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United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA)

United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA)
Education and training

United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA)

Bringing community involvement together

A merger between charities, even when there is a clear economic case for it, is one of the toughest management challenges to be found in the voluntary sector. There is no overriding justification of 'shareholder value' as there is in the private sector. The interests of different stakeholders - beneficiaries, staff, funders, trustees and other volunteers - must all be considered and can be hard to balance.

Despite these obstacles, UJIA was successfully formed from two ailing parent groups. The Joint Israel Appeal had been suffering a loss of professional staff, little growth in donor numbers, and flat income. Jewish Continuity was enmeshed in local disputes which had led to funding problems.

The first challenge was to merge the operations while retaining the volunteers and contributors from the two constituent parts. The second, and greater, challenge was to create a unified body embracing a new and exciting vision; one which would attract thousands of new donors without alienating the previous organisations' traditional support base. The resulting reorganisation included the appointment of a new chief executive, campaign director and finance director as well as a new fundraising team. An entire layer of middle management was stripped out to form a flatter professional staff structure. 

UJIA is now the largest Jewish voluntary organisation in the UK, with over 2,000 volunteers and 25,000 supporters. People representing all parts of the Jewish community, from children to youth workers and teachers, have benefited from UJIA's dynamic educational training programmes.

The merger's success is demonstrated by an increase in voluntary income, by the 60 per cent increase in the number of major gifts and by the growing number of volunteer fundraisers. Expansion of UJIA's rescue and relief work may result in further partnerships or mergers with other organisations.

United Jewish Israel Appeal

Jonathan Kestenbaum
Chief executive
020 8446 1477
central@ujia.org
reg no 1060078

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