In case you haven’t noticed, the Age of the Sharing Economy is upon us. One industry after another has been unceremoniously upended by hungry startups using innovative solutions to challenge the status quo and swallow up market share in the process. The taxi industry was brought to its heels by Uber and Lyft; the hospitality industry is contending with AirBnB. And hundreds, even thousands, of other companies are designing apps and interfaces that cut out the middlemen and offer value direct-to-consumer. My personal favorite: those Bird scooters!
HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal
This issue looks at ways that Jewish day schools find creative ways to increase and maximize their resources. In the first section, authors explore the partnerships that day schools forge with organizations in their community and beyond, to help raise money, foster teacher development, support students and cultivate relationships. Articles in the second section look at ways that schools work with the resources that exist within the school. We hope that the issue inspires you with fresh ideas for catalyzing resources at your school.
Click here to download the pdf and printer-friendly version of HaYidion.
One morning, I watched a news story about an organization in New England that made a “birthday in a box” for homeless children. I thought, “What a nice idea!” and wondered how hard it was to get that going. We reached out to the organization, but they only served their local community, far from our school in Gainesville, Florida. I mentioned the story to my staff, and we let the idea percolate for a few days. At that time, we were in the process of rethinking our Jewish mission.
Imagine a family that has been a synagogue member for a decade: their children have all gone through your preschool, are enrolled in the religious school and are currently attending the local public school. As things change for this family, they realize that they are looking for a different school experience, and starting in September, they are enrolling in the synagogue day school.
Rental income can supplement almost any school’s budget. While you do have to own your property, with some preparatory work and following important business practices, renting can be a great asset to your school. The initial goal is additional direct revenue, and rentals often bring the added benefit of opening your campus up to many others who wouldn’t normally have been there, potentially drawing students who otherwise may not have come to you. Large or small, your school too can have a rental income program.
Google and other Silicon Valley giants have become well known for creating workplaces that increase the chances of personal interactions, with the intended outcome of increased innovation and creativity—and recent research has begun to support this approach.
Enrollment management is an essential tool for aligning mission, enrollment priorities and student composition. However, student numbers, even student body demographics, are just one part of the equation. Student enrollment generates up to 80% of the revenue in many schools—money that goes to paying salaries and benefits, supporting programming and maintaining facilities. One way to manage this important financial lever is to set goals for net tuition revenue.
“Human resources are like natural resources; they’re often buried deep. You have to go looking for them; they’re not just lying around on the surface.”
It is a long time since I formally studied science, and I continue to be fascinated by how terms from basic physics and chemistry are appropriated for metaphoric use in our daily life. Over the past year, we have been in discussion with many day school stakeholders to help create Prizmah’s strategic plan, which will be rolled out in the coming months. In that process, we have employed terms like “lever” and “catalyst” to articulate how to maximize Prizmah’s role.
Prizmah board members Ann Pava, Gail Norry and Lisa Coll recently discussed the upcoming Prizmah Day School Investor Summit, taking place November 11-12 in Bal Harbour, Florida.
Why get excited about an investor summit?
Gail: It has been close to 20 years since major philanthropists who are passionate about day schools have had the chance to be in the same room. A lot has changed in these years, and the time has come to make a bold, serious statement about the future for Jewish day schools.
Your board and administration are excited about their decision to launch an endowment campaign. In announcing this campaign to the faculty, the head of school discovers that teachers are less enthusiastic. In their view, any money raised for an endowment might better be spent addressing the school’s current needs, including improvements in the classrooms, educational supplies and technology, and teacher salaries. How can the head convince the teachers that an endowment is an important priority for the school?
Organization as family offers a culture that is heavily weighted towards relational orientation. It’s understandable for a Jewish organization to be drawn to the model of family—it is squarely in our DNA—part of the larger narrative of being Jewish. However, in framing an organization as family, the script that we provide is one that champions relationships above all. Relationships are a key ingredient to any healthy culture, but in an organizational setting it must be measured and balanced with task orientation.
We want to build endowment but we are struggling to fundraise to cover our annual expenses. How do we balance our long-term financial security with our short-term concerns?
Dana Maze Ehrlich
Member, Stephen Wise Temple Board of Directors, Alumni Parent Chair, Wise School Generations Endowment, Los Angeles
Prizmah recently conducted a survey of cash endowments at Jewish day schools across the US and Canada. With 140 day schools responding, the survey indicates that total cash endowment funds exceed $500 million. Of the respondents, 96 had a cash endowment of $100,000 or more; most of the others had no endowment whatsoever. The mean (average) endowment of the 96 schools was $5.1 million, and the median (middle) was $2.2 million.
In their recent book The Power of Moments, brothers Chip and Dan Heath throw down a gauntlet for educators and leaders alike. “We all have defining moments in our lives—meaningful experiences that stand out in our memory. ... Defining moments shape our lives, but we don’t have to wait for them to happen. We can be the authors of them.”
As Shawn Achor, Harvard University happiness researcher and author of Big Potential, pointed out, “When George Lucas wrote the script to the billion dollar Star Wars franchise, the most iconic line in movie history—‘May the Force be with you’—was not in it.
by Glennon Doyle
This is one of those books that, if it resonates with you, will leave its mark. On the surface it is about love and marriage and kids—things most of us can relate to; there are plenty of laughs and all-too-familiar tear-jerking moments along the story’s beautiful rollercoaster.
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