Yesterday was the culminating event in fundraising for my synagogue. Following the model proposed by Benevon (used to be called Raising More Money), a cycle of introduction to the organization and cultivation of relationships culminates in a one-hour free event. There's no obligation to give, no minimum and no maximum. If we do our job right, you'll want to give.
The program is simple:
Opening emotional hook (music from 2 young men who grew up in the community)
Short time to eat and socialize
Visionary speech by the rabbi
7 minute video highlighting three families
Personal testimony from a couple who've been around from the beginning
Asking for money
We ask for a multiple-year pledge to the general operating fund. We ask for $1000, $5000 and $10,000 a year for 5 years -- or you can give any amount for any length of time. And the whole thing is done in one hour!
This year's brunch had the most pre-registrations (227 out of a congregation of only 400 families). Three of the 24 tables were made up entirely of new members. All of the board members who were in town attended. And the snowfall on Saturday night did not seem to deter most people from attending.
210 people were there and pledged $45,000 for the current fiscal year. Over $23,000 was pledged for future years as well. Our congregation is so generous!
By the time we finished counting the money and sending out the good news, it was almost 5 PM. A long day, but a very worthwhile one!