At the United Jewish Appeal’s UJA Federation of New York, many of the donors were burned in the Bernard Madoff scandal; others have lost their jobs and can’t afford to give what they used to. The group has retooled its efforts so it can stay involved with those newly unemployed, both to assist them and to find ways in which they can still contribute.
“The mantra of our fund-raising campaign for the next few months is that it’s ‘for those who can,'” says Stuart Tauber, a senior development official at UJA-New York. He says the demand for UJA’s services, like providing food to needy families, is increasing as local, state and federal governments cut back. “This is a perfect storm situation. There’s no softening of the blow now, and it’s coming from every side.”
Tauber rejiggered the group’s annual Wall Street dinner this winter to allow former donors to attend even if they’d lost a job or all their money. More people participated than before, and though the event brought in 13% less than the year before–$18.8 million–Tauber says it did far better than if those people hadn’t been there at all.