Jewish Marketing 101 – Merchant Circle Survey on Marketing & Social Media Trends

Jewish Marketing 101 – Merchant Circle Survey on Marketing & Social Media Trends

Merchant Circle Marketing Study

MerchantCircle Press Releases

Social Marketing Continues Meteoric Rise Among Local Businesses

New research from MerchantCircle reveals local merchants flocking to simple, free marketing methods such as social media sites, are slow to adopt mobile marketing and group buying.

Group buying gets mixed reviews: 55 percent of merchants who have offered a “daily deal” through a group buying service would not do so again

Mountain View, CA, February 15, 2011 — MerchantCircle, the largest online network of local business owners in the nation, today shared results of its quarterly Merchant Confidence Index survey of over 8,500 small and local business owners across the U.S. The data reveals that local merchants, who have very limited time and money for marketing, are gravitating towards simple, low-cost online marketing methods such as Facebook and other social media, as well as towards tried-and-true methods such as search and email marketing. The research also demonstrates that while new marketing services such as mobile marketing and group buying are generating significant buzz in the media, local merchants have yet to tap these unproven marketing methods.

“Online marketing continues to be a challenge for most local businesses, and many merchants are working with very small budgets and almost no marketing resources,” said Darren Waddell, Vice President of marketing at MerchantCircle. “The marketing methods we see gaining the most traction are therefore the ones that offer merchants simplicity, low costs and immediate results.”

Key conclusions from the survey include:

(1) Local businesses have little time or budget to devote to marketing.

According to the MerchantCircle survey data, more than half of local merchants are spending less than $2,500 a year on marketing, and 60 percent have no plans to raise their budgets this year. These merchants are also price-sensitive: one quarter of merchants cite high costs as their chief complaint about online marketing (26 percent).

Many merchants are also struggling to manage their existing programs and don’t have time to take advantage of new, unproven services, with lack of time and resources the top online marketing challenge for more than one third of merchants (37 percent).

(2) Social media are now the top marketing strategy for local businesses.

With its huge consumer adoption, ease-of-use and low barrier to entry, Facebook continues to be a popular way for merchants to market their business, with 70 percent using the social network for marketing, up from 50 percent one year ago. Facebook has now surpassed Google (66 percent) as the most widely used marketing method amongst local merchants, and is almost tied with Google search (40 percent) as one of their top three most effective marketing methods, with 37 percent rating Facebook as one of their most effective tools.

Facebook Places has benefited from this high level of adoption, soaring past Foursquare to reach a 32 percent current usage rate, with an additional 12 percent citing plans to use Facebook Places in the coming months. While Foursquare’s usage is up from just 2 percent one year ago, use of the location-based service has remained steady at about 9 percent over the past two quarters.

Twitter has also grown in popularity over the past year, with nearly 40 percent of local merchants using the microblogging platform to build awareness and community around their products and services, up from 32 percent in Q4 2009.

(3) Tried-and-true online methods trump new, unproven approaches.

With little time and budget to devote to marketing, local merchants are slow to adopt unproven technologies such as mobile marketing and group buying and are relying on more familiar methods that have delivered results. Three of the top marketing methods for local businesses — social, search and email — are also cited as being the most effective, with 36 percent putting social networking in the top three, 40 percent citing search and 36 percent choosing email marketing.

In spite of the hype around mobile marketing, less than 15 percent of merchants report doing any sort of mobile marketing or advertising, and more than half have no plans to do so in the coming months. Lack of understanding remains a huge barrier to adoption: 74 percent of merchants state that they don’t have a good idea of how to reach consumers via mobile marketing.

Group buying will also take time to penetrate the local market. Only 11 percent of local merchants have offered a “daily deal” using a service like Groupon or LivingSocial, with an additional 20 percent planning to do so in the coming months. Results of group buying have also been mixed and may be hindering growth: 55 percent of people who have run a daily deal campaign said they would not do so again.

(4) Use of traditional offline marketing methods continues to decline.

Traditional offline marketing methods continue to decline across the board. Over the course of 2010, use of print advertising dropped by 33 percent (from 40 percent usage to 27 percent); use of print Yellow Pages declined 18 percent (from 45 percent to 37 percent); and use of direct mail decreased 26 percent (from 39 percent to 28 percent).

Don’t expect these methods to disappear anytime soon, however, as many continue to deliver results for local merchants. 24 percent say that coupons or direct mail are still one of their top three most effective marketing tactics, 23 percent say print Yellow Pages are a top three tactic, and 20 percent put print newspaper ads in the top three as well.

(5) Online marketing services companies are aggressively targeting local businesses.

Despite the fact that local merchants have very little budget for marketing, online marketing services companies are working hard to reach and serve this market, often with a direct sales force making cold calls. MerchantCircle’s research reveals that 51 percent of local merchants get at least one online marketing sales call a week, with 10 percent getting called almost on a daily basis.

About the Merchant Confidence Index

The Merchant Confidence Index is a quarterly survey conducted by MerchantCircle, the largest social network of local business owners in the U.S. with over 1.6 million members. The Index is designed to track trends in small business sentiment over time and is derived from four key questions designed to synopsize the prevailing trends among local business owners. The overall index score is based upon a standardized five-level Likert scale.

This fifth Merchant Confidence Index survey was fielded online, between January 22nd and February 3rd, 2011, and sent to a random sample of MerchantCircle’s member base of over 1.6 million local business owners. There were 8,456 total responses from local business owners across the United States. Responding businesses classified themselves as legal and financial services, automotive, health and beauty, entertainment, travel and more, with 75 percent of respondents having less than 5 employees. The survey data can be broken out by state, business type or business size (by headcount) upon request. No incentive was offered to complete the survey. To read the full survey and its results, please visit www.MerchantCircle.com/corporate/blog.


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Jewish Marketing 101 – American Express Small Business Forum – 6 Tasks You Could Be Outsourcing

Jewish Marketing 101 – American Express Small Business Forum – 6 Tasks You Could Be Outsourcing

6 Business Task You Could Be Outsourcing

 

 

 

6 Business Tasks You Could Be Outsourcing

Royale Scuderi Freelance Writer and Life Fulfillment Expert

April 3, 2012

Some businesses can handle normal daily activities but need outside help to take on new projects that don’t justify another employee. Other businesses are just struggling to manage day-to-day business. Still others are seeking ways to get more done or cut expenses in this challenging economy.

There are many valid reasons to consider outsourcing, but here are some of the most compelling.

  • Focus on core business activities. For many businesses, the primary motivation to outsource is that it frees owners, managers and employees to spend their time on income generating activities.
  • Improve opportunities for growth. Frequently opportunities for company growth and a desire to expand business operations exist, but resources to make it happen are lacking.
  • Increase efficiency and effectiveness. In many cases, outsourcing allows access to expert talent. Outsource service firms can offer innovative approaches, the latest technology, and creative, cutting-edge solutions that otherwise aren’t available.
  • Improve your bottom line by decreasing your expenses. A skilled contractor or firm can generally perform work less expensively than a full-time employee can, and the costs of hiring, training, and maintaining employees are eliminated, as are taxes and benefits.

Here’s what you can, and should, be outsourcing.

1. Administrative tasks. Scheduling, travel arrangements, data entry, typing and other administrative tasks can usually be handled by a virtual assistant or administrative service. While these tasks are crucial to the proper functioning of any business, they are not usually core business activities.

Where to find help: Assistant MatchAssistU and IVAA help match businesses with screened administrative service providers and offer directories of professionally trained virtual assistants.

2. Lead generation and customer service. Sales calls are often a matter of numbers; more calls equal more sales and leads. Once the initial outreach has been made, closing the sale can be handled by the internal sales force. A talented salesperson’s skills can be better utilized to close sales and handle clients, rather than make cold calls. It can also be a great deal more efficient to outsource customer support than it is to maintain a qualified support staff, especially for product-based companies.

Where to find help: Global Response and The Connection are recognized sales and customer service providers to many of the world’s top brands. Resource Nation allows companies to get quotes from pre-screened business solution sources.

3. Accounting and financial duties. Accounting firms or individuals can help with many financial services including bookkeeping, invoicing and accounts payable and receivable, as well as financial reporting, analysis and planning. Outsourcing payroll processing alone can save considerable hours, headaches and dollars. Many financial contractors will bundle these tasks for even greater savings.

Where to find help: BookkeepingHelp is a popular source of experienced financial professionals. This is one area to be very careful when outsourcing. It’s a good idea to check with certifying organizations, such as the American Institute of CPAs or American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.

4. Marketing. Effective marketing determines how both brand and company reputation are perceived in the marketplace. A marketing firm or consultant can often provide an outside perspective that an internal marketing staff cannot. Professional freelance writers can develop higher-quality, polished content that will improve marketing efforts. Website design, brand development, press releases and online marketing duties such as social media, blogging and search engine optimization are good candidates for outsourcing as well.

Where to find help: Guru and Elance are two of the best-known sources of freelance contractors. They cover many areas of outsourcing, but excel in the areas of writing and design.

5. IT operations. It can be extremely expensive to handle IT operations in-house. The average business has limited ability and knowledge to manage all of its IT needs. Unless you’re an IT company, IT is a maintenance and repair function, not a core business activity. The potential advantages of outsourcing IT tasks are enormous.

Where to find help: CrossLoop and Tech Guru both offer access to full spectrum of IT remote services.

6. Human resources. Employee acquisition and human resource functions can easily be administered by an outside agency. Outside firms are more skilled at advertising, screening suitable applicants and checking references. Using an HR or employment service to manage employee benefits can also be wise, since they must stay up to date on the latest employment laws and standards.

Where to find help: Ceridian and Trinet are both well-known HR service providers offering a wide range of resources from recruitment to payroll to benefits administration.

Final word

Often, the best way to locate high-quality outsourcing prospects is through recommendations from your professional network. A referral from someone you know and trust is a much more reliable gauge of quality and is usually based on the level of skill and not simply the cheapest cost. Professional groups or associations and LinkedIn can also be great sources.

Royale Scuderi is a freelance writer and success coach. She is the founder of Productive Life Concepts and has been featured on top rated blogs such as Stepcase Lifehack and The Huffington Post. You can also find her musings on life and business at GuardWife.com andTwitter.com/RoyaleScuderi.

Photo credit: iStockphoto


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Jewish Marketing 101 | Bloomberg Businessweek article on Outsourcing your Marketing

Jewish Marketing 101 | Bloomberg Businessweek article on Outsourcing your Marketing

Businessweek Outsourcing Your Marketing

 

 

Outsourcing Your Marketing Services

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 14, 2008

Have you ever considered outsourcing some, or even all, of your marketing? Doing so can help you achieve your business goals if you don’t have a marketing department, or it can give you more hands and fresh ideas if you do. Here are some benefits to consider:

• Fill skill gaps. Since media is increasingly fragmented, communications programs are more complicated. You can’t be an expert in every medium and understand the needs of each of your target audiences if your products are sold across vertical industries or have key purchase influencers from several departments.

• Reduce overhead. You don’t need to hire an individual or team for a specific program. Just outsource an expert. That way you don’t bear the hidden costs of recruiting, training, furnishing an office, and employee benefits. Salary is just a fraction of employment costs.

• Eliminate bias and leverage a broader, different perspective. Outsourcing eliminates the “We’ve always done it this way” mentality. You can access the strategic thinking and creative expertise of a marketing professional free of internal political baggage.

• Improve your focus. Outsourcing helps you to focus on the core competencies of your business. Talk to your customers or your sales team. You can then provide strategic, insightful direction and play to your strength. You’ll help to reduce your risks and maximize the return on investment in your marketing programs with input from the front line.

• Jump-start your marketing instantly. Outsourcing gives you access to experienced marketing professionals who can quickly develop plans and campaigns on the tightest of schedules. You can just say “Run with it” and start focusing on the crush of your other competing priorities.

Colleen Edwards
President and CEO
The PowerMark Group
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.


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Jewish Social Media 101 – Jewish Non-Profits and Social Media: Do They Get It?

Jewish Social Media 101 – Jewish Non-Profits and Social Media: Do They Get It?

Jewish bloggerHere’s an excellent blog post from Rabbi Jason Miller that illustrates the need for Synagogues and Jewish non-profits to do more than take the easy way out of performing social media. Key line regarding volunteers: “you get what you pay for.” And if you’re not paying, you’re probably not getting the best Jewish social media experience possible.
The Jewish Week
Published on The Jewish Week (http://www.thejewishweek.com)

Jewish Non-Profits and Social Media – Do They Get It?

By Rabbi Jason Miller

Are Jewish Non-Profits adding social media to their arsenal of marketing tools?

Are Jewish Non-Profits adding social media to their arsenal of marketing tools?

Cross-posted to Blog.RabbiJason.comAs a rabbi who is a social mediaologist, I find myself consulting a lot of synagogues and Jewish nonprofits on their social media strategy. The leaders of these institutions all recognize that they require a social media strategy, but the plan for how it will be implemented varies greatly.Many synagogues in 2012 have yet to budget for social media marketing so they look for the quickest and cheapest solution. In most cases this comprises of identifying a volunteer lay person or existing staff member who is willing and able to set up the congregation’s social media presence across the major networks. In some instances this is a teen who claims to be a Facebook wiz and over-promises and under-delivers. With many volunteers, congregations often get what they pay for.

Jewish organizations seem to be a little further ahead than synagogues in the social media department. Third party retailers like Target and Home Depot have forced nonprofit institutions to get on the social media bandwagon quickly because of their online contests in which the retailer partners with nonprofits for fundraising prizes. These crowd-raising initiatives have required nonprofits to bolster their social identity online to compete in the contests.

While businesses in the for-profit world have allocated serious funds to their online marketing initiative, the nonprofit world is still light-years behind. That should be no surprise because nonprofits often take a wait-and-see attitude when it comes to change.

Robert Evans and Avrum Lapin recently wrote on the eJewishPhilanthropy blog about an unofficial survey they conducted to investigate how Jewish nonprofits are “utilizing social media and how it enables them to meet the demands that they and their leaders are facing.” From the outset, they assert that the picture is not entirely positive and quote a synagogue software system developer lamenting that “most of the Jewish world seems frozen in the 20th century when it comes to being technologically advanced.”

Our recent survey demonstrated a significant lack of human or dollar resources invested by Jewish groups into Facebook and Twitter. Very few synagogues even seem to have any presence on Facebook or Twitter, although they all have websites, many of which are reasonably interactive. Robyn Cimbol, director of development at New York City’s Temple Emanu-El, noted that her congregation was probably the first Jewish congregation to have a website but today they have no specific plans to foster Facebook or Twitter activities, citing other pressing priorities and no apparent demands from their 2,800 member households. “We have limited staff resources and capabilities for this,” she noted, “but we are gearing up ultimately to recognize social media as one communications opportunity,” she told us. She did emphasize that “a number of staff members do use Face Book [sic]… to communicate with specific constituents but it is not used Temple-wide.”

Facebook reports that 89% of 1.3 million U.S. nonprofit organizations boast a social networking presence, offering opportunities potentially for fundraising. However, fundraising on Facebook is still a “minority effort,” despite recent gains.

The authors of the study recognize that the Jewish nonprofits that have succeeded the most in social media marketing have been those that have participated in social fundraisers with third parties, such as mega-retailers or major foundations. Many organizations that find themselves competing in these online social fundraisers have allocated staff time or in some cases hired dedicated part-time staff to manage these initiatives (if they win there is a good return on investment).

The Jewish Education Project and JESNA’s Lippman Kanfer Institute (in partnership with UJA Federation of New York) have launched the Jewish Futures Competition, which will dole out $1,800 prizes for Jewish nonprofits to advance their social media identities. As more synagogues and Jewish nonprofits become more focused on bolstering their social media exposure (moving from building their fan base on a Facebook page to increasing their brand amplification through likes, comments and shares), they will integrate their email marketing (Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.) and online fundraising (Razoo, CauseCast, DonorPages, etc.) into their social networking.

Evans and Lapin’s study demonstrates that nonprofits do understand the value in using social networks for fundraising. “According to this year’s Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, four out of five nonprofit organizations find social networks a ‘valuable’ fundraising option.” However, these same nonprofits aren’t able to quantify why that is. It is important to remember that social media is still in its infancy. As it grows (and its exponential growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon), more synagogues and nonprofits will get on board by allocating the necessary resources to its success.

As they say, the “proof is in the pudding” and the ROI will be noticeable for the synagogues and Jewish nonprofits who dedicate the necessary time and resources to building their brand/mission exposure through social media. Change is never easy and the nonprofit world is more risk averse when it comes to technological innovation. At least the conversations about social media integration are taking place in the Jewish nonprofit world, and the studies are showing that a realization exists that this is a necessary form of communication, marketing and fundraising in the 21st century.

Rabbi Jason Miller is an entrepreneurial rabbi and technologist. He is president of Access Computer Technology in Michigan and blogs regularly at Blog.RabbiJason.com. Follow him on Twitter @rabbijason.


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Jewish Marketing 101 – Does Jewish Non-Profit Direct Mail Work Anymore?

Jewish Marketing 101 – Does Jewish Non-Profit Direct Mail Work Anymore?

Jewish Direct Mail for Non-Profits

When it comes to sending direct mail to potential donors, attendee’s, and prospects, are you getting the best return on your investement these days? With numerous email, insert, and direct marketing tools targeting the Jewish market, perhaps it pays to take another look at direct mailings for targeting the Jewish market.

(We’ll get into the intricacies of the Jewish market receiving mail on Shabbat as well, a big issue to consider)

Well, let’s go to the direct mail stats to start. According to the Direct Marketing Association‘s recent findings:

  • Response rates for Direct Mail have held steady over the past four years.  Letter-sized envelopes, for instance, had a response rate this year of 3.42 percent for a house list and 1.38 percent for a prospect list. 
  • Catalogs had the lowest cost per lead/order of $47.61, just ahead of inserts at $47.69, email at $53.85, and postcards $75.32. 

Overall, what this translates into is that Jewish non-profits sending direct mail to your list, in house or purchased lists, has an extremely low rate of return – less than 4%. Even less when prospecting. That doesn’t sound too successful. I think of it not just as succeeding 4% of the time but also as striking out 96% of the time. That’s after spending a nice amount of money on printing costs, collating, postage, and follow up. Note also that many Jewish organizations DON’T do follow up, perhaps one of the most important parts in fundraising and business development. Shelling out thousands of dollars on a mailing, a few thousand more on a prospect list, and sending without follow through just doesn’t seem like a prudent choice of marketing these days.

But what’s the alternatives here? For the Jewish market, there are plenty. First, let’s examine another interesting find by the DMA:

  • Email to a house list averaged:  a 19.47 percent open rate; a 6.64 percent click-through rate; a 1.73 percent conversion rate; with a bounce-back rate of 3.72 percent and an unsubscribe rate of 0.77 percent. 

EMAIL MARKETING

If you have a choice between sending a large direct mail campaign and large email campaign, the choice is obvious – go for email. Email is instant, measurable, quantifiable, and can result in social sharing and instant results. Repeat – instant results.

These days, not many people will simply receive a snail mail piece, read it, pick up the phone/go to their computer, find your site, and make a donation. However, sending an email with a “DONATE NOW” link or even a “TEXT to DONATE” option will lead to instant results. The key word here is INSTANT. The second key word is measurable. Going further, for the Jewish market, imagine getting the piece of mail on Shabbat – because many Jews aren’t using electronics, they lose the passion or focus of the mailing’s message as the day goes on (that’s even if they open mail, which many do not on Shabbat). And what’s the first thing they do when Shabbat ends? They check their email. Skip the mailing, go for the emailing lists.

INSERTS

One of the mainstays of the Jewish market will be their Jewish newspaper. Contrary to popular belief, ethnic and local community publications are alive and well in terms of audience and reach. Find a nicely circulated subscription-based paper and consider doing an insert instead of a mailing.

Jewish newspapers always have the advantage that they will be read every Sabbath weekend cover to cover. It will never change. Ads within are good, but if you want to tell more about your mission, go for an insert. Let’s compare the pricing – many newspapers have a rate between $80-$115 per thousand inserts (depending on weight). Even if you received a highly discounted postage rate of $.10 per letter, which will be quite rare with the USPS increasing non-profit postage rates, you’ll still pay less to do an insert. And the beauty of a Jewish newspaper is that you can target certain demographics – for example, The Jewish Press targets an Orthodox market, The Jewish Week targets an affluent Modern Orthodox market, The Jewish Standard targets Northern New Jersey, etc. You can target your message to the best prospects that can donate and spread the word. All at a price that beats postage costs.

JEWISH DEAL & COUPON SITES

I heard from a colleage I do business with that they decided to try a Jewish deal site to spread the word about their fundraising event. He expected a few extra responses to augment his attendance – instead he received 200 responses! Luckily, he had room at the event.

With a unique pricing plan that allows for zero upfront costs, Jewish deal sites are a very lucrative option for spreading the word about your mission, increasing attendance, building your social media, and obtaining donations. You’ll have to split the earnings from the Jewish deal sites, such as Jdeal, Kosher Kouponz, Jewpon, etc, but you’re still making money from the new donors at no upfront costs. One drawback is that previous donors/participants  may purchase a discounted deal in lieu of a full price donation/attendance fee but we think it’s stil a shot worth taking a few times, especially for innovative events with high ticket costs.

Especially now, since social media allows you to share your deal or email, these options are even more lucrative. Having a well-functioning Jewish social media page will do wonders for supplementing your online direct marketing efforts. You don’t have that with direct mail. Again, I have to go to the computer, and sign in, and etc etc etc.

Apps: This is a fourth option to consider if you have the budget for it. An app is a great instant way to increase donations instantly. Having anyone with a smartphone, which is probably everyone in the Greater New York area, download your App online will lead to instant communication and instant donations. This option requires more research on your target market and what works for them.

Don’t get me wrong.

If Jewish direct mail works for you, go with it. But don’t let anyone tell you that a 3% success rate on direct mail is valuable. We sure won’t! Especially when you can have a 19% success rate on an email. So for those organizations striking out in their direct mail, and many of them are indeed striking out, put your direct marketing dollars to work in other more cost-effective ways. The younger generation  of donors is demanding it!


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Jewish Marketing 101 – Why Non-Profits Should Consider Outsourcing

Jewish Marketing 101 – Why Non-Profits Should Consider Outsourcing

Jewish social media outsourcing
Reposted from Third Sector Magazine

Why Not-For Profit’s should consider outsourcing

Wed, 12 October 2011

Outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular in the not-for-profit sector as it allows associations, charities and other not-for-profit organisations to benefit from the expertise of specialists when they need them and at rates they can afford.

Outsourcing refers to contracting the skills of a company to fulfil an organisation’s needs and allows them to take advantage of experts that they do not have, or cannot afford, internally. This may include marketing, graphic design, organising conferences and events, secretariat services, publishing, marketing or finance.

Outsourcing is a cost-effective way for not-for-profit (NFP) organisations to achieve their organisation’s goals and keep within their budget.

Findings from The Outsourcing Institute’s most recent study, which surveyed 1,410 members, found that reducing and controlling costs is the most common reason organisations choose to outsource. With a limited budget NFPs often can’t afford five or more employees to fulfil their organisation’s marketing, graphic design, editorial, secretariat and event needs; and it’s difficult to find one person with skills in all of these areas. However, outsourcing allows NFPs to draw on the skills of specialist departments with differing areas of expertise for often less than the cost of hiring one internal employee. Depending on a NFPs needs outsourcing can be the equivalent of employing ten specialists for less than the price of one.

Not only is outsourcing more cost effective than hiring staff internally, it can also result in a great level of efficiency. With access to teams of experts in a range of fields, organisations can enjoy a more professional standard of work, which can improve efficiency, the image and reputation of the organisation, and increase member/donor support.

CEO of The Institute of Hospital Engineers Australia Greg Bondar outsources their member magazine to Third Sector Services. He says “I am of the view that specialisation is the key to productivity and effective cost management, hence why do what others do better?”

The Australian Counselling Association (ACA) CEO Philip Armstrong also outsources their magazine to Third Sector Services and says “The journal in its ten year history had reached its optimum in relation to delivering a peer reviewed journal to members that was produced internally by the association. To go to the next level and compete internationally in design, content and layout with other similar journals it needed the expertise of professional publishers as this was not and is not the expected strength of ACA. Therefore an external publisher was sought to take the journal to the next level.”

The Outsourcing Institute’s research shows that the second most common reason organisations outsource is that it allows them to focus on their key objectives, which can increase their effectiveness and improve member/donor satisfaction.

Outsourcing allows an organisation to focus on what is most important to the running of their association, society, institute or charity – whether it is advocacy, governance, pleasing members or fundraising.

Additionally, outsourcing allows NFPs flexibility which is not achievable when hiring someone internally. Outsourcing allows organisations to access professionals when and only for as long as an organisation needs them.

“Without sounding gratuitous, the services provided Third Sector Services are both professional and friendly, and very flexible,” admits Bondar.

By decreasing costs, improving the quality of an organisation’s offerings and allowing NFPs to focus on their core objectives, outsourcing is expected to continue to rise in popularity as the smarter choice for NFPs.


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Online Jewish Synagogue for the Holidays

Online Jewish Synagogue for the Holidays

Online Synagogue for Rosh HashanaLast year 14,000 computers were logged in to celebrate the Jewish High Holidays with the first and largest contemporary online synagogue,OurJewishCommunity.org. For the upcoming holidays this year, (Rosh Hashanah Sept. 28-29, Yom Kippur Oct. 7-8), thousands more are expected.

For the first time ever, the online congregation will also tweet the High Holiday services. Hundreds of tweets will be sent out from the Twitter accounts of the online congregation (@JewsOnline) and one of its rabbis, Laura Baum (@rabbi), during the evening and morning services. The tweets come from the liturgy that is used during the services, which can also be downloaded as a PDF in its complete form.

OurJewishCommunity.org is a global outreach initiative of Congregation Beth Adam in Cincinnati, Ohio. Over its 30 year history, Beth Adam has written liturgy for the Jewish holidays that expresses a contemporary and modern Jewish experience. The liturgy gives voice to Judaism’s ever-unfolding religious experience and promotes the values of intellectual honesty, open inquiry, and human responsibility. Rabbi Baum expressed, “Our liturgy is meant to be thought-provoking and accessible. What could make it more accessible than tweeting it?”

Thousands of computers and mobile devices (iPhones, iPads, Blackberries, Droids) will log in to services. Rabbi Robert Barr, one of the rabbis of OurJewishCommunity.org, said “We know that people often can’t go to a local synagogue for any one of several reasons. They may be geographically isolated, not able to afford synagogue membership, or unable to leave work or other responsibilities to go to services. Or they may find their local synagogue is more traditional than they would like. What we do is bring contemporary Judaism to people wherever they are.” During those services, which are videostreamed live and archived through Livestream, participants are encouraged to use the Facebook, Twitter, and Livestream chat features on the side of the screen to engage in conversation with each other.

Rabbi Laura Baum explained “We’re rabbis who actually encourage people to talk during our sermons. We want those attending our services online to chat with each other using social media. It’s great to see people engaging in conversation and sharing their own ideas.”

OurJewishCommunity.org, founded by Rabbi Robert Barr and Rabbi Laura Baum, will be video-streaming two Rosh Hashanah and two Yom Kippur services live. In addition, there are holiday services for children; those will be pre-recorded and include stories and age-appropriate background about the holidays. There will also be a pre-recorded Memorial Service featuring photos that the web site’s members’ submit of deceased family members that they are remembering. All of the services will also be archived for future viewing on the computer (although archives are not available on mobile devices).

The services will be live-streamed at www.Facebook.com/OurJewishCommunityin addition to at http://www.OurJewishCommunity.org with Facebook and Twitter chats. Mobile devices can access the live services at www.MobileJudaism.com or through the Livestream app for iPhones.

Dates/Times:
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 8:15 PM ET (Rosh Hashanah Evening)
Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 10:30 AM ET (Rosh Hashanah Morning)
Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM ET (Rosh Hashanah Children’s)

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 8:15 PM ET (Yom Kippur Evening)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 10:30 AM ET (Yom Kippur Morning)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 1:30 PM ET (Yom Kippur Children’s)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM ET (Yom Kippur Memorial)

OurJewishCommunity.org also streams a weekly Shabbat service and offers several other features: blogs, podcasts, video-casts, educational materials, holiday cards, access to rabbis, recipes, conversations, and more. Many people see OurJewishCommunity.org as their synagogue and Rabbis Barr and Baum as their rabbis.

To join the free community and view any of the services, visit http://www.OurJewishCommunity.org or http://www.Facebook.com/OurJewishCommunity.

About OurJewishCommunity.org
OurJewishCommunity.org is the world’s first progressive online synagogue. Launched on September 1, 2008, OurJewishCommunity.org has reached more than 200,000 individuals in all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 150 countries. The online community features blogs, audio podcasts through iTunes, video podcasts through YouTube, streaming holiday services, discussion boards, holiday eCards, recipes, educational materials for all ages, and more. We have more than 3,000 followers on Twitter (www.twitter.com/JewsOnline and http://www.twitter.com/Rabbi) and OurJewishCommunity.org has over 8,000 Facebook fans (www.facebook.com/ourjewishcommunity).

Laura Baum, Rabbi, OurJewishCommunity.org
As the Founding Rabbi of OurJewishCommunity.org, Rabbi Laura Baum works to engage Jews through social media and other technology. Baum was named one of the 50 most influential female rabbis by the Jewish Forward and has been featured in the New York Times, CNN.com, and the Jerusalem Post. “Baum’s Blog” is a central feature of OurJewishCommunity.org as are Rabbi Baum’s YouTube podcasts. An expert on social media and the changing needs of the Jewish community, Rabbi Baum has created a new model for engaging those seeking a new way to connect to Judaism.

Rabbi Baum was ordained by Hebrew Union College in 2008 and is now an adjunct instructor there. She graduated from Yale University in 2001 Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and with distinction in the Psychology major. She will receive an M.B.A. from Xavier University this spring.

Robert B. Barr, Rabbi, OurJewishCommunity.org
Rabbi Robert B. Barr, ordained by Hebrew Union College in 1981, is the Founding Rabbi of Congregation Beth Adam in Cincinnati, Ohio. Under his leadership for the last 30 years, Beth Adam has grown from 6 members to over 300. The congregation has a significant voice and is a resource for liberal Jews worldwide. Rabbi Barr first imagined the online congregation and has played a continuing role in its development, including his weekly podcasts (“Barr’s Banter”) which are available on iTunes.

Rabbi Barr is active in the leadership of many Jewish organizations and has twice served as president of the Greater Cincinnati Board of Rabbis. Recognized by his peers as a leader in the evolution of modern, liberal Judaism, his writings have been published in journals, books, and web sites around the world.

High Resolution Photos available at: http://bit.ly/ojcpress

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A Million Dollar Bat Mitzvah – Dr. Phil’s Radical Parenting Episode

A Million Dollar Bat Mitzvah – Dr. Phil’s Radical Parenting Episode

 

Radical Parenting & Million Dollar Bat Mitzvah

Radical Parenting

Dr. Phil talks to three families about their unconventional parenting styles. Are they too radical, or is there a rationale to their extremes?

Parenting with a Price?


Lana

Lawrence

Lizzie

Lana admits she motivates her 13-year-old daughter, Lizzie, and 18-year-old son, Lawrence, to get better grades with extravagant gifts including a $10,000 painting, trips to Europe and bat mitzvah that cost nearly one million dollars.

“My parenting style can best be described as loving and effective,” Lana says. “I believe in motivating my children by providing them with a very lavish lifestyle. If they do well in school, if they do their chores, then they can have a trip to Africa. They can go to Paris.”

But Lana’s sister, Natalya, says she contests the ritzy reinforcements. “My sister, Lana, super spoils her children to the point of no return,” Natalya says. “I call my sister a ‘mommy tampon’ because she tends to shove herself into every nook, cranny and orifice of her children’s lives.”

Lawrence, who recently started his first year in college, lives in a dorm, but also has his own penthouse two miles from campus and full-time access to a private pilot. In addition to his $2,000 monthly allowance, he and his sister have 24-hour bodyguards. Lawrence and Lizzie’s pet monkey, Mikey, also has his own bodyguard, butler, jewelry collection and trust fund.

“I think I’m a great parent,” Lana says. “If someone wants to know why I spend money, it’s because I can.”

Now seated with both women, Dr. Phil gets to the root of their disagreement.

“Mommy tampon?” he asks Natalya. “I’ve never heard those two words together in a sentence.”

Smiling, Natalya replies, “And I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed because I have no idea where that [term] came from, but it is so the truth. She uses mind control, an extreme amount of money and bodyguards to just shove herself into every aspect of their lives.”

“Are you a helicopter mom? Are you really all over the place as she suggests?” Dr. Phil asks Lana.

“I’m not really a helicopter mom, but I think that in today’s toxic society, we should be aware of what our kids are doing and stay on top of them, and be aware of the social temptations that are out there. So, maybe I’m borderline helicopter mom.”

Dr. Phil quizzes Lana about her children’s bodyguards. “Are these bodyguards or spies?” he asks.

“I like to think of them as chaperones,” Lana explains, adding that even her college-aged son occasionally needs adults to help him make mature decisions.

“So you don’t have a lot of confidence in your children?” Dr. Phil asks.

“I have a lot of confidence in myself and my children,” Lana clarifies. “It’s the rest of the world that I don’t have confidence in.”

Lana also says she makes her children take assessment tests to evaluate their life progress and goals. She claims the tests teach her “the true nature” of her children.

“Do you need a test to know the true nature of your child?” Dr. Phil asks.

“Well, I know my children, but I can tell you that some parents see their children the way they’d like to see them and not for who they really are,” Lana says.

The millionaire mom also asserts that her sister, Natalya, is an out-of-control middle child who secretly envies her lavish lifestyle.

“You said, ‘My sister is a mess. She parties late at night and dresses like a slut,'” Dr. Phil says, recounting a comment Lana made about Natalya. “She’s always doing the wrong things with the wrong guys, and looking for herself in the wrong places.”

Natalya flashes her sister a coy smile and responds, “Here’s what I think: Don’t hate me because you ain’t me! I’m younger and I don’t have a husband. I have two wonderful young kids. So if I can party all week and make it to work, [then OK].”

“I told Mom and Dad you should have been an abortion. I didn’t even want siblings.”

The two sisters continue to argue until Dr. Phil stops them and they return to the topic of Lana’s parenting.

Dr. Phil tells Lana that her over-the-top rewards may rob her kids of genuine motivation to succeed. “If you pay your children or give them massive rewards for performance, that’s what we call external or extrinsic motivation. The higher the extrinsic motivation, the less the internal or intrinsic motivation. A child is not going to develop a thirst for knowledge if his only motivation is to [gain material things]. And when that goes away, there’s no internal motivation. That’s a real problem with indulged children. Do you worry about that?”

“I disagree,” Lana says, explaining that her children are well-behaved and excel in school, so she feels confident in her parenting.

Dr. Phil leaves the mother with one cautionary thought, “OK, you disagree, but I really want you to consider what I’m saying because the research on this is pretty overwhelming.”

Lana stands her ground. “[My children] do what they’re supposed to,” she says. “And I really have no reason to think they’re going to grow up to be anything other than what they are right now.”


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Subway – Eat Fresh! Not a Hit With Kosher Customers

Subway – Eat Fresh! Not a Hit With Kosher Customers

Kosher Subway Not a HitSubway – Eat Fresh! Not a Hit With Kosher Customers

Local franchises of sandwich chain were touted as next big kosher thing. What happened?

Amy Spiro
Special to the Jewish Week

Less than 1 percent of all new Subway restaurants fail, according to statements from the popular sandwich chain. But in the New York area all five kosher Subway outposts — once described as the next big fad in kosher dining — have closed in the last few years, leading many to wonder if what was once the largest U.S. kosher restaurant chain was just a passing fad.

In 2008, a kosher Subway store opened on Water Street in Lower Manhattan. Six months later, it closed, and reopened as a non-kosher Subway. Locations in Westchester, Brooklyn, Long Island and, most recently, on Jewel Avenue in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, suffered a similar fate. A storefront in Livingston, N.J., closed after 15 months of operation. Locations planned for the Upper West Side and Teaneck, N.J., never came to fruition. At their peak, 12 kosher Subway locations were open in the U.S.; today only five remain.

Owners at several of the closed locations said that operating a kosher establishment within the Subway parameters proved frustrating and that added expenses made it difficult to turn a profit.

Liron Shamsiav, former owner of the Queens location, said “a combination of factors” led to his store’s closing several months ago.

In addition to other fees, franchisees pay 4.5 percent of their sales to headquarters for advertising, but “you don’t get anything from it [in] the Jewish area and the Jewish crowd,” Shamsiav said, since many of the traditional promotions (like the $5 foot-long sandwich) and menu items are not available in kosher stores.

“We had to add more advertising from our own budget,” he said, which cut in to profits already weakened by the high cost of kosher meat and New York City rent. Shamsiav said that while initially Subway headquarters were more flexible and willing to aid the kosher franchisees, they became more difficult and uncompromising as time went on.

Even outside New York, Joan Fogel had great difficulties managing her kosher Subway outpost in a suburb of Kansas City, Kan., and ultimately sold it at the end of 2010, when it reopened as a non-kosher establishment.

“We were invisible to HQ,” she wrote in an e-mail to The Jewish Week. “We were never able to get Subway to do any advertising or marketing for us, even though we paid in to the fund monthly,” she said.

Fogel, who owned and managed the restaurant with her husband Roger, said that Subway did not allow them to serve any specialty items — unlike many New York stores, which offered shwarma or other dishes not found on the traditional Subway menu. They also suffered from difficulties in acquiring kosher meat, and wildly fluctuating prices for supplies.

“We had ongoing supply problems and had no purchasing power through Subway, which we were told we would have,” said Fogel. Ultimately, though their franchise was the only kosher restaurant in the area, the couple “got tired of the uphill battles and the lack of support from Subway.”
The Chicago kosher location announced on Sept. 1 that it too was closing its doors.

“Unfortunately, Walgreens bought the strip mall where we were located,” the restaurant posted on its Facebook page. “We considered moving locations, but it took us two years to find this location and we did not want to go through the process again.” The restaurant stated that a non-kosher franchise will replace it.

Though none of the New York locations remain open, along with the Chicago and Kansas City ones, the kosher Subway experiment appears to be working in some places. Locations in Cleveland, Miami, Los Angeles and two stores in Maryland have thrived in their communities.
After watching the five New York locations come and go, Dani Klein, editor and founder of YeahThatsKosher.com, has his own theory on what doomed the metro area’s restaurants.

“It’s not just one reason; I think it probably has to do with multiple factors,” said Klein, whose website compiles kosher travel information from around the globe.

“New York has a plethora of kosher options; it takes a lot to keep a kosher establishment in business,” he said, citing three main reasons for struggles of the locations there. First, a disconnect for consumers between Subway’s national advertising versus the higher prices in kosher franchises; second, the excitement wearing off after the initial thrill of being able to eat there; and third, the fact “New York Jews know deli,” and the Subway chains pale in comparison.

Klein has eaten in the former Manhattan location and the Los Angeles store, which remains open, and said he “didn’t really see the appeal to why it was so exciting … it was OK.”

Explaining why kosher Subways are difficult to maintain, owners cite the higher cost of kosher ingredients and kosher supervision, the inability to remain open on Saturdays and the alienating of some non-kosher customers who prefer the original menu and prices.

Many of the surviving kosher locations avoid unsatisfied non-kosher consumers, since they are housed in Jewish community centers. The Cleveland, Miami and Rockville, Md., franchises all opened inside existing JCCs, guaranteeing them a steady stream of kosher-observant customers and a smaller chance of irate lunchers looking for a ham and cheese sandwich.

Housed in the Mandel JCC, in the suburb of Beachwood, business is good at the Cleveland location — the first kosher Subway in the nation.
“We get a lot of traffic from both the Jewish community and also members who are here to use the gym facilities and the pool,” said Joe Faddoul, manager of the store. “We have a lot of repeat customers, a lot of people that we see on a daily basis.”

While Faddoul was “surprised to hear” that so many stores in New York had closed, he recognizes that “there is a lot more competition there as far as kosher restaurants go.” In the Cleveland community, “there is just a handful” of kosher restaurants, he said, and several have closed over the past couple years.

A representative for Subway refused to speak to The Jewish Week about anything concerning the kosher stores, citing an ongoing lawsuit that he declined to name.

Last year, Les Winograd, a spokesman for Subway, told this reporter that while many of the kosher locations have opened and closed, each one shuts down for individual reasons, without an overarching trend. In addition, he said “we try to get [the owners] to understand that you might see a huge boost in business when you open,” he said, “but once the novelty dies away things are going to level out.”

The Jewish Week
Published on The Jewish Week (http://www.thejewishweek.com)

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Jewish Non-Profit aims to “Be Like Mike”

Jewish Non-Profit aims to “Be Like Mike”

http://ping.fm/6G4uT