It started during the Covid lockdown, when a technical issue came up with my Artscroll App.
I reached out to Artscroll’s tech support and got help from staff member Eli, who answered my question in a clear, personal way.
Afterwards, I sent him this note:
This was his response. As you read, remember that it was written during the height of Covid, with so much economic uncertainty plaguing the world.
Eli was clearly a passionate believer in the Artscroll vision. Enthusiastic about their work, and personally concerned with furthering their mission.
First, he reinforced my feelings about how wonderful their product was. Then, sharing Artscroll’s current reality and future vision, he made their need clear.
Next, he went even further and made a solicitation.
He was good - no apologetics. Just a clear definition of the problem and vision, and a smooth inquiry about whether I or anyone I knew could be part of the solution.
Of course, sponsoring this series was far beyond my personal giving level. Since that was the reality, was Eli’s solicitation out of place?
Absolutely not. Because as far as Eli knew, I was in the perfect position to become a donor. And if not me, then someone I knew. Everyone is a potential donor. Knowing this, Eli grabbed the opportunity to ask.
If my reality had been different - if I’d indeed had the means to tell him yes - there’s a good chance I would have taken his request to the next stage. And Artscroll would have landed a plum new sponsor.
Why? Because one employee, completely unrelated to the fundraising department, felt passionate enough, responsible enough, for his bosses’ work to take such initiative.
Imagine if your employees, board members, and volunteers took initiative like Eli!
We’d all like to build a following for our organizations. An audience of people passionate about our cause and dedicated enough to do something about it.
In today’s social media-driven generation - yes, even within the frum world - building a loyal following takes more effort than you alone can provide.
So who can you recruit to help you? Your staff, of course.
Good leaders empower loyal followers. Day in and day out, your staff are connecting with people outside your organization’s radar. If they feel the right mix of dedication and responsibility to your cause, they could easily bring in dream donors you yourself never could have reached.
Artscroll eventually got their sponsor for their Hebrew mishnayos app. Not sure if it was Eli who snagged the donation, or another dedicated Artscroll ambassador.
But one thing is certain: Eli had a real chelek in making it happen.
Invest in your team, staff and board members. Your efforts could repay you many, many-fold.
Have a great fundraising week,
© Avraham Lewis & Co.