TM0301_Market Focus, Judaica (1,517 words)
"It doesn't have to be a Jewish appeal," says David Rubin, vice president of R•C Direct, a Milwaukee-based list company that manages more than 300 Jewish donor and consumer lists.
In terms of general fund raising, Jewish fund-raising lists respond well. Gifts average $25 to $28. "That's above the national average," notes Rubin.
As Jill Cohen, president of R•C Direct, points out, "Jewish lists work for many mailers—UNICEF, Southern Poverty Law Center—they don't just give to Jewish causes." Indeed, hospitals, health-related charities and environmental issues all find good response in Jewish donors.
They say that timing is everything, and the general mailing times for Jewish fund-raisers, as well as merchants of specifically Judaic things, are going to circulate around holidays.
Normally the big time is August, just before the High Holy Days, and then during the holiday season in September, says Rubin.
Chana Rubin mails her annual kosher gift catalog, The Kosher Connection, during the high holiday season with smaller card mailings in November for Hanukkah and in February for Purim and Passover. But, for charities, other elements will factor in.
Like many other cause-related charities, Jewish fund-raisers are quick to cash in on the news. During the 2000 holiday season, The Wall Street Journal noted that while other charities were slumping, fund-raisers for Jewish causes were fairing fine due to events in the Middle East.
"Unfortunately," says Cohen, "when things like this happen, people do more mailings, but it does bring up a tick in people's awareness of the events."
Many Jewish fund-raising mailings are designed to inform, or at least remind, prospects of the hardships Jews are facing all over the world. This is a major consideration going into creative, says Sheffey.
"It's best when you are addressing issues that are of relevance—things that are of interest historically, presently or both. In Jewish direct mail, there is a high responsiveness because Jews want to take care of each other. It's a historical mandate," she says.