Challenge grant inspires phonathon donations

Challenge grant inspires phonathon donations

In just over two hours, Jewish Federation of Monmouth County raised close to $60,000 at the Nov. 20 Race to the Finish: Campaign Close phonathon.

A major motivation for many donors was the announcement of a challenge grant.

“Thanks to the support of very generous donors, we have offered a challenge grant to the community,” said executive director Keith Krivitzky. “Federation will match any new gift or increased gift amount given between now and the end of the year. At a time when people have a lot of choices on how to spend their charitable dollars, this enables them to double their impact.”

The Race to the Finish team of volunteer callers was led by federation’s phone initiative chair, Deborah Rettig of Manalapan, and vice president of campaign Albert Bloomfield of Ocean Township.

“We were able to encourage a lot of people to donate, and some were able to double their gifts from last year, knowing that it was going to be matched,” said Rettig.

“We still have some work to do this year to close out the year on a positive note,” Bloomfield said. “I would ask people to step forward and contact federation with your gift for 2011 so that we can once again support the fabulous Jewish programs we offer in Monmouth County and throughout the world.”

The Race to the Finish, held in the federation’s Manalapan headquarters, was a modified and scaled-back version of Super Sunday. Federation is gearing up for a large-scale Community Engagement Day on March 4.

“While there will still be a campaign component, we will be using the Community Engagement Day as a broader opportunity to engage Jews, by offering them opportunities — such as a free trial subscription to New Jersey Jewish News — and informing them about gifts like PJ Library and Taglit-Birthright Israel,” Krivitzky said.

On March 4, the federation will also offer an array of community programs targeting all ages, including an event with elected officials, a PJ Library program for children, and a forum on the challenges facing Israel today.

Federation is reaching out to synagogues, schools, and other community partners to encourage them to offer discounts or promotions at Community Engagement Day.

“We recognize that for many new donors and unaffiliated Jews, a call asking them for money is probably not the best way to engage them in Jewish life in Monmouth County,” Krivitzky said. “We want to offer a whole array of opportunities for people to connect.”

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