How My Outlook on Fundraising has Changed

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I hate fundraising, I mean I really hate it.

Many years ago, I met with Anne Lowenburg about a donation for Camp. It was my first meeting of the fundraising campaign and I was absolutely terrified. I really like Anne and had already worked with her on a gift to Dream Street years earlier. Yet, even 15 years later I can still vividly remember the stress and anxiety I felt driving to her house that day.

Fast forward to present day, where I am proud to serve as the chairperson of the Jacobs Camp Committee. And do you know what a huge part of my job is as chair? Fundraising.

I have learned over time that, when asking for donations for camp, I’m not just asking our donors to give to an institution. Instead, I’m giving them the opportunity to invest in ideas, people and the future of our community. This is a real and tangible investment with a real and tangible return. We feel joy when we support OUR camp.

The culture of philanthropy within our camp community is so strong. This is not a surprise. We are proud of our camp because we built it, grew it and have sustained it for over 50 years as a community.

Embracing these ideas has changed my feelings about fundraising for HSJ significantly, and for the better. And this is a good thing, because as you all know, almost immediately after I stepped into this role, our camp’s fundraising needs changed drastically overnight!

I feel very fortunate to have a phenomenal camp leadership team and group of lay leaders that came together to plan and execute our emergency Sustainability Campaign.

And from this effort, I am so proud that the Jacobs Camp Community is celebrating some major fundraising milestones:

  • We have met and EXCEEDED our sustainability campaign fundraising goals!
  • We were one of the first camps in the country to max out our Harold Grinspoon Foundation All Together Now fundraising match
  • We had one of the highest percentages of camp families who donated and/or rolled over their tuition from this summer, as compared to all of the URJ camps.

This incredible success is the result of our professional staff’s tireless work and the incredible dedication and commitment of YOU, our community. So, THANK YOU again!

I would also like to share that my favorite part of this fundraising process has been the chance to reach out to our community and say thank you. I am grateful for the many opportunities I have to reach out to so many members of our camp family to say thank you for your support.

I look forward to celebrating many more milestones and successes with you over the coming years.

There is so much work to be done to support Jacobs! If you would like to join me in these efforts, please send me an email at garylazHSJ@gmail.com and ask how you can get involved!