Saturday, April 7, 2012


Many of you know that no one loves a good laugh more than I. And even more of you know that no organization provides us with more laughs more often than does JFNA. After all, the organization can send out Briefings that makes GA of a little over 800 full pay registrants a roaring success; or the JFNA-engineered "rescue" of 13 Yemeni families to Monsey NY appear to be the equivalent of the actual Exodus of 1,000,000 Jews from what was the Soviet Union; and so on and on and on. For 25 Broadway os the central address for these, the masters of marketing and miscommunication.

So it was with great anticipation that I greeted the JFNA Leadership Briefing of March 14, 2012 -- Donor Acquisition Program Enhances Federation Databases. I'll go directly to the bottom line: "The direct marketing solution, coordinated by JFNA, was tested in a pilot program last year with 35 federations. The pilot produced more than 1,000 new donors, and raised more than $33,000 for participating federations." (emphasis added)

Laughter begins now:

     ~ 35 federations, 1,000 new donors = 28.57 new donors per federation.

     ~ $33,000 pledged by $1,000 new donors - $33 per donation

     ~ $33 per donation times 28.57 new donors per federation = $942.81 per participating federation

OK. wipe the tears away, read the quotes from joy-filled federation professionals and, by all means, GO FOR IT!!!

But, never forget -- no "beta test" was need for this "donor acquisition program." UJA rolled this out in the early 90's, staffed it and marketed it without charge to the federations. If it's worth doing once it's worth repeating -- but don't pretend you've got something new and different. OK?

Laughter ends now.



Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to say that you missed the most important element - the cost to raise $33k. Don't hedge on this in order to make JFNA look good. Be honest. Include the actual cost of the telephoning probably to a marketing company. When our federation did this 15 years ago it was $2.50 per call with or without a pledge. Our rate of return was roughly 10% on cold calls. Add inflation = estimate $3.00 per call. To get 1,000 new donors estimate 10,000 calls = $30,000 just for the marketing company. Now add the staff time to report to each federation both JFNA and the federations staff time. What about collections? Did the federations then have to bill the donors. Okay. I'll be my usual conservative self and say that the net gain was only about a 20% loss to the federations and JFNA. Not bad by JFNA standards.

Anonymous said...

I am relieved to read here that I wasn't the only person doing the math on this much lauded JFNA effort. All I could think when I read it was really? You want are making a public statement about this? Gracious! I would hope that there are greater achievements than this to print.