The LAHSA initiative model involves a cycle of support and accountability among three parties:
The Funders: Jim Joseph Foundation and Simha and Sara Lainer Day School Endowment Fund
The Central Agency: BJE: Builders of Jewish Education
BJE: Builders of Jewish Education serves as the operating hub, disbursing reimbursements for tuition assistance and development staff costs to the schools and providing reports to the funders on the schools’ endowment achievements. Ongoing reporting and monitoring mechanisms that are critical to the initiative’s structure are detailed below.
School Reports and School Monitoring
While schools are monitored on an ongoing basis to assess compliance with the projects’ requirements, formal monitoring and reporting is done on a quarterly basis. BJE monitors LAHSA initiative student enrollment as well as development progress every quarter. Schools must meet minimal LAHSA student enrollment quotas each semester, as well as yearly pledge and deposit benchmarks in order to remain in good standing.
Each student that receives LAHSA initiative tuition assistance is monitored on an ongoing basis until the student graduates or drops from the school. Web applicants who do not enroll are also tracked and information is gathered about the number of contacts, meetings or interactions they had with the school before deciding not to enroll.
Every quarter, schools submit a written progress report on meeting yearly pledge benchmarks along with a written request for quarterly reimbursement of development expenses to BJE. (If a school achieved its yearly pledge benchmark early in the year, however, it is exempt from making additional reports for that year).
Endowment benchmark deposits are due once per year no later than June 30th. If a school does not meet its yearly benchmark deposit by then, both tuition and development reimbursements would be subject to suspension until the school completed its deposit benchmark and once again is in good standing.
Reimbursements to Schools
Schools are reimbursed for tuition assistance and for development staff expense.
Tuition is reimbursed twice each year shortly after the start of the Fall Semester (October) and again after the start of the Spring Semester (February) based on confirmation of required LAHSA initiative student enrollment. In order to receive tuition reimbursement, schools submit a tuition reimbursement form that provides information about the student’s grade level and where they were enrolled in school the previous year. Schools also submit a copy of the student’s web application, confirming that the necessary tracking data has been collected by BJE. The tracking data includes asking the applicant family where they heard about the website/program, the main barriers for enrolling their child in a Jewish high school, the student’s previous school (public, private or other Jewish day school), whether the parent was previously planning to send their child to a Jewish high school before learning about the grant and the family’s first and second choice among the participating high schools to attend. Click here for a preview of the application.
Schools are reimbursed for development expense quarterly. Schools submit a request for development reimbursement, along with appropriate documentation, as well as the above mentioned quarterly progress report, in order to receive reimbursement. As stated above, if a school does not meet its yearly enrollment, pledge or deposit benchmarks, it is subject to suspension of its reimbursement payments.
Visiting and Meeting with Schools
BJE visits the participating high schools regularly throughout the year and meets with leadership at each school on an ongoing basis; maintaining close relationships with both professional staff and lay leadership involved in the project.
Development Staff Meetings and Trainings
In the first two years of the project, BJE brought together all LAHSA initiative Consortium members, including Heads of School, Development Staff, Admissions Staff, CFO’s and Federation staff twice each year to review the progress of the grant, recommend changes in practices and promote a clear understanding of the project’s goals and expectations for schools in the years ahead. In subsequent years, BJE shifted its focus to lay and professional leadership “on the ground” who were directing and managing the LAHSA initiative project at their school sites.
From the start, BJE met with and continues to meet with LAHSA initiative Development Directors on a regular and ongoing basis, both individually and as a group. Development Directors share their challenges and successes and seek information, advice or assistance from BJE on an “as needed” basis.
Each year, BJE convenes 4 – 6 Development Professionals Community of Practice workshops, and since year 3, meetings have been conducted jointly with Development Directors from BJE’s Generations LA project and other day schools in Los Angeles. Presenters have included experts in endowment development, planned giving, donor research and integrated fundraising campaigns from the Jewish Federation of L.A., Jewish Community Foundation of L.A, and other Community Foundations. Development coaches and directors from other educational institutions, like Harvard-Westlake and UCLA, have conducted workshops on numerous topics of relevance creating a culture of philanthropy and major gifts fundraising and advancement.
LAHSA Initiative Reporting Cycle
While the BJE submits written updates and progress reports to the Jim Joseph Foundation on a regular basis every quarter, the June report each year is a comprehensive summary report of the previous school year’s progress and achievements, and also includes cumulative reporting of progress on the grant’s two primary objectives, increasing enrollment and building endowment in Jewish High Schools.
LAHSA Initiative Funding Cycle
At the end of each school year, BJE submits a detailed budget report of the previous school year that includes projected and actual budgets for each specific spending center of the project. The budget is reviewed and audited by the Jim Joseph Foundation, and funding for the following school year is distributed in July or August for the following school year.