Phoning for funding

Phoning for funding

They came. They called. They charged credit cards and took pledges.

Volunteers turned out in force at the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey for the organization’s annual Super Sunday telethon.

“We had a lot of volunteers,” said the federation’s CEO, Jason Shames. “There was great energy in the room.

Two hundred and seventy donors made calls on Super Sunday. The final accounting is not completed yet, but the gifts tallied so far come to just over $800,000.

But more important than the total figure, to Shames, is the number of donors – 1,705 – and even more so, the 213 new donors.

Overall, he said, “It sounded like people were more receptive than they’ve been in the past.”

But connecting by phone grows harder and harder, as people increasingly screen their calls or ignore their telephones altogether.

“We try to cover our base through different methods,” Shames said. Rather than being a stand-alone event, Super Sunday is now one piece of a full package of fundraising that includes direct mail and email solicitations.

“We’ve tried to be a little more accurate in our sophistication of the marketplace, in knowing what messages are effective with people,” he said.

“It’s always a work in progress.”


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