Fundraisers on Commission: Get What You Pay For

commission fundraising

By Gila Weinberg The classic nonprofit fundraising catch-22: you need a professional fundraiser to bring in support for your important work, but you don’t have the funds to offer a competitive salary for said fundraiser; after all, you don’t even have money for your core projects - how can you justify a full time senior salary? One seemingly elegant solution to this conundrum is the fundraising on commission model.  Simply put, the fundraiser is expected to raise his or her own salary. The logic behind this approach runs as follows: since this person promises to bring in X amount of support annually, s/he can deduct a percentage or a monthly salary from whatever comes in.  The nonprofit does not take any financial risk, and both sides stand to gain from the relationship, right? Not … [Read more...]

Foundation Life: Beyond Money and Grantmaking

By Jeff Solomon Foundations have a great deal more potential for impact, influence, and leverage than simply their grantmaking. As we at the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies rapidly approach our sunset date, we have been reflecting on those many examples of achieving our foundation’s objectives that go well beyond the grant. Among the broad areas of impact are: Field building; Leveraging individual board members’ time and talents to support objectives; Creating intellectual capital; Encouraging others through convening, teaching, and influencing; Building infrastructure for social entrepreneurs; Mentoring and encouraging professional staff to provide field leadership; Use of the corpus of the Foundation for program-related investments. A wonderful example of the … [Read more...]

Ronald Lauder joins with Mathew Bronfman in supporting Limmud FSU

Matthew Bronfman with Michal Grayevsky at Limmud FSU Moldova; photo courtesy Boris Bukhman.

Amongst the 400 participants who attended the Limmud FSU Conference this weekend (May 15-17) was Michal Graybvsky, president of JCS Inc and representative of philanthropist Ronald Lauder in his businesses. She was invited by Matthew Bronfman, Chair of the International Steering Committee of Limmud FSU, to experience the Moldova event and attend the “roots” trip to Mr. Bronfman's family's home town, Atacki, along with his daughter Sasha. The last time Bronfman and Lauder coordinated their work was under the World Jewish Congress banner several years ago. Recently, these two leaders decided to support each other and do everything they can to help and commit to the needs of young Russian Jews all over the world. Mr. Lauder understands how dire the situation is in Ukraine and its neighboring … [Read more...]

A Simple Idea for Catalytic Philanthropy in the 21st Century

Catalytic Philanthropy

By Shari L. Edelstein Historically, philanthropy is not considered in the context of business. Yes, there are business leaders who give and there are corporations with philanthropic activities. What is new and emerging is that corporations are going beyond ‘traditional’ corporate philanthropy as they integrate social objectives into their business strategy, not for public relations, but because expanding corporate citizenship is being deemed inherent to a company’s success. As this movement continues to gain momentum, there are increasing opportunities for philanthropy to facilitate and inform this process and support its growth. In a 2014 report issued by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, Executive Director Katherine V. Smith shared that “executives have issued a clear … [Read more...]

Israeli Nonprofits and Diaspora Funders and Donors: Is An Authentic Partnership Possible?


It is the rare Israel nonprofit that develops a model of partnership in which the donor participates in making the decisions that have an impact on the planning and implementation of the supported programs. By Stephen G. Donshik Jewish professionals and volunteer leaders have learned that people give to people and not organizations. This means that if a nonprofit wants to receive support for its organization and programs, there have to be a personal connection and relationship built between its professional and/or volunteer leaders and the people they seek to attract and cultivate to support the organization. One of the issues that plague the relationship between Israel nonprofits and their funders, donors, supporters, and contributors around the world is developing a real sense of … [Read more...]

Three Pillars of Personalized Philanthropy

[We are pleased to introduce the final article in the series written as a companion to the book by Steven L Meyers, Personalized Philanthropy: Crash the Fundraising Matrix and Make the Real Shift to Donor-Focused Giving. While that book was written primarily for gift officers and professional advisors, these articles are written to share with donors - hopefully to begin a new conversation about philanthropy with clients/donors who ardently wish to support their most treasured charities. The articles aim to introduce some of the basic concepts of Personalized Philanthropy, a powerful new and tested model for charitable planning which challenges conventional fundraising practices in bridging current and future giving so that donor impact and recognition may begin immediately and scale up over … [Read more...]

Helpful Insights From a Working Funder Collaborative


By Ellen Irie and Reuben Posner Recently, a group of 15 different organizations (15!) released a case study - Finding New Paths for Teen Engagement and Learning: A Funder Collaborative Leads the Way - detailing the two-years they’ve spent working together, learning about and investing in Jewish teen education and engagement initiatives. There are a litany of insights and interesting lessons to pull from the study, which we believe are beneficial to organizations well beyond the Jewish teen education and engagement arena (and even beyond the Jewish education arena). In fact, funders in all philanthropic sectors are increasingly pooling or coordinating funding for greater impact, or to address particularly challenging social and environmental problems. Because of this trend in collaborative … [Read more...]

Jewish Funders Network Releases “Handbook for Funder Collaborations”

The Jewish Funders Network (JFN) has released a new study focused on funder collaborations. The “Handbook for Funder Collaborations” is a compilation of research conducted by JFN that provides a comprehensive review of existing studies, articles, and in-depth interviews with 27 stakeholders in Israel. While the Handbook focuses on collaborations based in Israel, most examples include Israeli and American funders working together, and the lessons are relevant to any cross-cultural partnership. Funder collaborations are effective tools that multiply efforts, and build unique models to achieve common goals in order to maximize impact. The process of collaborating creates opportunities to move beyond the work of a single actor by bridging gaps, and bringing together different players who share the … [Read more...]