Ten Jewish Nonprofits Saving the World

Posted on 09/16/2020 @ 12:06 PM

Happy new year

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, marks the beginning of the High Holy Days, a time of reflection and growth, a time when we ask ourselves how we can become better, more fulfilled people, and how we can earn forgiveness for our transgressions against others. And though the notion of joyously ringing in 5781 during such extraordinarily challenging times is perhaps an impossible ask, it’s more important than ever that we double down on amplifying and celebrating the good being done in this world. In honor of the Jewish New Year, we’ve put together a list of ten Jewish nonprofit organizations who we admire greatly—who do the splendid and necessary work of making the world safer for Jewish people of all stripes. This is a time of great need—and, as such, should be a time of great giving.

ADL

Anti-Defamation League

For leaders in combating hate — any and all kinds — look no further than the Anti-Defamation League, an organization with over 100 years of experience fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry. When it was founded, the ADL’s mission was to secure justice and fair treatment for the Jewish people; now, the ADL leads the world in exposing extremism, whatever its stripe, whomever its target. By delivering anti-bias education and law enforcement training, and through their ceaseless efforts to halt defamation wherever they see it, the ADL proves itself to be a staunch and essential defender of expression.

Encounter

Encounter

Encounter is a nonpartisan educational organization that believes in the responsibility of Jewish leaders to engage seriously with a set of voices representative of all the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Encounter’s primary project is a slate of programs designed to inspire new perspectives, new conversations, and new approaches to the conflict, which they achieve through direct encounters with the people with whom Israel is destined to share its future: Palestinians. Immersive Education programs bring selected Jewish influencers to the West Bank and East Jerusalem to meet with Jewish thought leaders and a wide range of Palestinians. Continuing Education programs build on established relationships, creating networks and novel approaches to peace in the Middle East.

Greater Miami Jewish Federation

Greater Miami Jewish Federation

For over 80 years, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation has been serving the needs of Jewish people in Miami, in Israel, and around the world. GMJF — or Jewish Miami, as it's sometimes known — is a force for good in its home in Miami-Dade County, mobilizing human and financial resources to those in need, and helping unify the Jewish community, domestic and abroad. In addition to their role as community leaders, GMJF funds numerous agencies that build Jewish knowledge, strengthen identity, and help foster a sense of peoplehood.

Jewish Communal Fund

Jewish Communal Fund

The Jewish Communal Fund is the largest and most active Jewish donor-advised fund around. Their mission is to promote charitable giving to sectarian and nonsectarian organizations through donor-advised funds. In short, the JCF makes the idea and practice of giving more attractive, easier, and less expensive to donors. In 2019 alone, the JCF established $456 million in fundholder grantmaking—as well as numerous individual gifts that helped build playgrounds and food banks, establish programs for Holocaust survivors, and provide scholarships for those in need.

Jewish Democratic Council of America

Jewish Democratic Council of America

Actively promoting policy consistent with socially progressive, pro-Israel, Jewish community values, the Jewish Democratic Council of America seeks to energize the Jewish electorate to engage in the electoral and legislative processes. The JDCA is committed to creating positive change through information sharing, issue advocacy, rapid response and research, messaging, briefings, and anything else that increases Jewish communal engagement.

Jews of Color Initiative

Jews of Color Initiative

A national effort focused on building and advancing the professional, organizational, and communal field for Jews of Color, the Jews of Color Initiative specializes in grantmaking, research and field building, and community education. In their words, the “Field” is the ecosystem of organizations, efforts, and individuals who make up the larger universe of the Jewish community. For the JCI, the Field needs to be populated by organizations and individuals that center Jews of color, that advance racial justice in the Jewish community, and that strengthen the entire Jewish community.

Joint Distribution Committee

Joint Distribution Committee

The Jewish Distribution Committee, doing good work in 70 countries, lifts lives and strengthens communities. For over 100, the JDC has been a leading humanitarian organization, rescuing Jews in danger, providing aid to vulnerable Jews, and developing innovative solutions to Israel’s most complex challenges. The JDC has become essential to the survival of millions of people and to the advancement of Jewish life across the globe. Founded during World War I to help Jews suffering in Ottoman Palestine, the JDC became the first Jewish organization in the United States to give large-scale funding for international relief.

Keshet

Keshet

Imagine a world in which all LGBTQ Jews and their families can live with full equality, justice, and dignity. That is Keshet’s goal. By strengthening Jewish communities and equipping Jewish organizations with the skills and knowledge needed to make all LGBTQ Jews feel welcome, Keshet works to ensure full equality and participation for the LGBTQ Jewish community. Founded in 1996 in Greater Boston, Keshet has become a national organization with offices in the Bay Area and New York, in addition to their Boston headquarters. Their works takes them into synagogues, Hebrew and day schools, youth groups, summer camps, social-service organizations, and other communal agencies. They train Jewish educators to prevent anti-LGBTQ bullying, celebrate, LGBTQ Jewish identity, and mobilize Jewish communities to protect marriage equality and transgender rights.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Located among the national monuments on the National Mall, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is an essential stalwart in the struggle against forgetting — and repeating — history. The USHMM teaches millions of people each year about the dangers of unchecked hatred and the need to prevent genocide. There is an alarming rise in Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism these days, and as such it has never been more crucial to support the institutions that work to fight the forces of hate in the world.

YIVO

YIVO

YIVO is so many incredible things at once: a research institute, an institution of higher learning, an adult education organization, a cultural center, and a world-renowned library and archive. YIVO preserves, studies, shares, and perpetuates knowledge of the history and culture of East European Jewry worldwide. Indeed, it is the only prewar Jewish archives and library to have survived the Holocaust—and as such, it needs help making sure their invaluable documents and materials are preserved for centuries to come.

Eleven Hispanic and Latino Nonprofits Doing Exceptional Work

Posted on 09/15/2020 @ 08:49 AM

Latino Orgs Header

National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15—October 15, is the celebration and recognition of the impact that Hispanic and Latino Americans have made on American culture and history. Hispanic and Latino Americans make up the backbone of so much American success—and do so with routinely marginal access to the same resources. To honor the Hispanic and Latino American struggle for equality, and to support those who provide support for our Latino sisters and brothers, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best Hispanic and Latino nonprofits working today.

American Latino Museum

The American Latino Museum

The American Latino Museum is a hypothetical institution—but not for long. This organization has been striving for years to build a museum in Washington D.C. that will educate, inspire, and sow respect and understanding of the richness and diversity of the American Latino experience. The museum, which just this year saw the passing of a bill in the House to establish the ALM within the Smithsonian, will fill a sore absence in museum culture.

Hispanic Federation

Hispanic Federation

A U.S.-based non-governmental organization focusing on supporting Hispanic communities through local, state, and national advocacy, the Hispanic Federation has been active since 1990. Their objective is to empower and advance the Hispanic community through service pillars, membership services, advocacy, and community programs. HF’s work in education, health, immigration, economic empowerment, civic engagement, environment, and organizational development is nationally renowned. The goal: to strengthen Latino institutions so that they may ultimately increase the quality of life within Hispanic communities.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

By empowering Latino families with the knowledge and resources needed to successfully complete higher education, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund seeks to sow the seeds of future success. The HSF provides scholarships and support services to as many exceptional Hispanic American students as possible; they help students excel in their course work, matriculate, enter the professional field, and lead and mentor the generations to come.

Latino Justice

Latino Justice

LatinoJustice PRLDEF uses and challenges the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable, and accessible justice for all Latin Americans. By empowering the Latino community through the fostering of leadership, advocacy, and education, LatinoJustice PRLDEF aims to change discriminatory practices nationwide. Proud members of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, they are private funded, nonprofit, and nonpartisan.

LULAC

League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

The League of United Latin American Citizens is the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States, having been established in 1929 in Corpus Christi. Since then, LULAC has sought to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health, and civil rights of Hispanic United States citizens. Boasting approximately 132,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC is a powerhouse of change.

NAHL

National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ)

Dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists has created a national voice and unified vision for Hispanic journalists. Their tenets include providing support for Hispanic journalists, encouraging and studying the journalistic practices, promoting the fair treatment of Hispanics in the media, furthering employment opportunities, and fostering a greater understanding of the unique cultural identity, interests, and concerns of Hispanic journalists.

NHCSL

The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators

The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators strives to organize the Hispanic state legislators who advocate on behalf of Hispanic communities across the United States. The NHCSL acts as a catalyst for joint action on issues of common concern to the Hispanic citizens of the U.S., such as housing, immigration, education, and healthcare. There is no segment of life in the U.S. that the NHCSL doesn't have a hand in; tireless advocators for equality, the NHCSL is a vital part of the ongoing quest for fairness for the Hispanic community.

NALEO

NALEO Educational Fund

The NALEO Educational Fund seeks to facilitate Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service. Since 1981, NALEO has plied their skills to increase the effectiveness of Latino policymakers, to mobilize the Latino community to engage in civic life, and to promote policies that advance Latino political engagement.

RAICES

The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)

RAICES is a nonprofit agency promoting justice through free and low-cost legal services delivered to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees. Their focus is broad—but their impact is meaningful. RAICES aims to change the narrative around immigration in America. They offer legal services, social programs, bond assistance, and employ an effective advocacy strategy.

United We Dream

United We Dream

United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led community in the country. If that’s not enough, UWD seeks to empower people into developing leadership and organization skills to help them fight injustice at the local, state, and federal levels. Helping undocumented immigrants in the U.S. is there lifeblood.

UnidosUS

UnidosUS

Since 1968, UnidosUS has served the Hispanic community through research, policy analysis, and state and national advocacy efforts. By partnering with a national network of nearly 300 affiliate organizations to serve millions of Latinos, UnidosUS is able to enact a program of real change. Civic engagement, civil rights and immigration, education, workforce and the economy, health, housing—just a handful of the neighborhoods where UnidosUS works their magic.

Voto Latino

Voto Latino

Voto Latino is a civic media organization whose work focuses on serving and empowering the Latino community. Their work consists of three parts: civic engagement, issue advocacy, and leadership development. They function through digital campaigning, pop culture, and grassroots actions. VL’s culturally relevant programs educate and empower—inspiring Latinos to be agents of change in America.

Plus Three Rings in the Holidays with Jewish Miami

Posted on 08/24/2020 @ 05:49 AM

Jewish Miami High Holidays

With the Jewish High Holy Days quickly approaching, one of clients — Jewish Miami — asked us to create a microsite to feature their holiday programming. Entitled “40 Days & 40 Nights,” Jewish Miami’s five-and-a-half-week program features classes and workshops sponsored and presented by over a dozen different community partners. The High Holy Days are a time of both deep introspection and powerful community gatherings—with or without a global pandemic.

But in order to design the perfect site, we needed to understand their needs. After meeting with Bonnie Reiter-Lehrer, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, and Liat Stilman, Digital Solutions Manager, we put together a composite image of the potential site. After a few back-and-forths of feedback, we got to work.

Since “40 Days” would incorporate the virtual programming of so many different organizations in the Greater Miami area, Jewish Miami needed a microsite that could cleanly and logically organize the numerous offerings, serving as a kind of travel hub connecting the user to their destination.

With that in mind, it made the most sense to feature the community calendar prominently on the “40 Days” microsite. After a stunning hero image featuring gorgeous thematic iconography, and a modest section of descriptive copy — written text — we placed the calendar front and center. The events are the main event, so to speak.

Our hope with the “40 Days” microsite was that it would function not only as a community resource where a user could find pertinent information quickly, but also as an inspirational destination in itself; as you scroll through the page, the colors, images, texts, and icons should come together to create a unified aesthetic—resonant, comfortable, and unique.

Plus Three Produces LULAC Virtual Summit

Posted on 08/17/2020 @ 07:29 AM

LULAC Virtual Summit

Plus Three and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) joined forces to present LULAC’s first large multiday virtual event during the COVID-19 crisis. “All for One, One for All: United in Action to Transform America” ran from August 13-15, 2020 and drew the largest continuous online audience in LULAC’s history. Spread over nearly 30 hours of programming from over 80 content experts, speakers, and elected officials, the Virtual Summit brought together hundreds of thousands of people from across the country interested in hearing directly from business, government, and civic-sector leaders about issues important to the wellbeing, safety, and security of the Latino community.

Latinos are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with the highest infection and morbidity rates; they are also suffering from devastatingly high unemployment numbers and inadequate unemployment compensation. Latino small businesses failed to receive sufficient PPP funding, and many are struggling to stay in business. As a result, Latino net worth has seen all of the gains over the last decade of prosperity wiped out in a matter of months. It could take a decade or more for Latinos to regain their financial standing in society as a result of the dual impact of COVID-19 and economic depression.

LULAC Virtual Summit

LULAC Virtual Summit website created by Plus Three.

Since its inception 18 years ago, Plus Three has invested widely in the development of the Latin American community, making their involvement in the LULAC Virtual Summit a perfect fit. And at a time when that very community is so thoroughly jeopardized, it was more important than ever that we have a secure, reliable, and efficient platform through which people from the world over could come together to learn, discuss, and strategize.

We are seeing our youngest and most vulnerable Latino community members fall further into risk. Latino parents face major uncertainty about sending their kids back to school. The accessibility gap is greater than ever, with most low-income households lacking adequate Internet connectivity and technology equipment for distance learning.

Latino essential workers have also been losing their lives at a staggering rate. LULAC has been on the frontlines fighting for Latino essential workers in the meat processing industry to guarantee that appropriate steps are being taken to ensure social distancing, PPE, and testing. Many essential workers are undocumented immigrants living in mixed-status households. Many lack health insurance or are afraid to seek medical care because they are at risk of being deported.

LULAC Virtual Summit

In addition to production duties, Plus Three facilitated fundraising, social media, and direct email marketing campaigns, and designed a website specifically catered to LULAC’s needs. The website was built from the ground up—no templates were used in development, assuring total flexibility in design and implementation. In addition, the summit included a virtual job fair, allowing for the inclusion of 60 rooms of online employers.

Plus Three was proud to partner with LULAC in this worthy and necessary endeavor. They have long admired LULAC’s commitment to advancing the station of Latin Americans in the United States and Puerto Rico—and as a majority Latino-owned company itself, it was thrilled to be involved on the ground floor of real change for the Latin American community.

To see an encore presentation of the 2020 LULAC Virtual Summit, click here.

Living at the Intersection of Technology and Advocacy

Posted on 08/07/2020 @ 02:46 PM

Living at the Intersection

The “constituent” is a slippery entity. With every passing year, technological advancement, and social medium, and a constantly shifting zeitgeist—it gets harder and harder to get in touch with your constituents, or even find them. Their attention is diffuse. The economy has crippled younger generations, who are laden with debt, fighting eviction, and who lack the time or energy to devote to advocacy, to fighting for the things they believe in. That’s why it is more important than ever that advocacy come to them; that the organizations that seek to empower their constituents help them take the first step. The best — and perhaps only — way to do this is through technology. Bring the action to the constituent.

So how does this happen? Most nonprofits exist in a constant state of fundraising. They need an approach to engagement that spans a wide array of tactics. They need to bombard their constituents and potential constituents with emails, texts, social media posts. They need to toe the balance between too much and not enough. If you oversaturate an inbox, you may lose that user; if you don’t communicate enough, you’ll never be thought of at all. And once a user has participated, they need use analytics to better understand constituents. What pages on your website are your users being driven to? What is grabbing their attention? What percentage of them are making contributions—and what can you learn about that percentage? Are your emails being read? Are they being opened at all?

The question becomes: how does a nonprofit use technology to increase participation? In addition to a multipronged strategy that uses email, text, phone, video, and social media as communication tools, a nonprofit organization needs to be transparent. Right now there is a reckoning with long-held power structures all across America. Multinational corporations are being urged to look inward, to examine the racial, gender, and economic imbalances in their ladders, and to make changes. Corporations are slowly electing more Black, indigenous, and other people of color to their boards of directors, allowing for a wider array of representative voices. This matters for nonprofit organizations just as much as it does for corporate America. It matters to your constituents. They want to know how you are using their donations; they want to feel included in the decision-making process. You need a website tailormade for nonprofits—clear, clever, and beautiful.

Plus Three lives at the intersection of technology and advocacy. We help nonprofits toreach as many people as possible; we take technological constraint out of the picture. We work only with nonprofit organizations whose goals are aimed at making a better world through activism, volunteering, and economic relief.

Technology should never impede your plans — instead, it should show you the way.

A Guide for Producing a Successful Virtual Summit

Posted on 07/28/2020 @ 11:45 AM

Guide for producing a successful summit

The past months have brought about a global transformation of event planning practicesthe likes of which we’ve never seen. Chiefly among them has been transitioning from holding in-person events to producing virtual events. This hasn’t been an easy change: there are many issues to consider when producing a virtual summit. The need for reliable, high-quality virtual event production is only increasing. And while we’ll miss the nametags and catered dinners, we’re excited by the enormous potential of online event production. Hosting virtual events means attendance will soar, speakers and guests won’t be limited by geography, and engagement can be more interactive.

There are a number of factors to consider when preparing to host a virtual summit. First and foremost: why do you want to have one? Will you use the virtual summit to drum up support for a cause? Do you want to convert viewers into members of your organization? Do you want viewers to sign a petition, contact their local congresspeople, or donate money?

In other words: make sure your virtual summit has a call-to-action.

Once you have your call-to-action in place, it’s time to prepare for the big event. Here’s a guide:

  • Pick the best date and time. Be conscious of workhours and weekends. Don’t compete with holidays and national events that would steal would-be attendees.
  • Decide whether the summit will be live, recorded, or both. Live events are compelling but come with difficulties of their own. Having the option to submit a prerecorded segment increases the chances that a high-profile guest can participate. A combination covers all bases.
  • Agree on the format. Virtual summits come in all shapes and sizes. Summits can have hosts who engage your speakers in short interviews; others request that the speakers have their own presentations.
  • Choose where you want the summit to be watched. Will you have your own website, or will you embed the video on your organization’s Facebook or Instagram page? Having your own website will make it easier to drive attendees to action—your own design will make your event more appealing and your argument more compelling.
  • Create your promotion strategy. Build a social media toolkit with marketing copy for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Work with a graphic designer to make eye-popping images that are easy to spread. Write a press release, write invitations, write ads. 
  • Engage your viewers. Do you want a Q&A for your speakers? Have your host ask questions on behalf of the “audience.” 
  • Rehearse! We can’t stress this enough. There is a good chance that something will go wrong during the virtual summit. Rehearsals will cut that chance in half. Make sure your speakers know what is expected of them. Make sure their light, audio, and visual equipment are up to the task. Make sure they know the order of events.
  • Set up metric tracking and record the event. Once the virtual summit is over, you’ll want to see how you did. Make sure you have analytics tracking in place to give you a sense of what went right—and wrong. How many viewers did you get? How many email addresses? Keep the video up on your website or upload it to YouTube—keep spreading the word.
  • Send out a follow-up. Just because the virtual summit is over doesn’t mean the work is, too. Send out follow-up emails to your viewers. Encourage them to stay involved, to be proactive, to engage.

You are well on your way to producing a successful virtual summit. At Plus Three, we happen to have some expertise in this realm. For some inspiration, check out the work we did for the Unity Rally Against Racism. And as always, let us know if we can help.

Plus Three Works with Hispanic Veterans Leadership Alliance

Posted on 07/24/2020 @ 02:49 PM

Hispanic Veterans Leadership Alliance

When the Hispanic Veterans Leadership Alliance (HVLA) approached us to build them a better website—to help them amplify their voices and create real change in America—we knew it was a worthy endeavor. The HVLA, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization consisting of leaders both military and civilian, is committed to changing the egregious discrepancy between the color of the faces in the military and the color of the faces of their superiors. They needed a website that could clearly communicate the problem: that there is lack of Hispanic representation among the senior ranks of the Department of Defense.

The new HVLA website needed a beautiful and intuitive design that would foreground the statistical narrative of Hispanic representation in the military. The argument is in the numbers: only 1% of all General and Admiral ranks are Hispanic; only 3.3% of Senior Executive Service Civilians are Hispanic; and only 8% of all military officers are Hispanic. This is especially unacceptable given that Hispanics constitute 18% of the U.S. population, and 7% of all current military members.

In addition to painting a picture with numbers, HVLA needed a way to engage potential members and advocates. They had devised a campaign strategy consisting of four parts: congressional outreach, national Latino organization engagement, media engagement, and Department of Defense engagement. As we know, the appearance of an organization’s website is crucial in establishing credibility. For HVLA’s campaign to take off, they needed a website that was professional, easy to navigate, and interactive. We made sure they had a design reflective of the gravity of their mission.

Plus Three’s approach to website building is a listen-first, act-second approach. We sat down (virtually) with Colonel Edward Cabrera of the U.S. Air Force (Retired), one of HVLA’s seven distinguished leaders, to discuss a path forward for the website. Colonel Cabrera told us what he envisioned for HVLA. We took notes, and then we went to work. Before long, we presented Colonel Cabrera with a composite image—a mockup—of our proposed website design. He gave us feedback and the process was repeated until HVLA was satisfied with our design.

Our work with HVLA is far from done. Once Plus Three has built a website for a client, we are available for all ongoing needs and requests. We’re not just a pretty face: our reliable online platform can host virtual town halls and rallies, engage millions of potential clients through marketing, and raise millions of dollars in funds—or more. We can help nonprofits strategize, too. We were thrilled for the opportunity to work with HVLA and are emboldened by their mission: to have our military leaders mirror the many faces of America.

How We Did It: Unity Rally Against Racism

Posted on 07/21/2020 @ 10:22 AM

Plus Three teamed up with the NAACP, the League of United American Citizens (LULAC), and the Urban League of Houston to host the Virtual Unity Rally Against Racism on Thursday July 2, 2020, the anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The virtual rally brought together people from across our nation to revisit this profound and ever-relevant piece of legislation, and to learn from our leaders how we can strengthen the Civil Rights Act, updating it for the unique challenges that face us today. By the end of the night, over 50,000 viewers had tuned in.

Featuring 22 speakers, including honorary chairs LULAC National President Domingo Garcia, NFL Hall of Fame Inductee Emmitt J. Smith, and Texas State Senator the Honorary Royce West, the Virtual Unity Rally Against Racism was an extraordinary gathering of some of the brightest and most passionate minds currently working for justice. These distinguished guests engaged eligible and registered voters while reminding them that actionable steps are required to make real progress. And the impact statements and soaring testimonies delivered by our religious leaders filled us with hope for a fairer tomorrow.

Our nation is crying out for change, turning desperately to our leadership for help and guidance. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others have brought into stark contrast the need for immediate reform throughout all strata of society. We hope that rallies like this provide foundations for tangible change.

At this pivotal juncture in American history, when we are all confined to our homes, it is critical that we have access to reliable virtual platforms to discuss and streamline our efforts in the fight against racism. Plus Three was honored to produce this virtual event and thrilled at its success. We are proud that our platform can be used to make the world a better and more accepting place.