Pictured: Jewish Foundation of Memphis fundholders attend a training on the new donor portal, facilitated by Sarah VanderWalde, at the beginning of August. The new portal was launched as part of the Foundation’s strategic plan to improve its back-end accounting software.
The Jewish Foundation of Memphis (JFOM) marked 25 years by announcing a record achievement of more than $100 million under management. In making the announcement, Jewish Foundation of Memphis Chair Anthony Morrison acknowledged the confidence local community donors and organizations have shown in the services provided by the Foundation.
“It’s hard to believe we have been in business for a quarter century,” said Morrison. “I am so proud to be part of an organization that partners with hundreds of local Jewish philanthropists to make a real difference in our community.”
Over the course of 25 years, the Jewish Foundation of Memphis has established itself as a valued philanthropic resource for charitable families. By offering donor advised funds, designated endowments, and developing expertise in non-cash gifts including stock, real estate, and collectibles, the Jewish Foundation has become the go-to charity for families wanting to make a significant impact.
And, over the past year, with COVID impacting all of our Jewish agencies, synagogues, schools, and families, having resources to grant became even more critical.
“Grant-making was at an all-time high over the past 16 months,” said Laura Linder President & CEO of Jewish Community Partners (JCP), the organization that manages the Jewish Foundation and the Memphis Jewish Federation. “During the height of COVID we were communicating weekly with our local Jewish organizations and passing along their needs to our fund holders. Every week grants were made to support basic needs such as iPads, computers and cameras, and larger needs such as PPE and tents for outside worship.” Ms. Linder went on to explain that without the funds that had already been contributed to donor advised funds, needed dollars may not have been readily available.
This increase in funds, assets and needs led leadership to consider the Foundation’s role in TomorrowStrong, JCP’s combined effort to address the most pressing needs facing our Memphis Jewish community. Through internal staff promotions, re-alignment of resources, launching of a new donor portal, and a strategic planning process, JFOM will strengthen its position as the primary philanthropic resource in the Memphis Jewish community.
“We have exciting things happening at the Foundation,” said Sheri Gadberry, Senior Philanthropic Officer and Executive Vice President of the Foundation. “At the beginning of August, we launched a new online donor platform. With a few key strokes donors can recommend grants, check their balance, and pull up past granting and gifting history.”
In addition to launching the new donor portal, Foundation leadership assembled a committee to build an ambitious strategy for the next 25 years by launching a strategic plan. Led by JFOM Chair Anthony Morrison along with a committee of advisors and donors, the strategic plan will bring together key stakeholders of the Foundation, inviting their input into the future of the Foundation.
“The process of pulling the strategic plan together has been enlightening and informative,” according to Sarah Vanderwalde, JFOM’s newly promoted Director of Foundation’s Programs. “We engaged a national facilitator for focus groups with fundholders and professional advisors and have developed a series of surveys. The data we gather will inform our strategies moving forward.”
“We have had an incredible year,” stated Ms. Linder. “Through our agency partners and the hundreds of donors we work with, the sky’s the limit.” If you are interested in partnering with the Jewish Foundation of Memphis to achieve your charitable goals, please contact Sarah Vanderwalde @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-374-0400.