JF&CS News Spring 2018

Like many of you, I have known Barry Shrage for more than 25 years. And every time I ask him how he is doing, he replies, "Never better" in his Brooklyn accent that reminds me of my family members from Williamsburg and Sheepshead Bay. In celebration of his three decades of dedication, JF&CS honored Barry last month and I'm excited to report that we achieved "never better" fundraising results! Our success in raising more than $1 million set a new record for JF&CS. This accomplishment truly demonstrates the "power of community." I am so grateful to all of our donors who shared their "power of philanthropy" in giving to JF&CS.

The annual Benefit raises what we call "unrestricted" funds. Many people equate "unrestricted" contributions with general operating support. I recently read a blog from a website called Geofunders.org that equates general operating support directly to an organization's mission. I can't tell you how much that resonated with me and with the reality of some of the greatest needs at JF&CS. The article goes on to articulate that general operating support enables nonprofits to build a strong and sustainable infrastructure to offer services that will have the greatest impact. Early in my career, we talked about keeping on the lights and heat. However, the reality for JF&CS and non-profits across the country is that today, more than ever, as we face state and federal cutbacks, we must have a strong base of donors whose support allows us to serve our clients in the greatest capacity.

We are also looking forward to another event coming up in June. This year's Women's Breakfast, benefiting the Center for Early Relationship Support®, will honor community leader and philanthropist Kathleen VanDernoot. The theme for this year's Breakfast is "Strength, Empowerment, Kindness." Over the last decade, Kat has dedicated her volunteerism and philanthropy to spreading acts of kindness and teaching children the impact that one simple act of kindness can have. Our work at JF&CS is complex. Everyone who walks through our doors is facing a challenge, a crisis, a moment in their life when they need help and support. Our community of dedicated professionals, loyal supporters, and devoted volunteers ensures that our clients will get the help they need. That is the power of community.

For your support, I am most grateful.