Presented to The Future of Jewish Non-Profits Summit, July 11, 2011, Chicago, Ill.
When it comes to synagogue marketing (and very possibly marketing churches, too), technology is trumped by the old stand-by: personal contact. Paid newspaper advertising doesn’t seem to work well, and the jury’s still out on the effectiveness of social media.
As a lifelong professional communicator, and former president of Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah in Wilmette, Ill., I constructed an informal survey (using Google Docs) which I sent to Chicago-area synagogue executive directors and randomly selected rabbis, as well as Conservative synagogue presidents on a national listserve.
Facing competition from the Internet, iPads, the golf course and other non-religious distractions synagogue leaders are eager to find marketing techniques that will engage current members and attract new people, without draining the temple’s resources.