By Bonnie Gratch Lindauer
Why do people join synagogues, or conversely why don’t they? The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco has made this question and other related ones a priority as they partner with interested synagogues in a two-year Federation-Synagogue Membership Project beginning in January 2011 and ending in December 2012. The purpose of the project is to help synagogues gain better information about their current members, such as why they join and maintain membership in a synagogue, what benefits they gain and how they build relationships that are meaningful to them. In phase one the Federation’s Project staff will help synagogue task force members design and implement surveys and follow-up focus groups to learn more about their members.
Phase two involves using the data to develop an action plan that uses resources to better support member needs and interests. Matching grants of $2,000 will be available for synagogues to help fund their plans and programs.
Some of the expected results include
- greater understanding of the needs and motivations of current members;
- data-driven membership enhancement plan and the roll-out and testing of resultant membership enhancement initiatives; and 3. developing in-house leadership and skills so that synagogues can continue to innovate and evaluate beyond the two-year grant period.