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August 5, 2021

How Revenue is Spent at the Jewish Communal Fund

by Anne Paddock

The Jewish Communal Fund is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501 (c) (3) that focuses on donor-advised funds, which are funds (more than 4,200) that have been established at the Jewish Communal Fund for philanthropic purposes.

The Jewish Communal Fund manages the funds and assists the clients who established the funds on how to give back to the community.  This type of fund basically eliminates the client from having to do the research, management, and monitoring of funds, leaving the responsibility to the Jewish Communal Fund staff.

Based in New York, NY, the Jewish Communal Fund manages about $2 billion.  In 2020, total revenue was $585 million (including $194 million in marketable securities), most of which came from contributions, gifts, and grants ($525 million), and investment income/gain on the sale of assets ($60 million).

Expenses totaled $549 million and were categorized as follows:

  • $536 million (92% of revenue):  Grants
  • $   4 million (1% of revenue):  Compensation
  • $   6 million (1% of revenue):  Fees for Services
  • $   3 million (less than 1% of revenue):  Office-Related and Other Expenses

As illustrated above 92% of revenue is awarded in grants:  3,803 grants greater than $5,000 were made domestically. 83 grants of $1 million or more were made, all with a purpose of “general support.”  It is important to note that millions in grants were made to other non-profit organizations (often with the words: Foundation, Fund, Federation, or Network in their names) whose purpose is to award grants.

While awarding 92% of revenue to grants is commendable, the problem with The Jewish Communal Fund (whose purpose is to award funds) awarding grants to other organizations whose purpose is to award grants is that two sets of overhead costs have to be paid for.  And, if the second recipient also awards grants to another non-profit who uses the grant money to award grants, then there is too much dilution taking place. It is  rarely financially efficient to award grants to other organizations who award grants.

Grants greater than $2 million (all for general support) were awarded to:

  • $43.2 million:  Johns Hopkins University of Baltimore, MD
  • $28.6 million:  UJA – Federation of New York, of New York, NY
  • $10.1 million:  Spence School, of New York, NY
  • $ 9.6 million:  Harvard University, of Cambridge, MA
  • $ 6.6 million:  American Israel Education Fund , of Washington, DC
  • $ 5.9 million:  Central Park Conservancy, of New York, NY
  • $ 5.6 million:  Internal Rescue Committee, of NYC, NY
  • $ 5.1 million:  Cornell University, of Boone, IA
  • $ 5.1 million:  Results for America, of Washington, DC
  • $ 5.0 million:  NY Genome Center, of New York, NY
  • $ 3.4 million:  Columbia University, of New York, NY
  • $ 3.3 million:  Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Assoc of New Orleans, LA
  • $ 3.2 million:  Community Funds, Inc. of Brooklyn, NY
  • $ 3.1 million:  National Resource Defnce Council, of New York, NY
  • $ 3.1 million:  NYU Langone Hospital, of New York, NY
  • $ 3.0 million:  Nextbook, of New York, NY
  • $ 3.0 million:  American Friends of Magen David Adom, of New York, NY
  • $ 2.9 million:  Fidelity Investment Charitable Gift Fund, of New York, NY
  • $ 2.9 million:  Hospital for Special Surgery Fund, of New York, NY
  • $ 2.9 million:  Smithsonian, of Washington, DC
  • $ 2.7 million:  Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, of New York, NY
  • $ 2.7 million:  University of PA, of Philadelphia, PA
  • $ 2.6 million: NYU, of New York, NY
  • $ 2.5 million:  America Archives, of New York, NY
  • $ 2.5 million:  University of Texas Foundation, of Austin, tX
  • $ 2.5 million:  Children’s Museum of Manhattan, of New York, NY
  • $ 2.4 million:  American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, of New York, NY
  • $2.4 million:  The Birthright Israeli Foundation, of New York, NY
  • $ 2.3 million:  Duke University Health System, of Durham, NC
  • $ 2.3 million:  Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, of New York, NY
  • $ 2.3 million:  Salanter Akiba, of Riverdale, NY
  • $ 2.2 million:  Fifth Avenue Synagogue, of New York, NY
  • $ 2.2 million:  American Friends of Nad Eliezer Institute, of Jackson, NJ
  • $ 2.1 million:  Yeshiva University, of New York, NY
  • $ 2.0 million:  Central Fun of Israel, of Cedarhurst, NJ
  • $ 2.0 million:  Legal Hand, Inc., of New York, NY
  • $ 2.0 million:  The Barack Obama Foundation, of Chicago, IL
  • $ 2.0 million:  Metropolitan Museum of Art, of New York, NY
  • $ 2.0 million:  NAACP, of Baltimore, MD

So, to answer the question of how every $100 in revenue is spent, note the following:

$100:  Revenue

-$  2:  Compensation, Fees, Office-Related Expenses and Other Expenses

 $ 98:  Revenue Remaining

-$ 92:  Grants

$  6:  Revenue Remaining:  To General Fund

As illustrated above, $92 out of every $100 in revenue was awarded in grants although it is important to look at the grant recipients because millions in grants were awarded to other non-profit organizations who award grants causing dilution.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2019 for the year ending June 30, 2020), click here.

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