the Atlanta community, we view allocations as investments in the Jewish future,” says Cheri Levitan, Federation VP of Community Impact. “We look closely at community programs that enrich Jewish identity, from Birthright Israel trips, to community leadership development; from our commitment to Jewish education, to informal education initiatives that send kids to Jewish overnight camp. We never lose sight that living, breathing people are depending on us for food, safety, education, employment, and healthcare. The weight of these decisions is palpable, and when we deliberate there can be heated debate for weeks before we arrive at final recommendations.”

Federation’s allocation process is driven by rigorous program assessment and evaluation. Allocations are made to programs and services that show evidence of measurable results and demonstrate fiscal responsibility. Donors should know that every program and agency, whether in Greater Atlanta, Israel or Minsk, undergoes a mid-year and an end-of-year review. Site visits are also part of the process, allowing Federation community volunteers to see our impact in person and build relationships with on-the-ground staff who make things happen. “The Allocations Committee members become true subject experts in the services we deliver. They help ensure that grantees achieve what they promise,” Levitan says.

For 2016-17, Federation will invest almost eleven million dollars in more than 60 agencies and programs impacting thousands of lives in Atlanta, Israel, and around the world.

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