Tuesday, August 17, 2010

NNJKIDS Month is a success!

Northern New Jersey Kehillot Investing In Day Schools (NNJKIDS) kicked off its second year with a community-wide awareness and fundraising month encompassing synagogues, day schools and a large network of local businesses. This new initiative, known as NNJKIDS Month, was implemented in May 2010. We are very proud to announce that it was a huge success.

NNJKIDS is a unified effort that includes day schools of all denominations in the Northern New Jersey area. During the month of May, NNJKIDS embarked on a community-wide program involving all constituents within the Northern New Jersey area in an effort to reinforce the idea that the success of NNJKIDS is crucial to all members of the community. Towards that end, NNJKIDS secured $100,000 in matching funds for all donations and increases made in May. We are pleased to report that, due to new sign-ups along with increases to existing pledges, the $100,000 was fully matched.

NNJKIDS Month increased awareness and raised funds via the following approach:

• Local Business:
Local vendors were asked to contribute $100 to be listed as a “participating sponsor” or $500 to be listed as a “featured sponsor” These businesses agreed to promote NNJKIDS Month by placing posters and Tzedakah boxes in their stores in addition to informational panel cards. Some business owners agreed to help raise funds by selling “donation tickets,” of various denominations.

• Schools:
Participation included school-wide Shavuot Learn-a-thon programs in which students signed up sponsors to donate money NNJKIDS based upon the number of hours that they learned on Shavuot. The schools promoted this program to the parent body along with a letter describing NNJKIDS and its importance. In addition, schools agreed that all classroom Tzedakah collections during the month of May would be donated to NNJKIDS.

• Synagogues:
Rabbonim spoke from the pulpit about NNJKIDS to promote both the program and NNJKIDS Month. Posters and fliers were placed in synagogue lobbies and NNJKIDS Month was promoted via synagogue newsletters. Many synagogues hosted “sign-up days” when NNJKIDS volunteers set up tables in synagogue lobbies and promoted the program to congregants.

• Public Relations:
In addition to the above, NNJKIDS Month was promoted via its enhanced website, articles and Op-Ed pieces in the local community newspaper – The Jewish Standard, posts to the TeaneckShuls Yahoo group and distribution of NNJKIDS car magnets.

Overall, NNJKIDS Month produced spectacular results including increasing its donor base to over 1,200 members and generating an additional $250,000 to the fund which increased the annualized output to $700,000. These numbers include over $20,000 raised via the schools’ Shavuot Learn-a-thon programs and Tzedakah collections. We are particularly gratified by the increased awareness generated by this program and the community-wide participation which is truly the hallmark of NNJKIDS.

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