As the Synagogue-Federation Partnership moves into its second year, we would like to engage the community in an ongoing discussion about the future of the synagogues in our community. This next phase of our partnership will be a time to push the conventional boundaries of the synagogue and catalyze provocative thoughts from the community. This discussion will look at national trends in synagogue life as well as local innovative efforts.
We’d like to hear how you feel about your relationship – or lack of relationship – with a synagogue.
Will you help us by answering 6 short questions?
Local synagogues reported dramatic operational improvements at last week’s Synagogue Federation Partnership convening at Beth Israel Judea in San Francisco. Three “capacity-building” projects supported in large part by the JCF have led to substantial progress in fundraising, planned giving and membership. The August 26th convening was an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable results the Partnership has achieved so far and hear from community leaders and professionals how to further grow the impact of the Partnership.
Congregation B’nai Emunah
“We have never received support like this and are thrilled to have resources brought to our congregation,” says Bonnie Lindauer, whose synagogue, Congregation B’nai Emunah, is one of eight participating in the Membership Initiative, which connects local synagogues and nonprofits to experts in the field of fundraising and membership development. “It gives us renewed energy and a burst of ideas.”
The second capacity building project, the Fundraising Initiative, has helped seven participating synagogues to increase their annual campaigns by an average of over 57%.
The third effort, the Community Legacy Project, has seen 16 partner organizations raise more than $24 million in planned gifts. The leadership at these organizations held legacy conversations with 599 potential donors and received 324 commitments for future gifts.
The three projects have been so successful that JCF and community leaders have committed the resources to extend the initial two-year term of these vibrant and productive efforts.
Learn more about the Synagogue-Federation Partnership by contacting Rabbi Marvin Goodman, JCF Rabbi in Residence, at MarvinG@sfjcf.org.
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.