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Jewish Communities Adapt Fund-raising Campaigns to New Conditions

The Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds today reported that many communities throughout the country were displaying great skill and ingenuity in adapting the fund-raising campaigns to new conditions faced this year as a result of the economic recession.

Emphasizing that last year the overall national average of 148 communities reporting to the CJFWF showed an increase of about 11 percent as compared with funds raised the previous year, the Council said that against this background, the following basic factors affect the 1958 campaigns:

1. The economic recession, the uncertainty of its duration and depth, and the implications for fund-raising are readily apparent. But, it has also become clear that these conditions are not uniform. They vary greatly from city to city and from region to region. Some are in distress, others have hardly felt any economic dislocation.

2. The needs overseas remain as great and in some respects even greater than in 1957. However, there is a sharp contrast between the 1957 headlines and the current situation in this respect.

3. Individual givers are responding differently to these factors. Many are disregarding them and are contributing more than a year ago. Others are holding the 1957 level, a few are cutting. The problem: to keep the cuts–even a few–from more than offsetting the numerous gains.

A cross section of reports to the CJFWF makes it clear that there have been, and will be. a number of increases in top giving brackets, as well as repeat gifts. Most increases are small, but some are striking. Also, in regard to both increased gifts and repeat gifts, it has been found that many are coming from people who feared at first that they would be compelled to make cuts.

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