Funding a Yom HaShoah Yellow Candle Program

Initial Funding
There are a number of ways to underwrite the initial costs of the program:

Sponsors:

This is the “classic” and best way to fund a Yellow Candle program. There are usually members in an organization interested in Holocaust memorial activities who can finance the project.  Each sponsor buys a case of Candles in honor or memory of someone. Sponsors may be Holocaust survivors, their children or others active in promoting Holocaust remembrance. Remember to recognize and thank your sponsors for their contributions (unless they wish to remain anonymous).

Holocaust Group:

If a synagogue has a committee that organizes Holocaust memorial events, the committee may help with funding. Work with them in their budgeting process well before the Candle program year.

Organization:

An organization with a sufficient treasury can underwrite the program itself. In virtually all cases, an organization can replenish its treasury (or more) on the basis of the Candle program.

 

Seeking Donations
Most organizations that implement the Shoah Yellow Candle Program offer members the opportunity to make a donation upon receipt of the candle. This is consistent with the Jewish tradition of giving tzedakah in memory of a departed person at the time of the yahrzeit (the anniversary of the individual’s death).

By asking for a donation of only $18 per candle (the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew word chai, or “life”), an organization requires a return of only 16% in order to cover the initial costs of purchasing and distributing Yellow Candles! All monies raised above that level of return result in a “net profit” to the organization which can be used to fund its Holocaust programs and related activities. The general return per case of Candles is $50 - $100, although some organizations do much better.

Visit http://www.yellowcandles.org, the web site of the Shoah Yellow Candle Program, to find proven exciting programming ideas and guides. By establishing and conducting one or more of these programs or other programs to commemorate the Holocaust and to memorialize its victims, the organization will generate enthusiasm for the Yellow Candle and a higher rate of return of contributions.

 

Hint: An organization can also recover the costs of Yellow Candles and raise additional funds for Holocaust programs by using the FJMC direct mail option. It is “derech eretz” to send Yellow Candles to every member of the organization.