Case Study 1: European Organization
Assessing the feasibility of US fundraising expansion
An arts organization headquartered in the D-A-CH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), wanted to increase its investment in the U.S. and ultimately raise more funds from U.S based donors.
What to do and where to start when am organization is located thousands of miles away?
From the beginning, it was a strong partnership with the client that led the way. In the center of my work was an evaluation of the feasibility of the organization's planned U.S. expansion.
The assessment began with an evaluation of the US fundraising efforts to-date. I and my colleagues then developed a written Case for Support and messaging for the US market which they used as the basis for in-person and phone interviews with US board members, past and current major donors, as well as major gifts prospects.
The engagement resulted in a comprehensive report of findings and ten concrete action steps for the first year to boost the organization’s US fundraising program and create a sustainable US presence.
Case Study 2: Startup NY-based Holocaust Museum
Defining an institutional giving strategy and roadmap
I was invited by the CEO of a new Holocaust Museum in New York City to develop a strategy for raising funds from foundations.
In the center was the big question: "Which funder would be interested in investing in the museum? Which foundations are uniquely positioned to become founding partners?"
The scope of work focused on identifying a list of top institutional prospects and family foundations:
I applied a prospect research methodology that involved separating funders into two groups: those with a track record of investing in similar areas, and those whose past giving suggested compatibility with the mission of the new museum.
I developed a set of specific and creative criteria to unearth and match institutional funders aligned with the museum's mission.
Over the course of the research project, I was able to identify a diverse list of qualified institutional funders ranging from professional foundations to family foundations.
I advised the museum's leadership on a targeted strategy to engage and cultivate different segments of funders in different ways appropriate to those funders. And most importantly, I stressed and outlined opportunities for the museum to fully integrate fundraising from family foundations with the organization's critical major gifts efforts.
Case Study 3: Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF)
Maximizing impact for a funder in New York City by developing a new model
I had the privilege of working for a Jewish philanthropist who has written history with his flagship Jewish Engagement programs, PJ Library, JCAMP180 and Life & Legacy.
As a senior member of the advancement team, I maximized his foundation's multi-million-dollar investment and had the opportunity to engage funders and community partners.
The most rewarding aspect of my time on the grantmaking side was working with a cross-departmental team and taking on a lead role in planning and implementing a new business model for Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s lead philanthropic program, PJ Library, in New York City and on Long Island.
The bold goal was to double the reach of families engaged in the NYC PJ Library program to 40,000 and increase region-wide impact over several years. This required shifting from having a network of 100 organizations raise money for and manage the program to having HGF be completely responsible for financing and managing the largest program in North America while using partner organizations as service delivery sites.
Establishing all the systems and processes to accommodate this major strategic shift was a major undertaking. It included designing and leading the team’s communication strategy that kept 100 New York City organizations and 21,000 parents engaged and involved in the program through the transition to the new business model.
I am excited that the model I helped build, resulted in over 40,000 subscribers in 2020. The goal was met.
Case Study 4: Holocaust Museum & Study Center
Rebuilding donor and public confidence during the Great Recession
During the height of the recession in 2009, I was hired at the organization's Executive Director. Navigating through the recession was a major challenge as was rebranding the organization. I faced an additional challenge as the museum's public brand was impacted by my two predecessors’ short tenures.
As a fundraising professional and former Holocaust educator, I was uniquely positioned to turn the museum around.
I quickly recognized that in order to stabilize the museum’s fundraising efforts, investments were needed across the entire organization. The museum was not yet set up for the 21st century and lacked a sustainable fundraising model.
During my three years at the museum, I introduced professional fundraising and financial management systems, invested in donor cultivation and stewardship, initiated new fundraising and visibility campaigns, and developed new, relevant community programs.
Working collaboratively with board leadership and staff, I led the museum to significantly increase donor satisfaction, contributions, and impact on its community and profile in the region.
These major changes led Rockland Community College to invite the Museum to relocate to its campus as a permanent location.
Case Study 5: The Abraham Fund Initiative
Improving development outcomes by finding hidden assets
I joined the fundraising team at the American-Israeli organization "The Abraham Fund Initiative" (now "Abraham Initiative") to manage the annual national Coexistence fundraising gala in New York City. This quickly expanded into other development projects.
Working with the CEO/President and Director of Development, I leveraged the gala as a fundraising driver and donor engagement tool, as well as a critical awareness builder. It was THE opportunity for US donors to hear voices from Israel and a compelling keynote speaker. In producing the gala and examining current and past attendance, I quickly spotted other opportunities for The Abraham Fund to increase its revenue, especially in the major gift area.
I successfully introduced advanced prospect research methodologies to the organization to improve prospect identification and donor solicitations. This set up the Abraham Fund to better cultivate potential big donors.
To this day, prospect research is a passion of mine.
Case Study 6: International March of the Living
Exceeding goals with visibility, networking, and digital tools
I was hired as the Associate Director to help organize the first large-scale adult participation in the international mission to Poland and Israel in 2005, the 60th anniversary of Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Ha’Shoah). The goal was to have 18,000 adults and high school students attend the multi-day commemoration at Auschwitz.
Before 2005, most attendees were high school students and survivors, and the overall group was 10,000. My extensive experience in Holocaust education in Germany made it possible for me to reach and engage groups in the U.S. and Europe that had adult audiences who would be attracted to this special event. Using my PR background and experience overhauling websites, I spearheaded the launch of the “March of the Living 2005” website.
Working with senior leadership of MOTL and organizations in the U.S. (e.g. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC), Europe (e.g. ADL), Canada and Israel, and with the German Bundestag, I exceeded the goal, helping bring more than 20,000 participants to Auschwitz on Holocaust Remembrance Day.