At FEDtalks, the campaign opening event, left to right: Ezra Shanken, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver chief executive officer; Neil Pollock, general chair, 2015 Federation annual campaign; Lisa Pullan, chair, women’s philanthropy, 2015 campaign; Stephen Gaerber, Federation board chair; Alex Cristall, co-chair, major gifts, 2015 campaign; and Andrew Merkur, co-chair, major gifts, 2015 campaign. (photo from Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver)
For the second year in a row, the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver annual campaign has closed with a record achievement, this time totaling $8.3 million. This represents an increase of approximately $300,000 from the previous year. Funds will support programs and services on which thousands of community members rely.
“The true power of this record result goes well beyond the impressive numbers. We can make incredible changes in this world when we give from our hearts, and that’s just what our thousands of donors and hundreds of volunteer canvassers have done. I am truly moved by their incredible acts of chesed (kindness) and tzedakah (justice, charity),” said general chair of the campaign Neil Pollock.
“I have witnessed firsthand the challenges in our community and the profound reach of the Federation annual campaign,” said Stephen Gaerber, Federation’s board chair. “The high cost of living in Vancouver has made it difficult for many community members to connect with Jewish life, either because they cannot afford to live centrally or because they cannot afford to participate. The Federation annual campaign addresses issues like these, builds connections between our community and our partnership region in Israel, and helps Jews in need around the world. This record campaign result will provide the support we and our partners need to touch more lives than ever before.”
The face-to-face incentive was one of the keys to this year’s success. It encouraged donors to meet in person with their volunteer canvassers. The 608 face-to-face meetings that took place were an opportunity to have meaningful conversations about shared values and commitment to community.
Federation welcomed 75 new volunteer canvassers as well as 225 new donors to the campaign this year. And Federation chief executive officer Ezra Shanken listed several other statistics in his weekly email message Feb. 19:
- 1,007 donors increased their gifts
- 292 volunteer canvassers
- 1,459 community members attended campaign events
- 409 campaign volunteers
- 64 local programs and services supported
- 17 Israel and overseas programs and services supported
- 37 partner agencies supported