|JVS: Filling program gaps after state and federal grant cuts|
Editor’s note: Champion Danielle W., director of development for Jewish Vocational Services (JVS), shares with us how OneCause helps provide critical unrestricted funds that fill program gaps after state and federal cuts, and provide a continuity of service while broadly engaging supporters with little additional work on the part of their staff.
>Question: What is your position/title working with JVS?
Answer: Director of Development
>Question: Why did JVS join OneCause?
Answer: JVS joined OneCause because it is an easy way to raise awareness about JVS, provide a new way for our friends and donors to demonstrate their support, and raise additional funds.
>Question: Besides OneCause, what other fundraising methods do you use? How does OneCause compare to these methods?
Answer: At JVS we utilize all the standard fundraising methods—we have a direct mail appeal, an annual fundraising event (our Spring Gala), grant-writing, direct appeals to private donors, and a capacity-building campaign. OneCause is easy to work with and requires very little staff resources on an on-going basis—which is key in times like these when every moment counts. I also like that OneCause is something that everyone is able to work with—nearly all of our donors do some sort of online shopping or use a credit card (the OneCause Visa) to make purchases—it couldn’t be easier for them to help support JVS.
>Question: How will you use the contributions? Are you working toward a specific fundraising goal?
Answer: The contributions raised through OneCause will provide critical unrestricted funds that help fill program gaps and provide a continuity of service. JVS, like many other nonprofits, has seen significant reductions in state and federal grant money; however, demand for our services has grown 35% in the last quarter; and the agency is anticipating numbers of program participants that far exceed last year's 15,000. OneCause is new for us, so we set a modest fundraising goal of $1,000.
>Question: What are your biggest challenges in raising awareness about JVS?
Answer: JVS’ greatest challenge is educating people about all that we do in the community. Many people are introduced to JVS through a certain program, or because they know someone who used our services, but JVS runs dozens of programs—all aimed at helping people get into and do better in the workplace. The majority of people we serve are either unemployed, or are entry-level workers who need career advancement services. JVS clients include welfare recipients, older workers, individuals with disabilities, refugees, immigrants, dislocated workers, and entry-level workers lacking opportunity for upgrade or promotion. JVS also provides customized career counseling services, job search assistance, job leads, networking opportunities and mentoring to professionals.
>Question: What resources do you use to get more people to support JVS through OneCause?
Answer: We have just started exploring the Message Supporters tool, letting our friends know about discounts available to them through OneCause around particular holidays and sales, and reminding them that their shopping benefits JVS. We are also scheduled to send out a message encouraging our supporters to download the OneCause toolbar so that they have an easy reminder whenever they are shopping online. Just before the holidays, we included OneCause flyers with all staff paychecks.
>Question: What do you and your Supporters like most about OneCause?
Answer: I think our supporters like OneCause because it allows them to support JVS by doing what they would do anyway (shopping); I like that it is a way to broadly engage our supporters with little additional work on the part of our staff.
>Question: During these hard financial times, what advice can you offer to other OneCause Champions and Supporters?
Answer: I would encourage OneCause Champions to stay in contact with their supporter base and remind them that every contribution helps your cause (and make sure you are communicating the use of those dollars). Champions should stay updated on special promotions and coupons they think may interest and benefit their supporters so they can help supporters save money while contributing to your causes.
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