Ma’ala is a child development center in the center of Meah Shearim which offers therapy in Yiddish. When they approached us, they were just getting off the ground, located in a small office and they needed a bigger place to house all of the services they offered.
There were several challenges confronting the client. First, as the first Yiddish-speaking child development center, they faced a lot of initial opposition, since many of the local residents didn’t believe in going public about their children’s problems. Ma’ala was a real revolution for this very traditional community, which made them nervous.
On a practical level, the extreme poverty of the local population meant that many families couldn't even afford the cost of therapy, let alone contribute to a building campaign. They needed to reach out to a broader audience, but did not have any connections to outside donors.
Also, how do you get people around the world to connect to a project serving the insular Meah Shearim?
Their goal: $1,000,000
Strategy: In order to reach out to as many people as possible, we needed hundreds of women to come to the call center and help us raise money. Using the pyramid scheme, we started with hosting a breakfast for the immediate staff to get them on board. We told them about the plan and asked them to try to bring some Yiddish-speaking friends to our next event, where we would present the plan to a wider audience. Each of them was asked to host a breakfast in their homes for that purpose, which included a speaker, video and presentation of the fundraising project. In order to motivate them to bring friends, everyone involved received an entry ticket for a big event that would later take place and also received 5 tickets to give to their friends. The event was held in the Beis Yisrael hall and hosted about 700 women.
Note: Until then, crowdfunding campaigns were run entirely online. After the success of our innovative in-person call center model for the Mayim Chaim mikvah campaign, we replicated it here as well.
Similar to our Mayim Chaim model, we first ran an auction where women could choose prizes based on commitments at the upcoming call center. The auction included a program in which a mother related her story of her Yiddish-speaking child who couldn’t get the help he needed and suffered until they found Ma’ala. The event generated a huge amount of interest and excitement, with many women volunteering for the call center.
The Campaign Concept:
In order to connect people around the world to a project located in Meah Shearim (which most communities feel disconnected to), we chose as our campaign theme the message of “Connecting to Yerushalayim Shel Ma’ala.” Every Jew, wherever they are in the world, feels connected to Jerusalem; by adding the dimension of “Ma’ala” (aside from the name of the organization), we evoked the idea that donors will be part of something eternal, making a real and lasting impact - not just in the lives of the individual children, but for the entire community, by revolutionizing the way people approach getting help.
We felt that, since this was such an emotional topic, the best way to give over this message was to create a very powerful video. Watch it here!
1875 new donors
The goal of $1,000,000 was not only reached but surpassed.
Following the success of the campaign, we helped Ma’ala brand their internal promotional materials.