From Buttons to Blogs
All said, the organization increased its list of e-mail addresses by more than 143 percent from June 2004 to December 2004 (18,900 to 46,000), raised $350,000 online in four months ($1,035,131 in 2004 compared with $447,276 in 2003) and motivated 98 constituents to donate more than $9,000 with just one e-mail message. What’s more, a recent online survey of IFCJ supporters revealed 41 percent of respondents were ages 40 to 54, 26 percent were 55 to 64, and only 15 percent were 65 or older.
“We’re also finding that the weekly ‘Message from the Rabbi [Yechiel Eckstein]’ in our new e-newsletter, The Fellowship Inbox, is eliciting comments from our readers on a range of relevant topics — letting us know we’ve hit the target content wise, giving us more material for future issues and letting us know that we’re truly fulfilling the educational and bridge-building tenets of our mission,” says Diane Dubey, director of communications.
MAKE A WISH
New online tool helps donors give teachers what they need for the classroom.
For a recent science lesson, first-grade students at Forest Glen Elementary School in Indianapolis had to pluck and tweeze skulls and bones from regurgitated owl pellets — to learn how to think critically, problem solve and, oh yeah, see what owls eat.
But due to budget limitations, students might never again get to see the innards of an owl pellet up close.
Heeding the call to help save the program, as well as fund basic classroom needs, the Lawrence Township School Foundation partnered with nonprofit-software company eTapestry to come up with an online solution. (The National Education Association estimates that teachers spend an average of $443 of their own money a year on classroom supplies.)
The eTapestry team developed WishList, a straightforward e-commerce tool that functions like baby and bridal registries: Donors choose from lists of needed supplies posted by teachers to the Web site for Lawrence Township School Foundation; after donors select what they want to purchase, the inventory list is automatically updated for the next buyer; and orders are placed with the school district’s warehouse or supply vendors to be delivered directly to the classrooms.