Federation celebrates campaign volunteer solicitors

by | Apr 8, 2016 | Other News

David Calliott, Stephanie Calliott, and John and Renee Strelitz.

Volunteer solicitors from across all divisions of the 2016 UJFT campaign came together at the home of John and Renee Strelitz to celebrate the successes of the campaign to date, and to get energized to close the remaining open gifts.

After being warmly welcomed by the hosts, Karen Jaffe, campaign chair, opened the program with a brief campaign report. As of March 30, the 2016 annual campaign stood at $4,222,500 from 1,200 individual donors, reflecting a 7.24% increase in giving from the same group of donors in last year’s campaign. With a campaign goal of $4.9 million, the campaign is about 86% to goal. The 2016 campaign has seen 122 new donors to date (those who had never given to the campaign or who had not given in three or more years), whose impact on the 2016 campaign is $22,976. In addition, 79 “lapsed” donors (donors who gave in 2013 or 2014 but skipped 2015) returned with gifts to the 2016 campaign, totaling $21,226.

Jaffe thanked the volunteer solicitors who’d completed their assigned solicitations for the year. She also encouraged those with assignments still open to complete them as soon as possible, to maximize available dollars for the upcoming allocation process (where campaign dollars are distributed to local and overseas recipient agencies). Jaffe thanked division chairs Jason Hoffman, Men’s Division; Stephanie Calliott, Women’s Division; and Jen Groves and Eliot Weinstein, YLC Division. She also recognized the campaign staff and gave a special shout-out of thanks to Men’s Major Gifts Chairs Art and Steve Sandler, who early on set the pace for a successful campaign. Jaffe closed her remarks by reminding those in the room that about 300 donors remain open in the campaign, many of whom are simply waiting to be asked, and encouraging all campaign volunteers to make the calls and make those asks.

Hoffman then presented a special recognition award to the 2016 Young Leadership Campaign of the Young Adult Division for its remarkable growth over the past five years. In presenting the award, Hoffman noted that in the 2011 Campaign, the YAD Division raised $53,000. This year, it has already raised $123,000 and is projected to raise $138,000. The YAD division has experienced tremendous growth each year for the past five years in the number of gifts and the dollars raised—all the while having to replace the gifts of those donors who “age out” of the division. But perhaps more important than the dollars raised, is the role that YAD plays in helping to secure the future through outreach and engagement. With each event and every program they host, YAD introduces new young people to one another, to the Jewish community of Tidewater, and to the centrality of the Federation in meeting the needs of a healthy and vital Jewish community.

Groves accepted the award on behalf of the Division and expressed her gratitude to the community for believing in and trusting a new generation of emerging leaders to step up and grow its peer group as donors, leaders, and involved community members.

In an evening marked by thanks to the volunteers, one theme resonated throughout— the work of campaign (of asking others to give) is not always easy. It’s hard. It requires going outside one’s comfort zone. But in the end, it’s imperative that volunteers continue to do the hard work— to meet the challenges facing the Jewish community at home and abroad. Through those efforts alone, the community will be able to secure its future.

by Amy Zelenka, Women’s Campaign director