Covenant with our Donors

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland Board of Trustees has approved this Covenant with Our Donors. This represents our commitment to those who participate in the Campaign for Jewish Needs.

  • Campaign volunteers are encouraged to let all donors and potential donors know how much we value and respect their participation in the Campaign for Jewish Needs.
  • The act of giving tzedakah fulfills part of our Jewish obligation to care for those in need. In Cleveland, the annual Campaign for Jewish Needs (formerly the Jewish Welfare Fund Appeal) is our community's central vehicle for tikkun olam, improving the world, by raising funds for educational and social services that meet the needs of children, families, and the elderly in Cleveland, Israel, and in other Jewish communities worldwide. The annual Federation campaign is a sacred communal act, requiring all participants – donors, volunteers, and Federation staff – to observe important standards of conduct that are essential to the integrity and effectiveness of the campaign. Information will be kept confidential and discreetly used for campaign purposes only. Donors are entitled to an opportunity to meet with a volunteer to discuss the campaign and are encouraged to report any concerns about campaign practices to the Federation. Donors will be treated with the utmost respect in recognition of their valued contribution to the work of the community.


Information about a donor shall be discussed among campaign volunteers and Federation staff only for purposes directly related to the campaign and only among those responsible for that solicitation. Conversations about donors should include discussion only of information directly relevant to soliciting the donor: (1) the factors affecting the amount which a solicitor should ask the donor to consider contributing, and (2) the results of the solicitor-donor discussion. Any information which a donor requests be kept confidential by a solicitor shall not be discussed with anyone else.


All donors must be treated with respect and appreciation throughout the solicitation process. Conversations about donors among campaign volunteers and Federation staff must be respectful of the donor. Volunteer solicitors fulfill an important role, honored for thousands of years, by asking for tzedakah. They deserve respect and appreciation for the work they are doing on behalf of the Jewish community, and they should be allowed a reasonable time to discuss with each donor the needs which the donor's contribution would help to meet.

Exchanging Information

For Campaigners

A face-to-face solicitation (either virtual or in-person), at a time and place of the donor's choosing, is the most effective way for information about community needs to be conveyed, and for a donor to reach a decision that best matches those community needs with the donor's capacity to give. Volunteer solicitors should offer to meet donors face-to-face whenever possible, and donors should be prepared to allow at least 20 minutes once each year for such a meeting.

For all Volunteers

Donors are entitled to an accounting of the disbursement of funds, including the costs of the annual campaign itself. (Currently, 91 cents of every dollar contributed supports programs that reach the beneficiaries of the annual drive). Donors should be provided with information about the agencies and programs supported by the campaign and should be provided opportunities to convey their thoughts about community and campaign-related issues. Solicitors are responsible for conveying any issues or questions from donors to Federation staff for follow-up.

Fulfilling Pledges on Time

The Federation makes commitments to fund community programs and services based upon the pledges received during the annual campaign. Donors are expected to pay their pledges to the campaign in full by the end of the year for which their campaign pledges were made, so that the needs of people who are counting on us for help are met.

Help Us Do a Better Job

Donors are encouraged to report positive or negative solicitation experiences in writing or by phone directly to the campaign director of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, 25701 Science Park Drive, Cleveland, Ohio 44122. Anyone having questions about our donor covenant, or those interested in serving the community as a campaign volunteer, contact Jeremy Pappas, Campaign Director, 216-593-2871 or email The campaign holds all its volunteers and professionals accountable for their performance of these commitments. Your observance of this covenant with our donors, and your continuing participation in the annual Campaign for Jewish Needs, will greatly strengthen our community for generations to come.

Jewish Federation of Cleveland. All Rights Reserved.