DENVER--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado (Federation), a 67-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining Jewish life and supporting Jewish causes throughout Colorado and the Jewish world, recently announced its reorganization and refocus, capped with a name change that better reflects its community relevance.
“In today’s environment, the key challenge – which we view as an opportunity – is for JEWISHcolorado to remain relevant and meaningful by focusing primarily on humanizing our work, helping meet the current needs of the Jewish community and securing the future for the next generation”
Effective October 1, Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado officially changed its name and became JEWISHcolorado. The reorganization comes on the heels of a 2010 survey of the Colorado Jewish community and subsequent “Reimagining” initiative launched by Federation after recognizing the need for change and a desire for stronger community acceptance. Federation conducted a survey of nearly 1,000 individuals, and the results spurred the idea for its dynamic Reimagining efforts. The survey showed that to be meaningful throughout the community, the organization needed to modify the ways in which it connected with its constituents. Amid a softening economy and changing donor trends, Federation identified the need to change and positioned itself to re-emerge as a more sustainable and viable resource for a new generation of donors.
The Federation Survey–Reimagining Launch
The survey generated a 95 percent response rate, demonstrating Federation’s importance in the community. However, it also revealed a perception gap between what community members believed Federation was (an umbrella organization that collects and distributes dollars) and what they expected it to do, i.e. help Jews in need and sustain Jewish life. While the Federation earned high scores among respondents expressing it was an important organization in the community, only half thought it was effective.
Other findings showed that donors were concerned about Jewish people in need and the future of their own children as active participants in Jewish life. Importantly, Federation heard from respondents that they want to see firsthand the impact and benefits of their donations. These findings are aligned with national research on Generation X, Y and Millennial donor patterns, a key target audience for the new JEWISHcolorado.
“In today’s environment, the key challenge – which we view as an opportunity – is for JEWISHcolorado to remain relevant and meaningful by focusing primarily on humanizing our work, helping meet the current needs of the Jewish community and securing the future for the next generation,” explained Doug Seserman, president and chief executive officer of JEWISHcolorado and the former Federation.
Why JEWISHcolorado is different
JEWISHcolorado combines the former Federation as well as the Jewish Community Foundation (Federation’s endowment and planned giving arm), into one streamlined entity. JEWISHcolorado remains a member of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), together with 153 other Jewish federations and 300 independent communities nationwide. JEWISHcolorado has two mission objectives: to secure, steward and share philanthropic and human resources, and to mobilize the community in times of need. It has three key areas of strategic grantmaking: engaging the next generation in being Jewish, caring for those who are vulnerable, supporting Israel and advocating for the Jewish world.
“Transparency is perhaps among the most important change we are making with the new JEWISHcolorado. This will enable us to better engage every community member, program participant, strategic alliance partner, donor and beneficiary of our services. This change is an accomplishment we are extremely proud to bring the Colorado Jewish community.
“Our Reimagining efforts allowed us to reinvent our focus, strategy and approach. We truly listened to what mattered most in our community and then created JEWISHcolorado to better reflect what we learned was most important. There is no stopping what can be achieved when we all work together, and JEWISHcolorado fosters the type of community collaboration and engagement that will make a difference for decades to come,” Seserman explained.
About the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado and JEWISHcolorado
For more than 67 years, the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado has been building and sustaining Jewish life in Colorado, Israel, and around the world. Each year the Federation mobilizes the Jewish community to raise the crucial funds necessary for providing food, refuge, comfort, education and emergency assistance to people in need all across the globe. Additionally, Federation is committed to connecting Jews to their culture and heritage through value-added community programming. Last year, Federation raised more than $10.4 million that benefited hundreds of organizations, both locally and worldwide.
JEWISHcolorado will continue Federation’s legacy but with an approach to charitable giving, programming, education and Jewish life befitting the 21st century. The Reimagining efforts put forth by Federation bring redirection to the organization, which includes relevance, connection, participation and interaction.