The Annual Fund:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Annual Fund?
The Annual Fund is a once-a-year initiative encouraging all congregants to give generously to our synagogue community. Virtually all not-for-profit organizations run an annual campaign. Funds generated from the Annual Fund go exclusively to supporting the operating expenses of The Jewish Center. Like all synagogues, our biggest operating expenses are for staff compensation. We also pay for things like building maintenance, remissions for needy congregants, administrative costs, educational materials etc. from our operating budget. Contributions made throughout the year to the many worthwhile special interest funds do not help to defray our operating costs. The Annual Fund is our most important way to supplement dues and pay our basic operating expenses.
Aren’t our dues high enough already---why don’t they fully cover our costs?
When we started the Annual Fund, we did a study of synagogues in surrounding and comparable suburban areas. All of these synagogues report that dues are not sufficient to cover all of their ongoing expenses---contributions are an essential revenue component enabling them to balance their budgets. While many of our congregants give generously to numerous Jewish and secular organizations, they assume that The Jewish Center is sustained by dues payments for membership. Actually, our situation is like that of private schools, universities, and arts groups. They may derive the bulk of their income through tuition and ticket sales, but need an annual fundraising appeal to balance the budget. In the five years of its operation, The Jewish Center Annual Fund has been an important factor in our ability to avoid budget deficits.
How Do We Recognize Contributors to The Jewish Center Annual Fund?
Your gift to the Annual Fund will be greatly appreciated and recognized on an Annual Donor Wall in the Lobby at the giving levels listed below. All givers (regardless of level) will be recognized in the newsletter. If you wish your gift to be anonymous, we will honor that request as well.
What kind of financial commitment are you expecting?
Manhigim - Leaders $7,200 and above
Giborim – Heroes $5,400 and above
Amudim – Pillars $3,600 and above
Shomrim – Guardians $1,800 and above
Bonim – Builders $900 and above
Tormim – Supporters $500 and above
Haverim – Friends $180 to $500
Clearly nobody can answer that question for you. We are hoping that everyone in the congregation will participate at some level that is personally comfortable. We are also hoping that your Annual Fund contributions increase each year as our operating costs increase each year.
How can I make my pledge?
To make a pledge, simply return the form that was mailed to your home, or send an e-mail to Phil Nordinger, Director of Administration, firstname.lastname@example.org
How and when can I pay my pledge?
Payment can be made either by check or credit card with payment expected within six months of the pledge date. Please note that if you wish, you can make monthly payments on your credit card rather than a lump sum payment. We can even accept transfers of appreciated stock helping you avoid paying the related capital gains tax.
Can I designate that my Annual Fund contributions be used only to support my favorite programs at The Jewish Center?
No – All Annual Fund contributions are specifically used to defray operating expenses. You can continue to support the many other worthwhile Jewish Center funds and endowments through ongoing contributions (options listed on the back of the monthly newsletter). We are looking at possible ways in the future to allow you to designate that funds be used for purposes that are especially important to you.
Is this the only time that you will ask for my support this year?
The Annual Fund is the only way that we raise money to address the operating expenses of The Jewish Center. In most cases, this will be the only time that we approach you about fundraising. In the course of the year, there may be some special events or initiatives that will require the support of a few interested congregants.
What will happen if The Jewish Center Annual Fund does not achieve its objectives?
Our budget depends on significant funds raised through The Annual Fund. Failure to achieve these objectives will produce the kinds of budget deficits that we have faced in the past. Deficits mean depletion of our limited reserve funds and cutbacks to programs and services at The Jewish Center.
Who should I contact if I have further questions that weren’t answered here?
Neil Wise, Director of Programming and Development, email@example.com