Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

JFGO surpasses $1M in annual fundraising


The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando (JFGO) is celebrating its most successful fundraising campaign in years, closing out the 2015 Annual Campaign with a final tally of more than $1,003,500 in gifts and sponsorships.

It’s a milestone that JFGO has been tirelessly pursuing for years.

When the U.S. economy entered a freefall in late 2008, the ripple effects were felt at nonprofits across the nation, and JFGO was no exception. But as the economy slowly climbed back, so did charitable giving. JFGO has seen a slow but steady uptick in donations over the past three years. In fact, a strong 2014 fundraising cycle enabled JFGO to offer its $100,000 Community Collaborative Grants Program this year.

On the heels of those recent successes, the $1 million achievement is especially noteworthy.

“We have serious momentum now,” said Olga Yorish, JFGO’s executive director. “Once we saw that $1 million was in sight, it absolutely energized us and our volunteers. We were determined to roll up our sleeves and make it happen—and we did. It’s a very satisfying accomplishment and a great testament to the can-do spirit of our Jewish community.”

Yorish cited some key turning points that made the 2015 Annual Campaign such a success.

The first, she said, was the joint Pacesetters-Lion of Judah event held in October at the home of Alan and Kelly Ginsburg. That event alone raised more than $100,000.

Also in the fall, longtime Federation supporter Harriett Lake raised the stakes substantially with her Lion of Judah Prime Minister’s Council gift of $100,000 to Federation.

“We already knew we were on pace to have a successful Annual Campaign,” Yorish said, “but obviously Harriett’s gift was a game-changer. Her generosity was a great motivator. It gave us the spark we needed to turn a good year into a banner year.”

In April, Federation presented Choices 2015, its annual Women’s Philanthropy fundraiser. Choices brought in pledges and donations totaling nearly $95,000 and was followed a few weeks later by a very successful Super Sunday phone-a-thon.

Throughout the Annual Campaign, Yorish said, Federation relied on a dedicated cadre of volunteers who made phone calls, sent emails, and made face-to-face appeals for gifts.

“The backbone of any nonprofit is its volunteers, and I couldn’t be more proud of the men and women who stepped up for Federation this year,” Yorish said. “They gave selflessly of their time and their energy, and our Jewish Community is stronger as a direct result of their commitment.”


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