Here We Go...Your Generosity is Needed

$48 million in 42 days…$29 million in 90 days…$2.5  million in 60 days…

As we embark on the New Year, it is important that the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland try new strategies and ways to engage our community. As you know, one of the major roles of the Federation is to raise money for the benefit of our Jewish community via our Annual Campaign. The campaign funds ten partner agencies, as well as a myriad of other programs throughout Jewish Portland and abroad. We typically run our annual campaign over a long 9 month period (September – June) pushing for every (increased) contribution and every potential new donor, with heavy emphasis from December - March. To be honest, our campaign strategy has become tedious. Unlike many other organizations, we do not have one major fundraising event for the year and what we raise that night is the completion of our campaign. We continue to reach out to the entire Jewish community and encourage everyone’s participation in supporting Jewish Portland.

This year, our plan is different. The numbers at the start of this email reflect how the Montreal Jewish community manages its campaign and how the Cleveland Jewish community coordinates its effort. To them, it is all about speed and pace – to maximize the campaign as quickly as possible and energize the community. And, as you can see, those communities respond with tremendous success. Our goal in upcoming years is to raise 90% of our campaign total between October-December. In fact, this year, with your support, cooperation, and generosity, we are raising the bar to raise in excess of $2.5 million during the next 60 days (October and November)And, we hope to raise a total of $3.5 million (by June 30, 2013), a 10% increase over last year, to meet the increased needs in our Jewish community. (The multitude of Jewish initiatives and services we are currently unable to fund are too many to describe in this email.)

So, why the rush? Well, for several reasons…

  • With a faster campaign, we can reduce our fundraising costs. The lower our costs, the more dollars available to our partner agencies. In fact, our goal is to save $25,000 this year alone. Help reduce the number of letters we mail, the phone calls we make, ads we publish, and time spent.

  • By closing the majority of campaign pledges earlier we can focus our time and efforts on reaching new donors (expanding our base and leveraging additional financial resources).

  • The earlier we get a sense of our projected campaign total, the sooner we can begin strategizing with our partner agencies. This will help immeasurably with our allocations process and enable the agencies to plan accordingly.

  • As one person simply stated, for the majority of you reading this email, you make a commitment each year – why wait? We are trying to be as proactive as possible – and hope you respond positively. If you make your pledge now we will not ask you again until fall, 2013.

  • Payment on these pledges are not due until December 2013.

Why not start now? Help us enhance our community. We are asking everyone in our community to consider a minimum of a 10% increase over your commitment from last year. We need your increased support (and for those of you who have never made a contribution to Federation, we hope you will join thousands of others in our community and do so – every contribution makes an impact) if our Jewish community is to be as vibrant and caring as we wish it to be. We cannot do tomorrow’s work with yesterday’s dollarsClick here to make your increased pledge now and help us reach our 60 day goal.

I am proud that the Jewish Federation is not solely a fundraising organization – our main goal is to be a community building organization. One way we do that is through our Annual Campaign. Help us be more efficient and effective in the way we do our work – because at the end of the day our efforts are to benefit you and your family.

As part of our campaign effort, I invite you to join me at Federation’s Annual Campaign Kick-Off Event taking place on Sunday, October 28, 2012 with Jerry Greenfield – co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream. Register now by clicking the box below or call 503-892-7413.

For over 90 years, generous people like you in our Jewish community have been supporting the Federation’s Annual Campaign. YOUR support truly makes an impact in the lives of thousands each and every year. For that, we are grateful.

Thank you in advance for your generosity and positive response.

Shabbat shalom and chag Sukkot sameach.


P.S. We want to alert you that in the month of October you may be seeing an anti-Israel ad on TriMet buses and Max trains. The ad is sponsored by three local groups and it displays maps that are misleading. TriMet would prefer not to run such ads but for the time being the state courts have ruled that they must do so as a matter of free speech. We want you to know that we are aware of the situation and are discussing next steps.



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