About Avodah: At Avodah we believe that Jewish leaders have the power to help change our country for the better. We train and support early- and mid-career Jewish young adults with the tools, knowledge, and networks they need to contribute their skills and passion to advancing social justice across the country and strengthening the fabric of our diverse Jewish communities. Additionally, we help the Jewish community understand how to address the root causes and effects of poverty in the United States.

Project Overview:

Thanks to UJA-Federation of New York, we have a grant to help reach our goal of more effectively communicating to New York-area donors and prospective donors. Our hope is that the Communications Consultant will use their expertise to help us create and help us implement messaging to reach NY-area donors and use those deliverables to set and implement communications priorities for our national communications needs. We have $30,000 budgeted for this project. 


Phase 1: Messaging/Communications Strategies to Reach New York Donors/Prospects

UJA Micro Grant Budget ($10,000)

Grant Request Narrative 

Objective: Build our donor communication tool-box, enhance our local development staff’s skills, and refine our messaging specifically geared toward New York donors such that we raise more from New York-area donors than in the past. This work will serve as the basis for our national communications efforts. 


Key Deliverables:

  1. Identify target audiences and determine the best way to reach them: Identify top New York Jewish organizations, universities, Hillels, synagogues, and others so that we may target our communications to them and they begin and/or solidify their understanding of Avodah as the leading Jewish social justice leadership development organization. 
  2. Assess and refine messaging: Consultant will audit our existing donor materials, including donor folders, videos, website, standard presentations, core language, and general communications strategies. Through their assessment, Consultant will tell us what is working and create refined messaging to replace what is not. Consultant will summarize their suggestions in a guide that includes new language and strategies, specific to the New York market. 
  3. Create donor communication/cultivation tools: Using the refined messaging developed, Consultant will work with our Communication Director to create material/s to be used with New York donors. Special emphasis will be placed on training Avodah’s Communication Director during the creation process so that she/we can replicate and update our materials independently in the future. 
  4. Train New York development staff: Consultant will train local Development staff to effectively use the new messaging and tools with New York donors. Staff will be trained from a macro-perspective on how to reach wide swaths of the New York audience through mass communications, and also from a micro-perspective on the best ways to present Avodah’s impact when sitting with prospective donors. Consultant will hold two formal training sessions with staff. Avodah staff who will be involved in these trainings include: CEO Cheryl Cook, Deputy Director Steve Bocknek, Director of Development Shira Sarfati, the New York Community Director, Foundations Manager Leila Bilick, and Communications Director Amanda Lindner. 
  5. Elevator Pitches for Key Audiences: Consultant will author elevator pitches for Avodah’s staff and lay leadership to use with key audiences, including donors/funders, institutional leaders, and general target audiences unfamiliar with Avodah.

Phase 2: National Communications Strategy and Tactical Execution 

(Budget: $20,000) 

Objective: Utilize the messaging and strategy work completed in phase 1 to create an inspiring, engaging narrative arc and content, with specific communications touch points geared toward each key national Avodah audience with fundraising goals in mind, and assist with strategy execution by writing content for social media, email, and newsletters. 

Key Deliverables 

  • Creation of a Narrative Arc: Refine messaging to create an engaging, inspiring narrative arc for the entire fiscal/program year with key moments over the course of the year.
  • Editorial Calendar: Consultant will help Avodah leverage the refined messaging and narrative arc developed in phase 1 by creating a weekly/monthly editorial calendar that includes social media themes and digital content, and that takes into account the overall Avodah fundraising calendar. Consultant will collaborate with the Development team regarding same. This includes social media, email, and newsletter content that fits in to Avodah’s narrative arc for the year.
  • Leveraging our current communications materials: This includes guiding the promotion and distribution of our recently created videos and new collateral.
  • Adapt Avodah’s messaging created for New York Donors to national audiences: Create specific, unique communications engagement plans and content for each major donor; first-time donors who made a gift to support one of our participants; alumni of our programs; annual (non-major) donors; and families of participants/alumni.

Submission Requirements:

Appropriate candidates for this project will have a strong track record brand building while working within the confines of a nonprofit budget.

Respondents should include the following information with their proposals:

  • Description of Individual/Firm: Describe your areas of expertise and qualifications, time in business, location, and other pertinent information that helps to identify you or your firm.  
  • Examples of at least three (3) case studies/projects of similar work executed by you or your firm, the problem you or your firm solved, the process, and outcome, including fundraising outcomes or new visibility, if applicable. 
  • A description of your process, timeline, and budget for the components in the case studies, and/or proposed deliverables. 
  • References: Please include contact information for 2 references for work on similar projects.  

 Submission Deadline and Selection:  

We will accept responses to this RFP through Wednesday, November 26, 2019 or until a consultant is hired. Responses should be emailed to Amanda Lindner at [email protected] Responses will be evaluated by our Communications Director and Senior Staff. Please be advised that the group may or may not choose to conduct telephone, online or in-person interviews with all respondents. 

Please submit a proposal to [email protected] and  include “Communications Consultant” and your name in the subject line of the email.