March Madness is a unique opportunity to enjoy spectacular events at the synagogue while supporting its future. It is a great fundraising and community building event. Congregants and staff host various events (as many as 36!) and members make a donation to the congregation in order to attend. The hosts fund the events but can claim any expenses as a donation. The program has raised about $35,000 in a year and is expected to raise more in future years. The best part about the program is it fosters community and social interaction among congregants. Hosts can highlight or share talents or interests with others. The events are fun and often bring together congregants who might not otherwise interact with one another. Many people have maintained relationships begun after co-hosting or attending the same event. Events include a Photo Safari, Murder Mystery, Thanksgiving in March, Afternoon House Concert, Women's Spa Day, Art Extravaganza, Wine Tasting, etc. Event details are posted on a website, with each event having its own page. Members can read about the event, see the number of registered guest allowed and who has signed up, the cost, date, location, etc. and then sign up on line using PayPal or by check.
RESOURCES: Visit the March Madness website
For more information on community building in your congregation see the Web sites of the Union's Department of Outreach and Synagogue Community at www.urj.org/outreach and its new Web site www.urj.org/membership. For more information on fund raising in your congregation visit the Web site of the Ida and Howard Wilkoff Department of Synagogue Management at www.urj.org/synmgmt and its publication Doing What is Just and Right Endowments, Investments and Synagogue Funds at www.urj.org/synmgmt/publications.