Client Experience: Kehilla Residential Programme
“As Executive Director – I have already recommended Endeavor to my non-profit colleagues!”
– Nancy Singer, Executive Director,
Kehilla Residential Programme
About the Org The Kehilla Residential Programme was established in 1982 with a mandate to identify and champion affordable housing initiatives responsive to the needs of the Jewish community in the Greater Toronto Area. They implement this through a Rental Assistance Program (RAP) that provides up to $300 per month to assist households to better afford their housing; partnering with developers to access city mandated affordable housing units; working to initiate policy changes and inclusion models with the City to allow for more affordable housing.
The Challenge Kehilla’s goal was to build greater awareness of who they are to the broader community and to develop an ongoing marketing strategy to support fundraising efforts. In particular, there was an emphasis on attracting a new younger demographic, especially young leaders who can help to champion and promote the organization to others. Additionally, recommended strategies needed to account for the limited budget and capacity of current staff to undertake this work.
Our Approach Endeavour consultants proposed a short term implementation strategy with three key recommendations to raise awareness, and to leverage and forward Kehilla’s advocacy work which is part of the organization’s unique value proposition:
- Making the case for increasing marketing support including carving out a budget for more consistent initiatives particularly in regards to stakeholder engagement and advocacy.
- Outsourcing property management work to free up another staff person’s time to support marketing.
- Engaging younger leaders involved in the real estate field to help promote the organization.
The Outcome Executive Director Nancy Singer shared that with Endeavour’s recommendations making the case for strategic marketing fixes to support stakeholder engagement, Kehilla was able to commit resources to contracting an outside person part- time person to work on buildomg traction with donor and public communications. This included website updates, growing a consistent presence on social media, quarterly donor newsletters, and investing in advertising – namely a full -page ad to thank donors who helped Kehilla reach their $1 million fundraising goal in 2019.
There has also been success in engaging young professionals in Kehilla’s work through initiatives like planning committees. In November during National Housing Week a group of Kehilla’s younger supporters organized a modular housing competition and presentation evening at U of T’s Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship, hosted by the School of Cities and co-sponsored by EllisDon. Many other corporate sponsors supported the event which was attended by over 150 people and raised Kehilla’s profile as an innovator and thought leader in providing affordable housing solutions and fostering partnerships.
Edward Applebaum, President of Kehilla, shared the following feedback about the organization’s experience of working with Endeavour’s pro bono consultants,
“As a small organization you can become myopic and we wouldn’t have hired a big organization to do this project. You brought in a new perspective, evaluated us and highlighted areas to improve. It was time well spent.”