For the professional staff and lay leaders of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, fundraising is a year-round endeavor.
But just once a year, on Super Sunday, that effort turns into an intense, very concentrated community-wide project. Volunteers of all ages and from every corner of Jewish life come together for a giant phonathon that has a single goal: raising dollars for the many worthy causes that depend on Federation funds to survive and thrive.
Federation continues to be the central fundraising body for our community and, as such, it deserves your support.
Super Sunday, happening this year on Feb. 10 starting at 9 a.m. at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, comes as our state and federal governments prepare for their budget and spending battles.
Dollars for social safety net programs that support our seniors and disadvantaged populations are likely to continue to shrink, even as the needs continue to rise.
Once again, it will be private philanthropies like the Jewish Federation that will be needed to step in to fill that considerable void.
Beyond the much-needed safety-net assistance, Federation supports Israel programming, distressed Jews in the former Soviet Union and a wide array of Jewish communal, educational and identity-building programs.
These include the PJ Library program, which provides Jewish books and outreach to young children and their families, Jewish camp scholarships, Birthright Israel, college Hillels and much more.
The fundraising numbers last year were encouraging. The regular campaign, including restricted and unrestricted gifts, totaled $24.8 million, a 12 percent increase from 2011. Federation raised an additional $33.3 million in new endowment contributions, from some 200 individual donors.
The funds raised on Super Sunday may be just a fraction of the total dollars raised each year — usually between $1 million and $1.2 million — but clearly all monies raised are important.
Of course no one should feel confined to limit their giving to Super Sunday, but that day is special because it becomes clear that no matter your giving level, it does indeed take a village to accomplish our goals.
So whether you’re on the dialing end or the receiving end of the phone, Sunday will serve as an important opportunity to stand up and be counted.
That’s one call you won’t want to miss.