2016 Mitzvah Project Predictions

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As every industry comes up with their own predictions for the new year, The Mitzvah Bowl has the inability to predict what kids will choose as their upcoming mitzvah projects.  We cannot look into a crystal ball or the future to see what each individual child may decide as a bar/bat mitzvah project.

However,  what we can do is give you a sense of trends we observe throughout the year.

Here is our prediction list for 2016:

  1. Custom Bar/Bat Mitzvah Programs Created By Organizations.
    Non-profits have more of a handle on their youth volunteers and are beginning to communicate with us about specific programs aimed at 11-14 year old teens.  (i.e. Pitch In For Baseball, Boys Town Jerusalem and The Friendship Circle) They know what works, what their privacy and safety issues may be and are adjusting bar/bat mitzvah projects to become more hands-on and specific.  If an organization does not have a program for this age group, it’s a good idea to ask them to customize a project.  The goal here is to help these organizations in any way possible, especially if your child has a passion for their cause!
  2. Crowdfunding and Fundraising Web Pages.
    As important as hands-on projects are to teaching our children the true meaning of volunteerism and tikkun olam, most organizations need funds!  Fundraising may be a secondary aspect of your child’s community service project.  There are non-profits who offer their own, customized web pages for you to create and share with family and friends (i.e. Jewish National Fund  and Mazon have custom pages a bar/bat mitzvah student may create) Additionally, companies such as Jewcer and DepositAGift  provide a page for your fundraising efforts with support from their own fundraising consultants.
  3. Youth Created Organizations
    How many of you know of or read about a teenager who started a non-profit or organization as a bar/bat mitzvah project?  This is a niche that is growing day-by-day.  A bar/bat mitzvah student wants to create their own mitzvah project, starts their cause and continues to keep the cause going well beyond their bar/bat mitzvah.  Some examples include Second Chance Toys started by Sascha Lipton, VolunteenNation, created by Simone Bernstein at the age of 12,  and Katie’s Krops, another teen-based initiative.
    When a teen is inspired to start their own initiative, and they make it happen, a powerful lesson in entrepreneurship takes place!

What other predictions do you and your teen have for mitzvah projects this upcoming year?

Cheryl Friedenberg
President, The Mitzvah Bowl LLC