Mind the Funding Gap (Before the DJC Falls Into It!)

It’s been an amazing year at the DJC — from celebrating our 18th year, to raising $55,000 to sponsor a Syrian refugee family of six, to kicking off our Year of Wrestling Together with soul-searching community conversations exploring the role that Judaism and the DJC can and should play in our lives.

At the same time, as our programming and the level of services provided to members has grown, our expenses have exceeded our revenues.  This is partly by design, as we work to keep DJC membership dues and school tuition fees low and accessible. In 2014, our funding gap was completely filled by donations.  In 2015, our expenses have grown while our donations have significantly decreased; as of October 31, we’re projecting a shortfall of $15,000, assuming no more donations come in.  Next year, the gap, before donations, could be even greater.

To continue to keep DJC dues low and provide greater support and programming, we need to fill our funding gap every year.  How?  By members making annual donations above their dues.

What’s driving the gap?

As membership and tuition revenues have grown moderately, we’ve grown our programming, services, and support substantially.  As a result, our costs have increased. Since 2013, we’ve seen a 43% increase in staff expenses — increasing Rabbi Miriam’s time, adding a teacher, giving fair raises, and providing health benefits to key staff for the first time.  Simultaneously, as we’ve added programming, operating expenses have risen 28% over the same period. A significant driver of this is rent — more programming means more space rental, not to mention food and other costs.

There are only three ways to close the gap:

  1. Fundraising, which is how we’ve closed the gap in the past, when donations collected through DJC fundraising were significantly higher than this year.  We understand the Syrian Refugee Sponsorship initiative may have offset this a bit, but we still need to “close our gap”.
  2. Increasing membership dues and school tuition, which we’re hoping to avoid to the greatest extent possible.
  3. Cutting expenses – and there are no obvious places to cut without having to reduce or eliminate some of our current programs and services.

We need you, this year and every year!  Make a recurring annual tax-deductible donation to the DJC today.

With humble gratitude for your support as we continue to grow to meet your needs,
The DJC Board of Directors
Josh, Hilla, Ken, Lis, Margaret, Marlee, Michael, Nadya, Shari

Posted in Message from the Board