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Posts tagged ‘Fundraising Initiative’

Ensuring the Future of Our Jewish Community Institutions

As we continue to reflect on over 102 years since we were founded, one question repeatedly arises: How strong will the Jewish community be a century from today? It is an issue because without flourishing synagogues, day schools, JCCs and community organizations, the Jewish community, as we know it, will not be. That’s why JCF has committed to providing capacity building services to help cultivate high-performing organizations. Our services include pro bono consulting, specialized trainings and communities of practice.

The Synagogue Federation Partnership launched in 2007, and was designed to strengthen the relationship between Synagogue and Federation leadership. By 2010, JCF allocated funds that enabled three capacity building projects to begin to help synagogues develop their fundraising and membership capacities:

The Community Legacy Project (CLP)

The CLP is a partnership between the JCF and a diverse group of synagogues and local community organizations. The goal is to equip institutions with the tools they need to market themselves, secure endowments and self-sustain over the long-term. Guidance is provided from Bay Area experts in fundraising and infrastructure building who have been hired to serve as coaches to selected local Jewish organizations. In the first 24 months, 350 commitments totaling $27.9 million were made to the participating institutions, and organizations reported an average of 57% increase in their annual campaign.

Fundraising Initiative

Seven synagogues are participating with a goal to strengthen their capacity to raise funds. The focus in year one was to develop and/or enhance each synagogue’s annual fund campaign. In year two, congregations further improved their annual fundraising and explored comprehensive revenue models for their synagogues. Just one example of recent success is Congregation Beth Israel Judea who had a 53% increase in their 5772 High Holy Day Appeal.

Membership Project

The Synagogue Federation Membership Initiative’s goal is to help synagogues learn more about themselves in order to develop smarter outreach to prospective members. The project partners the Federation with Bay Area synagogues by providing 5 coaches that will help 8 institutions through the project over a period of 18 months. Analyzing survey data and focus group responses, organizers will conduct training of clergy, staff and lay leadership to better equip synagogues to recruit and retain potential members over the long haul. From there, a team of synagogue staff and lay leaders will work with one of the project’s coaches to interpret the data, conduct further focus groups and use the collected information to design custom membership programs.


For more information on these or any other capacity building programs, contact Bab Freiberg at

Partnering pays off for synagogues

Happy Rosh Hashana

As part of our capacity building services to Bay Area organizations, last fall the Federation instituted a Fundraising Initiative which provides one-on-one coaching and group training to the lay and professional leadership at seven local synagogues on enhancing their fundraising skills and results.

This past month 25 synagogue leaders from Sonoma to Palo Alto attended workshops to improve their High Holiday fundraising campaigns and ongoing stewardship of donors. This intensive two-year program, offered through the Synagogue-Federation Partnership and funded through a Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund grant, helps synagogues which do not have extensive fundraising experience to better secure their financial stability for their future.

An added benefit is that the training and coaching sessions have created shared momentum and a sense of community, as well as provided a forum for these synagogue leaders to share knowledge and best practices.

Participating congregations include Congregation Adath Israel, San Francisco; Congregation Beth Israel Judea, San Francisco; Congregation Chevra Thilim, San Francisco; Congregation Shir Shalom, Sonoma; Gan HaLev, Western Marin; Keddem Congregation, Palo Alto; and Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Foster City.

If you’d like to learn more about the Fundraising Initiative and how you can help ensure a vibrant tomorrow for your synagogue, contact Rabbi Marv Goodman at 415.369.2860.

Looking for a meaningful High Holiday experience?

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