Super Sunday fundraisers bring in the big bucks

Who needs Super Tuesday when there’s Super Sunday?

The daylong phone-athon Feb. 10 reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars for two Bay Area Jewish community federations, keeping them on pace for their annual campaign targets, according to spokespeople for the federations.

“It was an incredible success,” said Sean Mandel, campaign director for the Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay, “especially considering how beautiful it was on that day.” Super Sunday organizers typically wish for bad weather to keep people home and close to their phones.

Mandell reported a Super Sunday tally of $420,000. He estimated an additional $45,000 will come in from the Goodman Family Foundation matching fund, which offered dollar-for-dollar matches on all new or increased gifts.

The take was shy of the $600,000 earned at last year’s phone-athon. Nevertheless, “in terms of annual campaign we’re right on pace for dollars, and we’re ahead in terms of donors,” added Mandel. “We were at capacity all day in terms of volunteers, with nonstop enthusiasm from the moment we started until we ended.”

For the Jewish Community Federation of Silicon Valley, Super Sunday brought in $230,000, short of last year’s $250,000 total. Like the East Bay federation, Silicon Valley had a matching fund in play. The Howard H. Cohn family put up $100,000 in a dollar-for-dollar match to raise money for the Levy Family Campus in Los Gatos.

In order to make the experience more fun for volunteers, prizes and premiums were awarded to those manning the phones. At Silicon Valley, they included everything from Oakland A’s tickets to passes for Tova Day Spa.

At the East Bay federation effort, prizes included a free loaf of Semifreddi’s bread every week for a year.

“Even I would have liked that one,” joked Mandel.

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is a contributing editor at J. He was a longtime staff writer at J. and retired as news editor in 2020.