״Everyone I speak to is on a complete high and blown away by how well organized and successful the campaign was. Incredible!״
Kehillas Avreichim, a Har Nof shul servicing an Anglo community, reached out to us for help with fundraising for their new shul building. They had already fundraised as much as they could within their shul’s kehillah and now needed to reach out to the wider public.
Taking place at the height of Covid, the timing for the campaign felt off. How would people respond to a campaign to build a shul building when all shuls were currently shut down?
In addition, the kehillah members themselves were already tired of fundraising, or felt uncomfortable turning to their families and friends yet again. On the other hand, there was a lot of untapped potential within the kehillah, as there were many former members who had since moved out of Israel but still felt connected to the shul; something needed to be done to reach out to these potential campaign ambassadors.
Considering the above factors, as well as the fact that the fundraising campaign scene was quite flooded, we knew we needed to create an out-of-the-box campaign that would make people sit up and take notice.
We decided to produce an original music video to be sung by all of the kehilla members, whose release would launch and promote the fundraising campaign. The entire project involved a multi-layered strategy:
1. The theme of the song, which was set to the tune of R’ Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz’s V’harenu, and written by us in collaboration with Miriam Israeli, was about Klal Yisrael’s yearning to return to our shuls – a message that would resonate with Jews across the globe and also strategically evoke a desire to help build a new shul.
2. By producing a music video featuring the kehillah families, we were able to turn the fundraising component on its head. Rather than having shul members feel they were asking a favor from family and friends, they produced something unique and inspirational that they were excited to share.
3. To build up anticipation and excitement for the campaign among kehillah members, each participating family was only given one line of the song to practice and record. No one heard the entire song until the campaign launch!
4. This strategy also became the concept for the campaign theme: My Piece in the Masterpiece. The idea was that if every person performs his small part, together we can create a song…and build a shul.
5. In order to generate even more excitement, we made the recording day into a fun event for the entire family and hired a photographer to take a gorgeous family picture in the studio.
6. The worldwide debut of the original music video launched the 2-day fundraising campaign, and served as a powerful promotion for the campaign, as all participants were eager to share the video link (embedded on the campaign page) with all of their family and friends.
The logistics of creating this music video were extremely complicated!
1. We started by holding in-person meetings with kehillah members to explain the project and get them pumped up (a project in itself when dealing with a skeptical British audience!). We produced a pre-campaign trailer video to build excitement.
2. Next, we created digital brochures with the trailer video, which were sent to all former members now living overseas. Many of them were excited to participate in the video.
3. After arranging the music, our music arranger (one of the famed Briskman brothers) cut the entire song into single-line parts, including harmonies, and distributed them to each of the participating families.
4. The recording took place in seven different studios located in Israel, England and South Africa! At each location we had a videographer, photographer, sound team and music arranger.
5. As complex as this project already was, Covid made it doubly so! All family time slots needed to be carefully scheduled to maintain social distancing and other Covid requirements.
6. After the recording was finished, the work began to splice together all of the individual pieces into one majestic whole. This meant many hours of matching voices with people, adding in the harmony, and joining them together in one unbroken song.
7. Meanwhile, we planned and prepared material for the actual 2-day crowdfunding campaign. This included creating a landing page, preparing and sending out publicity material, setting up a Covid-friendly call center and preparing call and email scripts.
People were literally blown away by the campaign; the video was the talk of the town! (One participant said he was in Kfar Chabad soon after and someone stopped him on the street to say how much he loved the video!)
Donations were streaming in non-stop throughout the campaign.
When we originally met with the shul representatives, they told us that they thought the maximum they could raise was £100,000.
The campaign ended up raising over £682,000 from nearly 4,000 donors!