Congregation Ohav Shalom was not, historically, a giving culture. Nevertheless, leadership realized the synagogue needed improvements and a small extension if they were going to continue to fulfill the community’s needs. Could they raise the necessary funds?
Mersky, Jaffe & Associates was engaged to run a feasibility study and determined that raising the necessary capital was, indeed, attainable. With excitement and potential motivating the leadership, volunteer development leadership was found, lead donors were determined, solicitor training began and an impact strategy was initiated. The planning had begun.
One question was still on the leadership’s mind – would their members understand the need?
The extraordinary leadership at Congregation Ohav Shalom decided that their success required a unique approach; every solicitation, every single appeal, every “ask” was to happen in person. In a community that did not have million-dollar donors, face-to-face meetings could help their community feel their urgency.
Personally soliciting every member of the congregation is no easy task. It takes yeoman. It takes model leadership. It takes the drive, tenacity and perseverance that Congregation Ohav Shalom was extremely fortunate to find in their campaign chairs and committee.
The response from the community has been just as remarkable. In the little over a year since the campaign had began, they raised more than one million dollars — and all with no gift being larger than $54,000.
With the killer combination of chutzpah and follow through, the goals set by Mersky, Jaffe & Associates should be easily attainable.