The Art of Fundraising and Event Planning

In anticipation of their upcoming course, PCS spoke to attendees of past fundraising courses.

Q) Do you feel there is a need for more fundraisers? How great of a need is there? 

Boruch Ber Berman: There’s no question that there is a tremendous need for fundraisers. I am part of a network of over 300 executive directors and administrators. There are constantly request from mosdos that are looking to hire fundraisers. People think that fundraising is harder than it really is; therefore, there are very few takers for available jobs. In reality, fundraising is very doable. There are many available jobs that will provide enormous satisfaction.

Elizer Stern:  Talented individuals need to be encouraged to go into the field of fundraising and administration of chinuch and klal work.

Q) For whom would you recommend fundraising?

Boruch Ber Berman: You need people skills and organizational skills to be a good fundraiser. People that have been previously involved in organizations and shuls have a head start. For anyone looking to go into fundraising, this course is an obvious choice

Elizer Stern:  There are many talented young men that can pursue successful careers in fundraising if they are prepared to commit to the mission and believe in their ability to succeed. Entering this field can allow one to provide for his family’s needs in klal work.

Fundraisers are becoming more professional and organizations are beginning to invest in retaining talented fundraisers.

Q) Tell us about your current position. How has the PCS fundraising course helped you?

Boruch Ber Berman: I am the Director of Development at Relief Resources. I am tasked with fundraising, event planning and general PR for Relief. Relief’s mission is to facilitate access to the most appropriate mental health professionals, to educate the community regarding mental health issues, and to reduce the stigma associated with mental health disorders.

Being able to learn from successful fundraisers gave me a boost of confidence. It pushed me to believe that I can do much more than I had previously believed. Additionally, I acquired new ideas and techniques which have really helped me. I learned how to set up my daily schedule to insure maximum efficiency and success. One of the presenters shared the “art of closing a deal” with us which I use at every one of my meetings. It has served as a very valuable tool. The course introduced me to other fundraisers and helped me build connections and develop valuable leads.

Eliezer Stern: As the CEO of Yeshiva of Spring Valley, I am responsible for administrative oversight, fundraising and ensuring financial viability of our schools, servicing 1,800 students, bli ayin harah.

The PCS course afforded me the opportunity to hear from different personalities and successful fundraisers. The networking opportunities and the relationships formed with the professionals have been valuable to me.

Q) Please tell us about the satisfaction of this job. 

Boruch Ber Berman: Relief deals with over 250 phone calls a day. I am able to see firsthand how we are able to stabilize people’s lives by guiding them to the proper help and holding their hands throughout the recovery process.

As a fundraiser, I feel a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that I am a part of an organization that has helped over 9,600 people in Lakewood alone. When I sit down and meet with people, I know I am representing a valuable organization. This makes it much easier to get people to partner with us.

Eliezer Stern: I appreciate the opportunity of being in a position where I can make a difference.

As the world continues to get more sophisticated, Donors expect organizations and their Development Officers to be more professional and capable. Lay Leaders are responding to this reality and are investing in hiring more capable fundraisers and are expecting more from their fundraisers. The Organization’s leadership is in turn prepared to do what it takes to retain the caliber fundraiser most beneficial to their organizations.

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