Shavua tov - A gut voch.
This week, we're going to learn Princeton University’s formula for success, which you can use to nurture your alumni to become lifelong donors.
“Princeton is the best fundraising university in the world. How do we know? Because Princeton gets gifts to their annual fund from 63% of their alumni! The average in the USA is 13%.”
Fundraising Guru, Tom Ahern, asked them at Princeton, “What’s your magic? What are you guys doing?” They said, “We start right at the beginning. Every freshman, every incoming class is introduced to an idea that they invented in the 1930’s. They call it the ‘Given University”
“They tell their freshman, look around, 60% of the freshman in this room are here thanks to scholarships given by people who are mostly alums, who were philanthropic.
Look around this beautiful campus, these amazing facilities, it’s all philanthropy. The teachers you're going to encounter, the best of the best, it’s all philanthropy”
How can we with our mosdos Torah apply the Princeton magic in our fundraising?
Firstly, We should look to share this idea with our students at each and every significant milestone.
There may be some resistance amongst some of the readers to do this. The fear of mixing in fundraising too early on in your student relationships.
So let's clarify what we are trying to do here,
Asking for funds can happen as you decide. What we are sharing here is the mindset of sharing with your students early on, that all they're experiencing or receiving is because of philanthropy.And often through people who came before them and want to give back.
If you're bringing in a new class into your yeshiva, or you're a kiruv organization running an Israel trip, or when learning with young professionals or on campus doing events with students, or giving a class in your center,
You can say at a significant moment something like...
‘It’s only through the generosity of the participants who came before you, who were inspired by what we do and cared enough to ‘pay it forward’ that you guys could be here today’
‘It’s only through the generosity philanthropists who value Jewish education, who were inspired by what we do and cared enough to invest in us, that you guys could be here today’
The key to mention that ‘you’ the participants are here ‘because’ of the generosity of others ‘like you’ who value so much what they gained and want others to benefit like they did.
And you should repeat it at each milestone in your students relationship with you and your organization.
When you want to use this idea to ask for a donation, in a one on one solicitation, you could say,
e.g ‘Because of the generosity of those who came on this trip in the past/or who saw the value of investing in amazing people such as yourself, made it possible for you to be a part of this trip.
Would you consider paying it forward and sponsoring a student to come on this winter's trip who would otherwise not have been able to come?’
When and how will you share this idea with your students or participants?
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