As Jewish Milwaukee faced a tough year, donors to Milwaukee Jewish Federation sent its 2021 Annual Campaign and other fundraising efforts rocketing upward to meet the challenge.
Amid the uncertainty and strife of a global pandemic, Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign raised $7.2 million in fiscal 2021, an increase of $700,000 over the prior year – without even taking into account the more than $2.17 million raised so far by the Federation’s Fund for Jewish MKE.
“I am awestruck by the generosity of our community. It has been truly remarkable to witness the deep commitment to meeting the immediate needs of our community and helping ensure the long-term strength and vitality of Jewish Milwaukee,” said Miryam Rosenzweig, president and CEO of Milwaukee Jewish Federation. “Together, we will help ensure a vibrant Jewish future here in Milwaukee, in Israel and around the world.”
As summer brought an end to the campaign season, it became clear the campaign had reached a high-water mark. The $7.2 million raised is the highest campaign achievement since 2008. The additional funds for the Federation’s Fund for Jewish MKE is for pandemic-related assistance to the community. Federation funds addressed immediate pandemic needs, including food insecurity and helping local Jewish institutions meet their financial obligations.
“Nearly 60% of our donors increased their giving this year, because they strongly believe in our Jewish institutions and as a result, increased our annual campaign by $700,000 and including the Fund for Jewish MKE donated over $10 million dollars this year,” said Julie Schack, Vice President of Philanthropy at the Federation.
Annual Campaign allocations support a variety of institutions and activities, according to the Federation. This included mental health and educational support for students; a Jewish community case manager to assist those most in need of services; and safeguarding the Jewish community during rising antisemitism. The Annual Campaign also funds overseas and Israel initiatives. The Federation maintained its core annual allocation to each of its partner agencies because of a successful Annual Campaign, despite the pandemic.
There were 200 more donors to this campaign than last year’s, according to Federation.
“We are very excited about the trends we are seeing in giving by younger adults,” Schack said. “We saw significant growth among these donors, which says that our community’s young adults and young families are committed to growing a strong and vibrant home for themselves and their children.”
Schack noted that the Federation has launched a Next Gen program, which focuses on adults between the ages of 22 and 45.
Giving to the Annual Campaign has been steadily increasing in recent years, from $6.3 million in 2018 to the current $7.2 million. This does not include the additional $2.17 million raised so far by the Federation’s Fund for Jewish MKE, which is a conduit for pandemic-related assistance to the community.