By Stanley Lieber –
Last year the Jewish Federation of Columbus raised more than $7.5 million. This was the most funds raised in over six years and an increase of over 10% from the prior year. Just as important as the total, was the sheer number of pledges for the fiscal year, which ended June 30. The Federation received pledges from 2,500 people, up from just 2,050 the year before, a 22% increase.
“It was a phenomenal year,” said Dr. Arnold Good, the Federation’s Board Chair. “The organization is growing and thriving. We are beginning to see a new era of great success.”
The Federation believes that the uptick is not just a result of the economy improving.
“Over the past three years, we have fundamentally questioned how we are organized and conduct our business,” said Dr. Good “Sure the economy has rebounded a bit, but we believe that the changes made has a lot to do with our success.”
It has been a slow recovery; many Federations still are working to get back to where they had been prior to the downturn eight years ago. With other key economic measures recovered from the recession — corporate profits, household wealth, jobs and gross domestic product it stands to reason that non-profits should see the upswing.
“What I think has separated us from other organizations that are still struggling” said Gordon Hecker, President & CEO of the Federation, “are three things: we dramatically increased our focus on our unique responsibilities, we got the right staff members on the team and we have worked hard to involve and motivate our lay leadership. These changes mean we are doing fewer things better and our leadership is more likely to share their pride in our results. “People who had no idea what the Federation was or what we did are now seeing our activities in a whole new light.”
“In Columbus, we have a vision for the Jewish community to be a thriving Jewish community at the forefront of the next renaissance in Jewish life” said Audrey Tuckerman, Campaign Chair. “The Federation‘s mission is