Alex Kadis

Seeing the Future at FOJNP

On Wednesday, 24 August 2011, I along with 50 others attended Dave Weinberg‘s Future of Jewish Nonprofit summit (FOJNP) in New York. The event brought together some great minds in the nonprofit Jewish world to talk about how to raise money in these difficult times, proper use of social media (Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), and how to get your ideas out there. I think it was a resounding success.

Causil’s David Weinberg at the New York FOJNP summit. Photo credit: Copyright © Causil. Used with permission.

I heard about the FOJNP from William Daroff, the ever tweeting and very important (have you seen the people he meets with?) Jewish super-professional. Daroff was one of the speakers, and talked about the importance of Twitter in any media strategy. He presented with Rabbi Steven Burg of NCSY. I was very impressed in the way Dave put the speakers together; in such a way that topics flowed easily from one to the next. Rabbi Burg is a self-admitted social-media novice compared to Daroff (but really, who isn’t?), and spoke of the need to use Facebook for proper interaction with his target audience: 15 year olds. He went on to say that, “tech does not replace human contact”. And he’s right. We need to use tech to find people, but it’s personal interaction that moves people forward. The importance of not relying on technology was poignant during the summit, as a wifi outage led to some amusing and somewhat desperate sounding Tweets:

The Future of Jewish Nonprofit summit was a wonderful kick-off for my job search — a mysterious and nebulous art with thousands of books on the subject and no right answer of how to do it. (There are 23,605 books according to Amazon, two of which I’m reading now.) Everything that I’ve read agrees on one thing, that you need to reach out and speak to as many people as possible. For that, I am thankful to Dave for the FOJNP summit. It gave me a chance to practice my networking skills, and to get advice from people who are important members of the Jewish nonprofit world.

Here’s some things I took away from FOJNP:

  • Ventureneer‘s Geri Stengel talking on a panel with Saul Orbach (TMT Strategic Advisors) and Avi Zollman (Jewish Funders Network) talking about the challenges of raising funding in today’s economy. The important take away: make sure you’re evaluating what you do, and publishing those evaluations as a story anyone can understand. People of my generation want to know where their money is going.
  • Big Duck‘s Farra Trompeter talked about about Google+. It’s really fun to think about the constantly changing social networking landscape — and how we can best take advantage of the changes.
  • LinkedIn professionals gave some tips on how nonprofits can best use the network. Basically, spend some time getting to know http://learn.linkedin.com/nonprofits and follow their advice in the help documents. (Since I’m looking for a job, I’m going to be spending a lot of time looking at the job seeker section) of their site.
  • Hadassah Levy of Jewish Ideas Daily made me realize that I need to update my blog more, and that I should try and get more involved in the organizations I care about.