Camp Young Judaea - Texas Receives 2015 Impact in Technology Award
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Camp Young Judaea - Texas Receives 2015 Impact in Technology Award

AGAWAM, Mass. - This month, JCamp180®, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF), hosted more than 450 leaders from non-profit Jewish camps and other organizations during its 11th annual conference. During the event, top individuals and camps were honored for their growth in managing their daily operations and for their collective efforts in raising $90 million through HGF's matching challenge grant campaigns to support Jewish children's camps across the country.

Camp Young Judaea - Texas was presented with the Impact in Technology Award for their effective use of technology to help them meet their camp goals. Camp Young Judaea - Texas consistently tries new technologies, measures the results of their efforts, and refines based on the goals they set. Whether focused on highly visible communications work or hidden, but crucial, back-office tasks, Camp Young Judaea - Texas continually defines their requirements and implements technologies to meet them efficiently and effectively. These tools help them manage camp effectively with fewer resources.

Camp Young Judaea - Texas has also embraced more visible technology to connect with their parents, campers, donors, alumni, and donors. This includes leveraging mobile and texting platforms to engage parents, staff, and campers year-round; dashboard tools to help their board members better visualize data and make informed decisions; and automation to provide the recruitment team with real-time reports on enrollment statistics.

"With this award, Camp Young Judaea - Texas joins a distinguished group of camps who have led the field of Jewish Camp in deploying technology strategically to meet their goals," said JCamp180® Director Mark Gold. "We are thrilled to have been able to recognize their contributions through this award."

Receiving the award on behalf of the camp were Frank Silberlicht, Camp Director; Jonah Paransky, Board President;  Lindsay Feldman, Vice President; Yael Twito, Associate Director; and Tori Smith, Intern.

To date, JCamp180® has contributed more than $15 million in matching grant funds and $13 million in consulting services, which equates to more than 80,000 hours, for Jewish children's overnight and day camps. The result: Jewish camps have raised another $225 million on their own to be used for capital improvements, expansions, and endowments, helping Jewish camp attendance grow from 43,000 in 2004 to 73,000 campers across the nation today.

Today, JCamp180® serves 125 camps. The goal of the program is to engage Jewish camp leaders in utilizing best practices, helping them to grow attendance by improving their facilities, better using technology and social media, and raising funds for scholarships, capital improvements, and endowments. JCamp180® staff work onsite with camp professional and lay leaders to help with board development, governance, strategic planning, alumni outreach, and other personalized organizational, recruitment, and fundraising initiatives. Participating camps take part in successive matching grant initiatives led by JCamp180®.

"JCamp180® has played a major role in transforming camps into more professional and sophisticated organizations," says Gold. "This program has helped these non-profit Jewish camps raise more money in the last ten years than they had in the previous four decades, thereby enabling them to better compete with other non-profit and for-profit camps."

During the 11th annual JCamp 180 Conference, participants took part in training sessions, workshops, networking opportunities, and speaking programs geared to help non-profits better manage their operations. Speakers included Andy Shaindlin, the founder of Alumni Futures and an expert on alumni engagement; Amy Friedman, senior advisor at Viacom Corp. and a recognized expert on the millennial generation; Jeff Schreifels, a partner in the Veritus Group; and Stacey Jaffe, the Managing Director of Social Media and Community for Teach For America. These four speakers and dozens of workshop leaders led discussion on the conference theme "Year-round and Lifelong: Connect, Engage, and Inspire." Other topics covered included fundraising, board development, strategic planning, and technology.

About JCamp 180®:
JCamp180® is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, located in Agawam, Massachusetts. JCamp180® provides training and support to the Boards of Directors of non-profit Jewish overnight camps and selected educational institutions in the areas of Board Development, Strategic Planning, and Development. In addition to this Board support, JCamp180®also provides these institutions with technology assistance ranging from Web-related services to donor databases and social media. For further information about JCamp180®, visit www.JCamp180.org.