Giving Compass' Take:

•  The Consortium of Jewish Day School's efforts to improve Jewish education is an example of how efficiency, collaboration, and altruism can work together.

• What are the other examples within philanthropy where these three principles are working in tandem?

• Read about the benefits of collaborative philanthropy. 

Whether you work for a Jewish communal organization or provide funding for one, everyone is looking to make their project efficient and, of course, successful. Most agree that utilizing collaborative opportunities is a great way to achieve efficiency. But how can altruism help us run our organizations better? Altruism is the spark that starts philanthropic endeavors and the fuel that maintains its funding; but, ironically, that very concept seems to work against our programs running efficiently with collaboration.

Why? Since organizations need to demonstrate their own success and are often fighting with others for the same charity dollars, many feel the need prove their individual success and accomplishments. This, in turn, breeds a silo mentality resulting in many projects run with tunnel vision without a look at the broader picture.

I had a refreshing opportunity recently to witness how altruism can indeed lead to collaboration and, eventually, success. The mission of the Consortium of Jewish Day Schools (CoJDS) is to support and improve Jewish day school education.

This is accomplished through national and regional conferences, principal training and mentorship, Judaic curricula, data-driven student assessments (JSAT), and programs to increase student enrollment. Though CoJDS sometimes collaborates with local federations and national organizations such as project Yachad of the OU, these partnerships are generally related to its mission-driven activities. Conventional wisdom would tell us to stay focused on the mission and ignore programs outside the purview of day school education.

Read the full article about efficiency, collaboration, and altruism by Rabbi Hillel Adler at eJewish Philanthropy.