Facing a growing national trend of donors who were less interested in umbrella giving and more interested in direct gifts, and a competitive fundraising environment, the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado (AFJC) understood it needed a new strategy.
AFJC worked with BSG to craft a new marketing direction to refresh and reposition its brand. BSG designed and launched a multi-phased research program that included interviews with stakeholders and a survey of current, lapsed, and potential donors. Key research findings indicated that:
- There was low satisfaction and an eagerness for change among stakeholders.
- Donors recognized AJFC’s importance, but viewed it as ineffective.
- Both stakeholders and donors wanted AJFC to engage Jewish youth, help smaller organizations, respond to crises, engage on foreign policy, and offer supporters an opportunity to self-direct donations.
BSG drew upon the research to craft a new strategy for AFJC. Following BSG’s recommendations, the AFJC board announced at its annual meeting that it would:
- Merge with the Jewish Community Foundation into a single entity named Jewish Colorado that will function as an operating foundation while retaining its historical partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America.
- Redefine its mission and narrow its operational focus to five impact areas: enabling Jewish philanthropy, engaging millennial Jews on a cultural level; serving the most vulnerable; advocating on behalf of Israel; and mobilizing in times of crisis.
- Concentrate on smaller programs that its partners have trouble finding on their own, rather than unrestricted allocations to support the general operations of Jewish organizations.
Today, Jewish Colorado serves as a model for similar groups around the country. In 2012, Jewish Colorado surpassed expectations by raising over $12.6 million.