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Basic Fundraising Tips

General Fundraising

  • Fundraising should be “soul raising.” It should teach people about Reconstructionism and make people more knowledgeable Jewishly, as well as raise money.
  • Make small givers feel as comfortable as big givers. 
  • Focus congregation’s vision on the case statement of what you want to do, what is important and why it’s important. 
  • Avoid the need for financial crisis management by having fundraisers in the earliest part of your fiscal year. 
  • Solicit donations in pairs; call it a dialogue, not a solicitation. 
  • Solicit in person, not on the phone; don’t leave your meeting with a “no” or a closed door; always leave the possibility of another meeting. 
  • Don’t argue with people – find out what’s bothering them. 
  • Be yourself. 
  • Listen. If there are objections, hear them. 
  • Go in with an amount in mind, and be quiet after you ask for it.

Continuing Support

  • Set a goal in terms of needs. 
  • Use multi-faceted fundraising approaches in case one or more does not work. 
  • Approach the local Federation as a source for community grants and technical assistance for grant writing. 
  • Recognize givers with a thank you note; those who give time and money should receive public recognition. 
  • Ask everybody to give; everyone should stretch to make the gift.

The Capital Campaign

  • Can be for a building, for a major project, for refurbishing, for a rabbi. 
  • Requirements: 
    • A case statement
    • Rabbi and president working together
    • Building consensus within the congregation
    • Basing the campaign on reason-based values
    • Must be a part of the long range plan

The Feasibility Study

  • Bring in an outside consultant. 
  • A study helps to identify weaknesses and strengths.

Giving to the Movement

  • Call for help from movement or organizational experts. 
  • Use available movement resources, including:
    • Jewish Values, Money and Your Community: A Curriculum for Congregations and the Torah of Money Workbook
    • Use students as resources; encourage your rabbi to talk about the movement.
    • Educate about the importance of giving to the movement.

The Reconstructionist Network