Chabad of Ellicott City has started 2022 on strong footing, as its end of the year fundraiser has exceeded its goal by nearly $5000, with potential donors still able to give.
The Power Your Impact campaign began Dec. 9, which for the Chabad movement in general is known as their “Chabad Global Giving Day,” explained Chabad of Ellicott City Rabbi Yanky Baron. As December is typically considered a time for giving, the goal is to encourage year-end gifts from community members. Chabad of Ellicott City’s fundraiser began in unison with around 600 separate Chabad houses around the world. Ellicott City’s campaign does not have a set end date.
“It was a collective effort of Chabads internationally to end off the year with [extra] energy,” Baron said. “You tell your partners what has been accomplished throughout the year, and now we need to start it off and have that extra push to go forward into our programming for 2022, and by you making a year-end gift this will push us more.”
For its fundraiser, Chabad of Ellicott City has raised nearly $30,000, exceeding its original goal of $25,000, said Baron, a resident of Ellicott City. The donations are largely done through an online platform, found at chabadellicottcity.com/impact. Baron made hundreds of calls to community members encouraging them to donate, along with sending out emails and using social media.
As of Jan. 5, the average donation was $180, with a total of 92 individuals donating.
The funds raised will primarily be used to support Chabad of Ellicott City’s annual $180,000 budget, Baron explained. In addition, he expects they could also be used for the construction of a parking lot at the Chabad, as well as renovating the property’s garage, which the Chabad has begun using as a meeting space to hold services and programs. Additions could also include windows, improved lighting and insulation.
The funding would also help with the Leah’s Art Corner program. Run by Baron’s wife, Leah Baron, the program is a place where “kids can explore Jewish themes through artistic medium,” Rabbi Yanky Baron said. He anticipates the funds will help with the marketing of the program and with acquiring supplies like aprons and easels.
Particularly large donations to Chabad of Ellicott City receive special acknowledgments, Baron explained. Donors who contribute $1000 are known as a “tomchin,” or advocates, while those who contribute $100,000 are referred to as “amudim,” or pillars, with several other levels in between. Baron plans to acknowledge these contributions in the future with a donor wall, to be called their “tree of life wall.”
To those who may be working on a fundraising campaign for the first time, Baron explained that while demonstrating accountability through numbers can be important, what’s most crucial may be approaching people through a more emotional angle.
“People connect with connection, emotional connection,” Baron said. “So when you’re able to give over to someone a story about being able to affect someone emotionally, in a good way, … that touches them beyond any numbers you can give them.
“The meat of it all is being able to tell someone that they had an impact on someone’s life,” Baron added.