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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

Serving as central organization of the Reconstructionist movement

Training the next generation of groundbreaking rabbis

Modeling respectful conversations on pressing Jewish issues

Curating original, Jewish rituals, and convening Jewish creatives

The Reconstructionist Network