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Answering Objections

Sensitivity & Passion

After a traumatizing attack like the one we recently experienced, donors may have many questions. Here are some ways to answer these questions with both sensitivity and passion.

How can you ask me for money when I’m still in shock from the attack?

I completely understand.  I’m still in shock, too. And yet, this is proudest I have ever been to ask for your support. The Jewish community needs your help more than ever. All of the needs that existed on October 26 the day before the attack still exist, and we know these murders have created many more needs in our community that can only be funded through the Community Campaign.

Why do you need my money after all of the money people gave to the Fund for Victims of Terror?

We have the same needs as last year, and the attack created a whole new set of needs, some of which will continue to reveal themselves over the days, months and years following the shooting. The Fund for Victims of Terror will be distributed in accordance with the mission statement that was on the web site where the funds were collected. Every dollar will be distributed by a completely independent committee, the “Relief Fund Committee,” that the Jewish Federation chartered to function completely independently of the Federation. Your Community Campaign contribution will serve the needs that existed in our community and new needs that will emerge in the aftermath of the attack.

Why can’t you just use the money from the Fund for Victims of Terror for your campaign?

Those dollars were donated to the Victims of Terror Fund and have been turned over to the “Relief Fund Committee.” They are completely separate from the Community Campaign and will not be used as a funding source for ongoing community needs.

Where did the money go that people already gave to the Jewish Federation?

None of this money will go to the Jewish Federation or to our Community Campaign. Donors from around the world gave generously to the Victims of Terror Fund. The “Relief Fund Committee,” an independent committee of community leaders separate from the Federation, is now in the process of consulting with the three synagogues who were attacked and with some of the people directly impacted in order to decide how to distribute this money. Additionally, there are some private donors, foundations and corporations who donated restricted funds with specific instructions for use, including security, mental health services, and community resilience.  These funds will be distributed following donor instructions.

I already gave to the Fund for Victims of Terror.

I really appreciate your generosity. I’m asking you to give to the Community Campaign because the needs in our community were immense prior to October 27, and will grow in the wake of the attack for things such as additional security, psychological counseling and support for our agencies that are providing direct service. All of the support by Community Security Director Brad Orsini around community security is funded by the Community Campaign.  Our planning experts are already seeing needs emerge in the weeks and months following the attack.

What did the Jewish Federation do after the attack?

The Jewish Federation focused on three goals: helping the families of victims, those who were injured, and the many people traumatized by the attack; bringing the community together to mourn and to begin the healing process; and making sure we remain safe and secure. The Federation worked hand-in-hand with our partner agencies—helping families of victims and those injured deal with immediate needs, counseling rabbis, creating community solidarity events, connecting people with help, arranging for and paying for armed guards at any Jewish community institution who requested it for four weeks, providing dozens of security briefings and more. The Jewish Federation is also assessing critical needs that emerged from the attack.

How much money did you raise for the victims?

The Jewish Federation did not actively raise money after the attack; we opened a box and people, corporations and foundations were moved to give on their own. The fund continues to grow, but the Fund for Victims of Terror is approximately at $5.2 million. Several private Foundations and corporations gave upwards of an additional $2.3 million that they specifically designated for security and “community resilience.” None of this money supports the Community Campaign and none of it was used for overhead.

Why are you coming to me so late this year?

The day of the attack, October 27, the Jewish Federation sprang into action to focus on the needs of the immediate families of the victims, the people injured and the many, many Jewish community members with counseling and other needs. We put the Community Campaign on hold entirely to focus on beginning to heal our community, and we’re now returning to you to ask for your help for long-term needs.

Why can’t I just give to the organizations that are helping directly?

It’s great to give to individual organizations. Giving through the Jewish Federation makes the entire community stronger. The only reason the Jewish Federation was there to lead the response on October 27 was because your support kept the Federation open on October 26 and for more than 100 years before that. Past support for the Jewish Federation was the primary reason that we could mount a seamless community reaction to the attack. Without an organization like the Jewish Federation taking care of collective impact, our community would not have responded as effectively.

I just don’t know if it’s the right time to give.

There is no better time to give. This is our moment to stand up and be counted—the time to show the people who hate that we will not live in fear. Rather, we will rise up as one, hand in hand, to help the most vulnerable people in our community in their time of greatest need. The Jewish community needs you now more than ever.

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