7 Jewish Fundraising Ideas | Synagogue Fundraising Ideas

7 Jewish Fundraising Ideas | Synagogue Fundraising Ideas

Jewish Fundraising Ideas

For many fundraising professionals, the prospect of asking for money is not desirable. This feeling is even more amplified in religious communities. Which results in their inability to talk about finances even when the funds are needed to help carry out God’s work.

Fundraising is important for faith-based organizations and all nonprofits. It helps further their mission. For Jewish nonprofits and Synagogues, it is equally important that they fundraise for carrying out the good work they intend to do.

This article offers 7 Jewish fundraising ideas that will help raise money with the latest trends of online fundraising in mind –

  1. Set Up an Endowment Fund
  2. Create a Dedicated Tzedakah Donation Page
  3. Set Up a Monthly Giving Program
  4. Organize a Hebrew Spelling Bee
  5. Host a Hanukkah Gala Fundraiser
  6. Launch an “8 Days of Giving” Campaign
  7. Host a Fundraising Seder

7 Best Jewish Fundraising Ideas For Nonprofits 

1. Set up an endowment fund

Planned giving and endowment programs, if managed properly, can become an important funding source for your Jewish nonprofit. Additionally, endowment programs let donors establish a legacy that can help shape and improve Jewish life for generations.

Endowment gifts can be made outright during the donor’s lifetime or through one of the planned giving vehicles.

Let the donor choose whether to add their gift into an existing endowment fund or create a new fund to support a specific field of interest, the annual campaign, or unrestricted needs.

Planned giving and endowment programs can allow your Jewish nonprofit to maintain a permanent, self-sustaining source of income. This can support existing programs and help develop new approaches to address emerging needs.

In the below example, Houston Hillel is a Jewish organization running an online fundraising campaign for their helping direct donors’ money to their endowment fund. They’ve used Donorbox to create this on-brand page and added donation designation option to their donation form to implement this idea.

Jewish fundraising ideas

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2. Create a dedicated Tzedakah donation page

In Jewish thought and tradition, material support for those in need is not a matter of “charity” but a religious requirement. The word Tzedakah derives from the Hebrew word Tzedek, which means “justice.” Judaism provides guidance on how much to give, how to minimize embarrassment to the recipient, and how to set priorities amongst competing demands for assistance.

Create a dedicated landing page specifically for receiving tzedakah donations online. When your supporters land on your Tzedakah donation page, they should be convinced to give to your Jewish nonprofit.

Your donation page should be simple, compelling, and branded. Custom-branded donation pages on a nonprofit’s website raise 6X more money. Include a clear call to action and have sharing links set up so that donors can share the page with friends and family.

Don’t forget to clearly showcase the impact of your nonprofit’s work, highlighting how the Tzedakah donations are essential to your sustained work.

Donorbox lets you create unlimited fundraising campaigns including branded donation pages and forms. These pages are hosted on Donorbox. But if you want, you can also embed our customized forms in your website donation page.

Here’s an example of a campaign on Donorbox, created by Migdal Ohr. They’re accepting daily Tzedakah by using a customized recurring donation form.

Tzedakah fundraising

3. Create a monthly giving program

Monthly donors are donors who have committed to giving month after month. With monthly giving programs, donors’ credit or debit cards are automatically billed each month.

Growing the number of recurring donations can do wonders for your Jewish nonprofit’s long-term financial health. Monthly giving generally increases the gift size and improves retention rates. It can also help you refine long-term planning and budgeting. It helps save time, money, and resources!

For the donor, monthly giving is easy and flexible. Their pre-authorized donation is withdrawn automatically and securely from the bank account or credit card of their choice. It’s convenient and it enables donors to commit on a level that is affordable to them.

Donorbox lets you create recurring donation forms with donation intervals ranging from daily to weekly to biweekly to quarterly to monthly to yearly. You can add up to 4 intervals of your choice to the donation form. You’ll also have the ability to highlight a preferred interval to help donors make the decision.

If you’d like to go for only a monthly giving program, add the monthly interval to your Donorbox donation form and you’ll be done! Share it with your supporters to start receiving these crucial donations. See how Yavneh: A Jewish Renewal Community has implemented this simple idea with Donorbox.

Jewish monthly giving program

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4. Organize a Hebrew spelling bee

This is one of the simplest Jewish fundraising ideas. Particularly well-suited to Jewish youth groups, this idea can be adapted to become ‘adult-appropriate’ too.

Rather than individuals competing against one another, consider encouraging teams to compete. With teams competing, the members of the team consult with one another before submitting the spelling they think is correct. This allows a greater sense of fun and community. Have the teams write their versions of the word on a chalkboard or a whiteboard which can be erased for the upcoming word.

Charge an entry fee per team, and don’t be afraid to go as high as $100. Many are willing to pay more if the competition is for a good cause.

With careful planning, good promotion, and dedicated volunteers, a Hebrew spelling bee can be an outstanding way to connect to the Jewish culture. While also learning more Hebrew and raising funds for your Jewish nonprofit or Synagogue. 

5. Host a Hanukkah gala fundraiser

Hanukkah (or Chanukah) is an eight-day Jewish celebration that commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

There is a natural connection between Hanukkah and year-end giving. During this time, most dollars flow into nonprofit funds and nearly one-third (31%) of annual giving occurs in December.

A Hanukkah gala dinner is a great opportunity to raise money with your Jewish nonprofit. Ideally, you would have a team whose sole responsibility for at least a couple of months would be organizing the Hanukkah gala fundraiser. The venue will probably be amongst the largest items on your budget. Make sure that it can provide you with everything that you need: A/V equipment, Wi-Fi, event staff, catering, etc.

When it comes to fundraising, part of the funds usually comes from the registration/admission fees, but that shouldn’t be where you stop. Consider accepting additional donations at different points in time during the event.

There are many ways to accept donations during a gala event:

  • Text-to-give,
  • QR codes,
  • donation kiosks and card readers,
  • mobile-optimized donation forms, and more.

You can also organize auctions and raffles. Invite notable speakers and guests, and make sure you cater to all dietary requirements, making everything kosher.

Look at how Chabad of Bristol celebrates Chanukah with a holiday spirit, lightings, and by bringing warmth to Jewish communities in need in this example below.

Chanukah jewish fundraising

6. Launch an “8 Days of Giving” campaign

Prior to Hanukkah, run a social media campaign “8 Days of Giving”. During the campaign, provide eight reasons to donate, one reason per day.

Before launching your fundraising campaign, evaluate how each of your social media platforms is performing. Identify which social media platforms are the most relevant for reaching your target audience using their respective analytics tools.

Throughout the campaign, share stories. Ask the people you helped in the past to share their stories. Then, create a series of blog posts and/or videos to highlight those individual stories. Share them on social media and in e-mails. Always use images or videos in your postings. Embed a “call to action” in each story you share.

Choose a hashtag that you will use in every social post promoting the campaign. Use a platform to track your hashtag and social postings throughout the campaign.

Finally, the “8 Days of Giving” year-end appeals should be positive and uplifting. The critical element during these outreach efforts with donors is to also help them deepen personal connections with the spirit of Hanukkah. 

7. Host a fundraising seder

The Passover Seder is one of the most observed Jewish celebrations on the Jewish calendar.

It’s a religious ceremony that celebrates the liberation of the Hebrews from servitude in Egypt. The word “seder” means “order” in Hebrew, referring to the 15 parts of the Seder ritual which are observed in a specific sequence during the ceremony and centers around the Passover Seder meal.

If your nonprofit is a local synagogue or a social services organization, leverage this opportunity for a food drive. Remind Jewish families that while they are gathered around their Seder tables, families in under-served communities are struggling to feed themselves.

Pro tip: If you choose to host a fundraising seder, be mindful of the strict rules surrounding the holiday. The correct observance of the holiday requires eating only unleavened bread (Matzo) during the week-long Passover holiday, which includes the Seder. Other foods traditionally found at the Seder table are a roasted shank bone; a roasted egg; bitter herbs; charoses; parsley, lettuce or watercress; and wine or grape juice. Each food symbolizes a part (or different parts) of the Passover story.

One way to encourage participation in the seder is to ask each guest to bring one item that, for him or her, represents liberation. Make sure to have enough copies of the same Haggadah (a sacred Jewish text), so everyone at the table can follow along together.

Find an appropriate way to collect donations. For inspiration, see how Chabad of Puerto Vallarta has set up this fundraising page to raise money for their Passover appeal.

jewish fundraising

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“(In Judaism) If a person convinces another person to give, his or her reward is greater than when giving personally. It’s about enabling, leading, inspiring and guiding. The other person still makes the choice to act in the end, but the asker has a hand in directing the action”, said Rae Ringel, Certified Executive Coach, The Ringel Group.

In other words, when you fundraise for your Jewish nonprofit organization and ask someone to give, you give them an opportunity to perform a mitzvah (a commandment). And at the same time, you help further the mission of your nonprofit organization.

Equipped with this new paradigm and the Jewish fundraising ideas we shared in this article, we hope your Jewish nonprofit can reach your fundraising goals. Make a proactive decision to try new things, and if they don’t work – figure out why. When you know why, improve or try a whole new avenue that may produce better results.

Donorbox is there to help you help others on this noble journey! We have a range of simple and powerful features including Recurring Donations, Memberships, Events, Text-to-Give, Donor Management, and more. Sign up now and start fundraising in just 15 minutes!

For more fundraising tips and resources, check out Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive a collection of our resources directly in your inbox.

Ilma Ibrisevic is a content creator and nonprofit writer. She’s passionate about meaningful work, sustainability, and social movements. If she’s not working, she’s obsessing over coffee or cooking. You can connect with her on Linkedin.

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