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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.

Related Resources

News and Blogs

Philosophy, Strategic Communications and Innovative Fundraising

In an essay for eJewishphilanthropy, RRC’s Josh Peskin, vice-president for strategic advancement, outlines the values that animate fundraising and drive human connections. 


Tzedakah and the Jewish Holidays: Giving for Social Change

For centuries, giving to tzedakah has been a traditional way to mark Jewish holidays. But all holidays are not created equal. In this resource, we offer connections between the theme of each holiday or season, and some possible giving opportunities that correspond with it. 


The Halakhic Basis for Community Financing of Jewish Life

A survey of Jewish tradition's treatment of the support of community institutions.


A Jewish Approach to Obligatory Giving

Overview of issues of fundraising, dues, and obligation in Jewish congregations.