And the Winners Are …
Our judges liked the neat look of the e-mails, the tight copy, the inclusion of the signer's photo next to her name and the prominent placement of vivid widgets to remind recipients of the hook in each part of the campaign — the matching gift or the Yom Kippur request.
"I particularity liked the original e-mail from Barbara Dobkin, pledging to match any gifts raised," Gold Awards judge Joe Boland says. "That, and the subsequent e-mails signed by Ruth Messinger, really sounded like a personal e-mail.
"The length for all of them was appropriate — short and easy to read, but packed with information on how you, the donor, can help," he adds.
AJWS pumped up the final tally on donations to $258,470 by enlisting a group of rabbinical students who had recently traveled to the field with AJWS to direct their constituents to donate online at the organization's website — an additional $8,474.
Despite concern that the campaign might be negatively affected by its single focus and the restricted nature of the gifts, it met its match and raised only 5 percent less than in 2008 — "a much more narrow spread than expected," Berkman says.
"The principal driver in this year's successful campaign was the effectively executed strategy to help people connect to their faith and find relevance in writing and ritual observances that are thousands of years old," he adds.
Our judges thought this campaign was a perfect example of how a risk or a new direction can pay off, so long as it explains itself well and is in keeping with the core of your mission.
[* Joshua Berkman: "All of our work in creating and implementing this campaign was done in-house using our technology platform. There was no expense other than staff time."]