State of the Agency from Annual Meeting
Posted on July 18, 2014
Annual Meeting Report from Executive Director Andrea Steinberg
Part of this evening's program, which I am extremely excited about is to introduce JFS's new logo and total rebrand of our collateral material. In an effort not to spoil our big unveil, which will come later, I just want to say that overall we feel the refreshed look is contemporary, approachable, strong, and personable. While we are happy about this graphic change, I want to emphasize that a new letterhead and a symbol alongside the Agency name do not change anything about JFS's culture or our relationship with stakeholders at all levels.
We remain as committed as always to providing the highest level of service, to building and preserving wellbeing in our community in a mindful and responsible way. JFS has had another successful year in realizing our mission, and we owe this success to our terrific staff and to the ongoing confidence and trust our clients and Board place on us. Thank you.
Over these recent years, we continuously prioritize the serious changes to the status quo: from the downturn in the economy, response to the storm, to impact on the State of New Jersey changes to reimbursement. We met the transforming environment with the same conviction for which we are known.
Using a model of leveraging contract funds, Medicaid reimbursement and grant dollars to meet critical unmet needs has been so successful we are employing it across many applications and program design. We developed and nurtured many strong relationships and JFS continues to be the top of social and community providers in our local and statewide space.
Here are some of the 2014 PROGRAMS AND HIGHLIGHTS: (Quite a few to cover)
Village by the Shore: We officially launched the Village in November. With growing interest and enthusiasm in the community we are building all aspects of the Village; adding members, service partners and volunteers daily. We are now more than ever positioned to serve older adults aging independently in the community.
Atlantic Homeless Alliance
JFS was selected in a competitive bidding process as the lead to operate the single point of entry, is a 1.9 million dollar project to serve people who are homeless in Atlantic County. With our partners, the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Pleasantville Housing Authority and John Brooks Recovery Center, we launched in January and have served nearly 1000 people to date. The program receives acknowledgement from interested parties at all level. The Governor held an official press conference in May and showed his appreciation by recognizing our ability to bring an idea to fruition.
Over the past two years, our greatest area of growth continues in Supportive Housing Services. We will be adding two new contracts totaling over 1 million dollars. With many successful projects and winning proposals we continue to meet the needs of so many in our community.
In collaboration with John Brooks Recovery Center JFS was selected to provide a broader Jail Reentry program in Atlantic County focused on discharge planning and linkages to community-based services to all incarcerated individuals at the Atlantic County Justice Facility. This project kicked off in May and will add to the continuum of services we already offer.
JFS was awarded a contract from the Department of Labor called Project Aware Works. This program serves individuals with High Functioning Autism who are aging out of school and entering the workforce. Partnering with area businesses, we are job coaching and then working to place people in employment. The program design and implementation have been amazing to watch. (You will hear more about this program later).
JFS will provide services until needs are met. JFS just secured an additional $258,000 which will enable us to maintain services through December 2015.
These are just some of the highlights from the past year. Overall, JFS has grown from a 6.7 million dollar organization with 122 employees to a 9 million dollar organization with 144 employees. While the growth in and of itself is impressive it doesn’t truly represent the amazing work that our staff is doing each day.
JFS continues to bring our events to the next level, keeping them relevant and interesting to our donors and supporters, while increasing revenue for the services we provide in the community.
Specialty Dinners in collaboration with Cookie Till continue to be sellout events. If you haven’t joined us yet make sure to get your tickets early and support the JFS Health and Wellness programs.
Joint JCC/JFS Golf Tournament became a reality and was an enormous success. Joining together two strong organizations elevated our event, surpassing our expectations in both sponsorship projections and participants, with 120 golfers. We look forward to winning the cup back next year!
The Cocktail Party is the social event for our supporters. Using a different and unique venue each year the event remains strong and exciting.
The House Tour, our most enduring event stands up over time. Committee chairs have added elements such as a raffle, house sponsors with food sampling, transportation and a fast pass. These changes help to increase attendance each year.
The Card Party which in the past was linked with our women’s golf tournament will be a stand-alone event this year. The Village by the Shore Card Party will take place on June 12th at Harbor Pines. The event has already surpassed last year with 60 registered players and strong sponsorship.
With efforts by both staff and board, JFS increased its fundraising revenues by over 20%. While many area organizations are reporting reductions in fundraising we report increases year after year. What makes this past years increase so unique is the increase in our Major Gifts with nearly $100,000 in new gifts.
I believe our growth is a reflection of the faith that the community puts in us and the important work we do. While we couldn’t do what we do without fundraising we maintain our focus on our mission. One thing we know for certain is that we want to carry forward the core values that have defined JFS from the beginning: independence, integrity, trust, hard work, and a deep commitment to relationships and tikkun olam (healing the world)
Thank you again for your continued confidence, trust, and ongoing support.