Tough post-Madoff times for nonprofit direct marketers

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Happy hanukkah! Jewish nonprofits were hit hard by the Madoff scandal, with dozens of organizations losing millions of raised funds which were invested in the money managers $50 billion Ponzi scheme. UJA-Federation, one of the largest Jewish nonprofits, did not have money invested with Madoff thanks to strict oversight policies, but a recent Jerusalem Post article points out that the organization is still having to work hard to get donations in this chaotic time, so small donors are a big target.

From the article:

"Response rates for telephone, mail and on-line appeals - targeting people giving less than $1,000 - have increased dramatically, though the average donation has gone down to $110 from $118 last year, said Leslie Lichter, the UJA's executive director of direct marketing. The organization took a page from US President-elect Barack Obama's hugely successful campaign fundraising playbook and suggested smaller donation amounts - $18 and $36 instead of $54 - to attract people who were feeling strapped.

'We're asking for less money, but we've seen that you can raise more money in smaller amounts from more people,'  Lichter told the Post."

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