Connected Congregations: Making the Change to a New Membership Model
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Connected Congregations: Making the Change to a New Membership Model

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Webinar with Dan Judson and members of the Connected Congregations New York cohort.

Webinar with Dan Judson and members of the Connected Congregations New York cohort.

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Connected Congregations: Making the Change to a New Membership Model Connected Congregations: Making the Change to a New Membership Model Presentation Transcript

  • MEMBERSHIP, COMMUNITY, AND CHANGE a 3 part series Making the Change to a New Membership Model With Rabbi Dan Judson
  • 4 Topics for Today 1. What are attributes of those congregations that have made a change to their model? 2. What are the steps to make change? 3. Cautionary tales … 4. Planning for taking risks
  • Next in the Series Wed March 19th 12pm – Sharefest presentations from Temple Beth Abraham and Community Synagogue, with Rabbi Dan Judson Tues March 25 8-9pm – “What are the deeper elements that accompany this change?” with Rabbi Dan Judson. What does is mean to be a “member”? How does voluntary dues change fundraising? Etc.
  • Rabbi Dan Judson Director of Professional Development and Placement for the Hebrew College Rabbinical School Doctoral candidate in Jewish history at Brandeis University, dissertation focuses on the history of American synagogues and money. Researches and teaches about contemporary synagogue finances, and is presently writing a report on the success of several synagogues who have eliminated dues and are using a voluntary funding model. Rabbi of Temple Beth David of the South Shore in Canton, MA for 10 years.
  • 5 Attributes of Congregations Successful Changing Financial Models #1: “Stickiness” between members and congregation – the congregation is already on the path of being a relational congregation as outlined by Ron Wolfson
  • 5 Attributes of Congregations Successful Changing Financial Models #2: Financial Transparency – The board understands and has access to financial information – There is openness about how decisions are made – There is a financial “story” of the congregation that correlates to reality and all key players share the story
  • 5 Attributes of Congregations Successful Changing Financial Models #3: Trust in Financial Leadership of Congregation. A track record of being good stewards and/or track record of success in business
  • 5 Attributes of Congregations Successful Changing Financial Models #4: Congregation is relatively healthy financially – change in model is not a “hail mary” [forgive both the sports and wrong religion analogy] – revenue sources fall generally into expected categories (the congregation is not overly reliant on dues or some other category)
  • 5 Attributes of Congregations Successful Changing Financial Models #5: Size of Congregation
  • 7 Steps from Here to There #1 Understand Trends Within Your Own Synagogue
  • 7 Steps from Here to There #2: Initial Consensus on why you are looking to make a change [e.g. “in five years if we don’t change the synagogue will not have revenue it needs” or “unhappiness with the current system and what it asks of people”]
  • 7 Steps from Here to There #3: Gathering Information from Trends in the Jewish World [what you are doing right now]
  • 7 Steps from Here to There #4: Gathering a Task Force on Financial Change – like other important synagogue task forces, this should be reflective of different constituencies but must have some trusted financial leadership – see above
  • 7 Steps from Here to There #5: Clergy must be brought into conversation [even if kicking and screaming]
  • 7 Steps from Here to There #6: Ongoing Communication with Task Force and Executive Board
  • 7 Steps from Here to There #7a: Consider making a small change first which would be a test case for a larger change you are thinking about [e.g. if you are thinking about eliminating dues, eliminate dues for just first year members and track change closely] #7b: Make Recommendations
  • Cautionary Tales
  • Planning for Taking Risk
  • Other Questions?
  • Next in the Series Wed March 19th 12pm – Sharefest presentations from Temple Beth Abraham and Community Synagogue, with Rabbi Dan Judson Tues March 25 8-9pm – “What are the deeper elements that accompany this change?” with Rabbi Dan Judson. What does is mean to be a “member”? How does voluntary dues change fundraising? Etc.