What You Need To Know
Commitment To Giving
- We have moved from a traditional dues model to a partnership. In the past, membership categories such as Family, Single and Senior determined dues levels and you were billed accordingly. Now, those categories have been eliminated and it’s up to you to decide your level of financial commitment to your synagogue.
- Your volunteer leadership is dedicated to a higher level of financial transparency, ensuring you understand what it takes to provide the exceptional level of programming and support to which we are all accustomed.
- The Commitment To Giving model creates tiers which enable you to determine the appropriate contribution towards the overall costs of Temple Beth Torah. Aside from the
necessary tuition for Religious and Nursery School, it costs approximately $1.35 Million to fund your temple. The Sustaining Level of $2,900 represents the “fair share” of these costs per family.
- Commitments of $2,900 and above include the Security Fee and various added benefits as our way of thanking you and recognizing your compassion and generosity. Please find further details under Rates and Benefits.
- Due to the subsidy of the Religious School by our temple membership, the lowest pledge available for Religious School families is $1,950, at least for the first year of this program.
Why Are We Doing This ?
- Cost shouldn’t be a hurdle to becoming a part of our vibrant Jewish community.
- People need greater flexibility in determining their level of financial participation at different stages of their lives. Our research shows that, with this new model, members are more likely to make lifelong commitments to temple membership. It also shows that families who would have left following a lifecycle event, such as Bar/Bat Mitzvahs or graduations, would stay.
- By changing to a culture of philanthropy and partnership, we expect to gain greater support from our community to help us maintain a path towards financial sustainability.
Will This Work?
- Yes. Your volunteer leadership has spent several years studying this approach. This change will help TBT’s financial situation by broadening our base and including a larger number of congregants now and for generations to come.
- Yes. Today, our community is going through a new transition. Our Nursery School registration has steadily increased over the last several years which is a long-term positive sign.
- Yes. This Commitment to Giving model will not only serve existing members but will also attract many former members by giving them a comfortable way to re-join our community.
- Yes. We have solicited feedback and surveyed congregants as to their likely intentions by holding several open Town Hall meetings over the past several months. The feedback has been valuable and extremely encouraging. Many have indicated that, given the chance to choose, they are likely to increase their financial support.
Why Should One Family Contribute More And Others Be Allowed To Give Less?
- Giving is a personal choice and there are many factors to consider. We are counting on the generosity of those who can to contribute more. The Sustaining Level should be a starting point with adjustments made based upon your individual situation and your commitment. All of us in the TBT family have some level of connection and it is important that we continue to ensure our Temple’s viability for future generations.
- You are contributing to support your temple and your community… you are not paying for your fellow congregant. This model helps to build our culture of philanthropy by enabling individuals to feel good about the support they are providing. Philanthropic giving (charities and fundraisers) has historically been at different levels based upon the donor’s desires.
- You are partnering with your temple family and giving with your heart.
Why Change Our Dues Structure Now In Light Of COVID-19?
- To put it simply, the alternative would be fiscally worse. Many have expressed concern that members would choose to contribute less and not pledge enough support until we have more clarity as to re-opening. Generally, the same members that would contemplate contributing
significantly less would be more likely to leave due to lack of options. Our goal is to retain all members and attract new ones.
What Will Stay The Same?
- Tuition for Nursery School and Religious School will still be charged separately.
- High Holiday tickets for families and members will remain the same as before as will the ability to purchase tickets for immediate extended family members.
- Fundraising will continue through the year with various events, Galas and High Holiday appeal.
- Commitment levels for families with children not yet in third grade will remain Voluntary. By partnering with our young families in the early years, those families will choose to continue to be members of our temple as their children reach the Religious School years.
- A Building Fund will still exist for new members as will Bar/Bat Mitzvah fees.
- Everyone will pay a Security Fee. This fee is included in the Sustaining Level and above.
- Financial assistance will still be available for those that are in need.
Projected Revenue and Expenses for the 2020 - 2021 Fiscal Year