Camp Case: Herzl Camp
By Holly Guncheon, Development Director
Change is hard. It's a truism that we all agree with. Five years ago, Herzl Camp had a big following of campers and alumni who passionately loved Herzl.
At the same time, we had big budget deficits, decrepit buildings, no scholarship help, and no donation income.
Today, we have rebuilt much of our camp, erased our deficits (and even have a small surplus each year), and we provide $100,000 in scholarship to 200 campers.
Because we asked our friends to donate, to invest, to take ownership for their part in Herzl Camp's future, our passionate and loyal following has grown and grown. They've become closer, more passionate and more committed. Here's a note we received last week from one alumni-turned-donor:
"It is my honor to donate... Thank you Herzl Camp for all you have done for me, for my success, and for my happiness as a person."
What changed? The better question is probably what hasn't changed! But we do know where it started.
It started with Harold Grinspoon. As most of you know, Harold's donations come with many strings attached and many hoops to jump through. And while our mentor, David Sharken, will tell you that I am the first to complain about those hoops and strings, I have no doubt that Harold's money AND his requirements are what changed Herzl Camp. Together, the matching donations and the requirements were the catalyst to our 180-degree turnaround - for us and for so many camps around the country. Harold truly taught Herzl Camp to fish.
Today, Herzl Camp is racing to the finish line - we've raised $7.1 million for capital and have committed to raise the final $900,000 by August. When we reach the goal and begin the final construction on our $8 million expansion and renovation, much of the credit will go to a man who has never set foot in Webster, Wisconsin. Harold Grinspoon set his mind on creating change throughout the Jewish community and I hope he is enjoying the results. We certainly are! Thank you, Harold!