When COVID-19 hit, the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver quickly refocused its organizational resources on closing the annual campaign and addressing urgent community needs. Now, it is circling back to announce some terrific news, which is that the 2019 Federation annual campaign raised more than $8.9 million.
Here is a general breakdown of the funds raised:
- $7.9 million in unrestricted funds to support programs and services locally, nationally and in Israel through the allocations process – an increase of $100,000 from last year;
- $1 million in special project funding from donors who give above and beyond their annual campaign commitments to support programs that meet high-priority community needs; and
- $40,000 to support the work of specific agencies from donors directing a portion of their increased gifts through Federation’s Plus Giving program.
The community’s generosity is making an impact here and around the world. Thirty-two local Jewish families will have safe, stable homes when they move into new affordable housing units this summer. Youth in Israel who were once considered at-risk are now skilled professionals whose expertise is sought after.
Federation gives a huge thank you to everyone who contributed and to everyone who volunteered to make the annual campaign a success, including the more than 250 community members who volunteered as canvassers and team captains.
Federation’s campaign chair, Jonathon Leipsic, once again demonstrated outstanding leadership, energy and passion for community as he led the Annual Campaign Working Cabinet. Kol hakavod and todah rabah to Leipsic and to each of these community leaders, who are on this dedicated team: Shay Keil, major gifts co-chair; Lana Pulver, major gifts co-chair; Michael Averbach, men’s philanthropy co-chair; Daniel Dodek, men’s philanthropy co-chair; Susan Hector, canvasser development; Al Szajman, marketing chair; Alvin Wasserman, campaign advisor; and Catherine Epstein, agency liaison.
The funds raised in this campaign will be distributed locally, nationally and in Israel during the 2021 allocations cycle, which will take place next summer. This is part of the two-year allocations cycle that Federation established after the 2008 economic downturn in order to provide greater predictability to its partners and to provide a measure of protection in the event of unanticipated fluctuations. The prudent contingency planning that Federation has been able to do as a result is part of what enabled it to provide emergency funding in April to community organizations that were hit hardest by COVID-19.
In addition, the community also depends on Jewish Federation to work with donors throughout the year to generate special project funding to meet high-priority needs. Combined with the annual campaign result, the total Jewish Federation raised this year was $10.3 million. While this strong result will help sustain the community, more resources will still be needed to address increased community needs related directly to the pandemic. A healthy annual campaign is just the start. With the challenges we’re all currently experiencing, Jewish Federation’s central role has never been more important.