April 2014 eNewsletter Articles
Knowledge Center

April 2014 eNewsletter Articles

Here you'll find the articles we recommend in our eNewsletter in Fundraising; Governance; Strategy, Planning, & Change; and Technology & Outreach.

Fundraising: 3 Reasons Why You Should Probably Ask!

"The Ask." 

It's the most exciting, daunting, and nerve wracking part of fundraising - for volunteers and professionals alike.  Conference sessions,  board workshops, and online courses are devoted to how to handle the ask fearlessly.  And yet, a lot of us still struggle over whether the time is right to ask or whether to ask at all. This article from Influence at Work can help.  It gives three strong arguments, backed with research, why when we're in doubt, the thing to do is ask.  Because it turns out, contrary to many of our assumptions, asking is a positive, affirming, and powerful experience. These lessons apply not only to fundraising but to so many other parts of our work in managing and governing nonprofit Jewish camps.  Check it out and share it with your camp colleagues - staff and volunteer.

>> 3 Reasons Why You Should Probably Ask!

Want more information about making the ask...via an appeal letter?

>> Check out this article about making your Camp's Appeal Letter stand out in our Knowledge Center


Governance: What Are the Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards?

Sometimes it is worth stepping back to consider how your camp's Board (or Camp Committee) should be spending its time. What topics are appropriate for Boards to tackle? What tasks should the Board leave to camp staff? This list of 10 basic responsibilities of nonprofit Boards from BoardSource is a good place to start.

>> What Are the Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards?

For new Board members, check out our top 10 tips to help you make an impact at your camp:

>> An Open Letter to all new Board members of Jewish Summer Camps of North America


Strategy, Planning & Change: 4 Questions Your Camp SHOULD be Asking

At this time of year we celebrate our tradition of asking meaningful questions - specifically the four questions at the Passover Seder.  We all know the questions to ask during Passover. They - and their answers - are in the Haggadah.

But what about situations where we aren't told which questions to ask? How do those of us charged with governance and management of nonprofit Jewish camp know the right questions to focus on to ensure superior performance?

This article from Inc. shares 100 questions from highly successful business leaders that they recommend all businesses ask themselves to maintain excellence. It is a fantastic list and certainly worth your time to review in total.

To start you thinking, in the spirit of Passover, we've culled four questions we think have special relevance to the business of camp. We encourage you and your leadership team to contemplate and discuss these four questions - and others from the Inc. list.

>> 4 Questions Your Camp SHOULD be Asking

Want to find out how questions can help you build relationships with your prospects/donors, too?

>> Check out these questions from The Osborne Group, Inc.

Technology & Outreach: Why and How to Use Video or Web Conferencing

When JCC Ranch Camp was considering ways to re-engage with their alumni last summer, they realized that while getting alumni back to camp is the best way to reconnect, they could reach many more alumni online. So they decided to host a Virtual Campfire, allowing former and current song leaders to lead alumni in song from camp in Elbert, Colorado; California; Chicago; New York; and more. It was incredibly successful, with alumni and current families tuning in from all over the country.

The uses for web and video conferencing don't end there. Could your Board meetings be more effective as a web conference? Have you tried interviewing staff from across the country (and the world) using Skype or Google+ Hangouts? How else might your camp leverage the power of online video and web conferencing tools?

>> Why and How to Use Video or Web Conferencing

Want help getting your participants onto your web or video conference?

>> Check out this list of tips you can edit and share with your participants...