What Constitutes Good Fundraising

Last week was the Inaugural Conference hosted by The Center for the Study of Philanthropy in Israel at Hebrew University. Dr. Leslie Lenkowsky, Director of Graduate Programs at The Center on Philanthropy (Indiana University) spoke eloquently to the (mostly) academic attendees, focusing largely on who gives, why they give and how they give. You can read about it here and here.

In today’s Jerusalem Post is a follow-up interview, “The Gain of Give and Take”, between Professor Lenkowsky and Ruthie Blum. In response to her question, what constitutes good fundraising, Professor Lenkowsky replies:

“A good fundraiser understands that his or her job is not only raising money for his own organization, but enhancing the culture of philanthropy in a community – really being an intermediary between a donor and an organization. Fundraisers ought not to think of their work as “drawing blood from a stone.”

They need to learn that a lot of people don’t realize the satisfaction they will get from giving their money to a worthy cause. The job of a good fundraiser is really to explain to a potential donor why he should give his money to a particular cause, not only because it’s good for the cause, but because it’s good for him. This is what I used to call the “mitzva theory,” because to the extent you succeed at this, you are doing a great mitzva for the donor.”

read the complete interview here

learn more about the Center for the Study of Philanthropy in Israel in our post,

Ideas Are Scarcer Than Money