Winnipeg’s Jewish community once again opened their pocket books for the annual Combined Jewish Appeal (CJA) campaign, leading to another banner year for the fundraiser.
The goal for the 2018-19 CJA campaign – which ended March 31 – was set at $5.75 million. The final tally, according to Jewish Federation of Winnipeg CEO Elaine Goldstine, was $5.89 million, up from $5.77 million last year.
This is a continuation of a pattern that has persisted over much of the past 19 years, in which the CJA campaign has upped the ante a little bit every year, always exceeding its goal. The only break in the pattern was in 2014-15, when several factors caused the annual campaign to fall short by about $300,000.
Among the successful remedial actions that the Federation took was to increase the number of telethons and urge more help in fundraising from the CJA beneficiary agencies, which saw their allocations from the Federation cut in 2015, due to the campaign shortfall.
“Our beneficiary agencies really stepped up this year in helping with our canvassing,” Goldstine said.
In breaking down the numbers, Goldstine said that Womens Philanthropy raised over $2 million, while the young adult division raising $157,848. There were 230 new donors this year.
The additional funds raised won’t necessarily result in more money for Federation beneficiary agencies, though. “We are happy that we exceeded our goal,” Goldstine says, “but more of the funds we raised over the past campaign is earmarked for specific programs.”
Due to a policy that was introduced a few years ago, donors who contribute more than $18,000 can choose what their funds will go to support.
For the second year in a row, the CJA leadership team was led by Steven Kroft, who also chaired the Top Donors division. Ellen Kroft and Paula Parks co-chaired of the Women’s Philanthropy campaign, Daniela Jacobsohn chaired the Lion of Judah’s subdivision, Lindsey Leipsic and Jason B. Gisser were responsible for the Young Adult Division and David and Sarah Carr and Jared and Leanne Akman led the Ben-Gurion Society subdivision.
For the 2018-19 campaign, Goldstine initially served as campaign director – a position she held from 1993 to 2016. She was appointed CEO in 2015. A new CJA director was hired in the summer of 2017, but resigned a year later.
The current CJA director is Rebecca Brask, who was hired last November. She brings her extensive experience with fundraising development, strategic planning and strengthening donor relationships to the role. She has previously worked for McNally Robinson, the Manitoba Theatre for Young People, the Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Rady JCC. She has completed a bachelor of arts at the University of Winnipeg and received a fundamentals of fundraising certificate from Red River Community College.