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Clever Ways Our Community Partners Aim Chai

As you know, Aim Chai is all about collaboration and innovation for the future. Our partners – more than 25 of them and growing – have taken this approach to a new level during the first few months of the public phase of the campaign.

Here are just a few of the creative strategies they’ve employed to connect with their donors and further the community’s adoption of a new culture of endowment:

  • Lead Gifts: Many professional staff and lay leaders are taking the lead in giving to support their institutions for the long term. For example, Denis Geary, Executive Director of the Jewish Association for Community Living, along with his family, made an early commitment to the campaign that has inspired many of his organization’s donors.  Also, at a synagogue, one of the lay leaders made a significant initial gift to kick off the Aim Chai campaign.
  • New Donor Matching Funds: To inspire new fundholders, a donor has set up matching funds for first-time givers to reach the $5,000 fund minimum. This option has been so popular that the matching funds have already been used up and we’re reaching out to secure more.
  • JCC Centennial Challenge: Joyce and Andy Mandell have issued a challenge. For every dollar contributed for endowment to support the JCC, the Mandells will match it for capital improvements up to $5 million.
  • Board Challenge: Organizations seek to garner 100% participation in their Aim Chai campaigns from their Board Members. The Board Chair at one organization created a challenge grant for the board. The donor will contribute 50% of the gift up front, and 50% upon the full participation of the Board of Directors.
  • Joint Board Funds: Some organizations maintain a diverse Board of Directors with varying levels of financial capacity. To ensure 100% participation, these organizations are pursuing pooled Board Funds to which donors can give at varying levels.
  • Parlor Meetings: Several organizations are scheduling fun parlor meetings to share their vision for the future with their most devoted donors.
  • Chai-ku Contest: The community’s day schools, synagogues and others are working with students in grades pre-K through 12 to write 18-word Chai-kus about what they hope for the community. This contest is also raising awareness of the campaign among parents and congregants.
  • Chai-ku Writing for Board Members:  To kick-off a board meeting with vision, the Mandell JCC asked Board Members to pair off and write their own Chai-kus. The results were inspiring!
  • Day School Transformation Fund: Solomon Schechter Day School, Sigel Hebrew Academy and Hebrew High School of New England are working together as part of Aim Chai, to build STEAM programs, share resources and learn from one another. On November 12, faculty from all the schools will take part in a joint Professional Development Day to share best practices.



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