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Temple Beth Am ratchets up their giving with help from LGL

Posted March 13, 2012 by Hunter Williams

When Jenna Sytman did the math, she was really quite stunned. A million dollars over the next three years. That’s how much she projects she will be able to increase her organization’s dues contributions from its members. That’s almost a 25% annual increase. On top of that, her organization’s annual giving fund has increased by 33% over the past few years — no mean feat. What’s driving the increase? Jenna gives a large part of the credit to Little Green Light. From our perspective here at LGL, we are delighted when we can play a role in increasing an organization’s contributions — but as with any tool, it is always a combination of having the right tool and knowing how to apply it. This article describes how LGL contributed to this transformative change at Jenna’s organization.
Jenna is the Director of Development at Temple Beth Am (, a synagogue in north Seattle serving 920 families. Contributions come in a variety of ways: annual membership dues, annual fund donations, capital campaign contributions, gala event tickets and merchandise sales. By evaluating their families’ giving both in aggregate and by each of these giving channels, Jenna and her development committee were able to find quite a few opportunities to ask for larger gifts from families. Jenna explained, “By looking at prior contributions, from past capital campaigns (1992 and 2002) and from other forms of giving, we identified families that we thought could make larger annual dues and annual fund contributions.”

Jenna credits Little Green Light with making this all possible, saying “We imported all that historical information into LGL and then created donor profiles showing past giving.” But LGL’s role didn’t end at identifying opportunities. “We used LGL to categorize donors based on interest areas, such as knitting and affinity groups like the schools the children attend. We then organized volunteers to host house parties for these groups, and provided the volunteers with donor profiles, sometimes as PDFs, and sometimes directly via LGL.”

In summary, Jenna thinks LGL provided just the tool they need to analyze giving potential and then to manage the program to increase their contributions. “Other systems use Crystal Reports, but that’s useless if you want to sort the data in different ways and then import it back into your donor database. LGL made it possible for us to see our data comprehensively, and then import it back into LGL in a way we could work with it to create action plans.”

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