Measure What Matters was a #1 New York Times bestseller last year by author John Doerr. Doerr uses a methodology of setting objectives and then measuring key results to track progress. This is a great internal strategy for businesses, but I think it has its challenges for Jewish Federations.
Jewish Federations, historically, have only measured campaign results and event attendance. We have done this in part because these things matter, but also because they are easy to measure. Jewish continuity and having a strong and vibrant local Jewish community matter, but they have been very hard to measure and, sadly, we are perceived to value only what we in fact measure.
Therefore, last year, Federation formed a new marketing committee charged with spreading the word that we are in fact much more than merely a fundraising organization. We are a community-building, life-saving, continuity-supported organization. We care for our seniors; we fight anti-Semitism; we provide PJ Library; we support individual learning needs; we participate with the interfaith community; we engage with the marginalized. Sure, we fundraise, so that we can do everything else.
We have started to measure some new things. We have about 1,000 children in our community receiving Jewish books through PJ Library. We support about 100 children with learning needs. We visit about 250 seniors in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. We send about 200 reading coaches into the community to help young readers. We have started to measure because these things matter, and because they matter, we are measuring.
I remember learning in graduate school that commercials for new cars were not intended to encourage people to buy those cars, but rather to hearten the people who own those cars. They want customers to feel good about their purchases.
I hope that you are starting to see some new messaging from us. We have beefed up our social media presence. We sponsored a billboard along I-90 during Chanukah. We are going to be telling you more about where your dollars are going in an effort to have you feel good about your investment in us.
Please help us by responding to this five-minute survey
. It will help us figure out the best way to communicate with you.
February is Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). In the coming weeks, please be on the lookout for a survey on this as well, so that we know best how to serve your needs. Your help is again appreciated. Please click here
for a list of our community JDAIM programming.
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