JCamp 180
News & Events


By Mark Gold

Mark Gold, Director of the Grinspoon Institute
By the time this column is distributed, camp will be in full swing for most of the 102 camps the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy works with. I hope that Camp Directors receiving this eNewsletter are able to take a break from the demands of the day to take a quick look.

I've been thrilled, and more than just a bit overwhelmed, with the number of invitations I've received in the past three months for visits to camps, both for myself and for Harold. Although I've only been able to visit a few camps over the past six months, I am hoping to pick up the pace during the camp season. As we plan Harold's travels this summer it is clear he is only going to be able to get to a handful or two of camps while they are in session. On Harold's behalf I thank you for the invitations we've received and want to let you know we're working to get to as many camps as possible. Don't worry, there will be no surprise drop-ins, so as we finalize our summer travel schedule, we'll let you know if we're able to include your camp in our travels.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy is growing. The Trustees of the Foundation have approved our request to expand service to include new camps. With this eNewsletter we're launching the application for new camp clients. As in the past, we're posting the application on our website and are asking for applications to be returned by September 1st. Accepted camps will be notified by October 1st and invited to our conference on November 4th and 5th. Look for the formal announcement and website link below and on our website.

Have a safe and successful camp season. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during the next 10 weeks.




Camp Visits

You're ready for your campers: bunks are repaired and cleaned; your staff is trained; the food is ordered... But are you ready for your prospects?

Summer offers a unique opportunity to introduce (or re-introduce!) the magic of camp to your prospects and donors. Camp visits are the ultimate cultivation and stewardship activities. Hopefully you've already planned camp visits with many of your prospects and donors. If so, it's time to prepare to make those visits as impactful as possible. How about filling out this Camp Tour Worksheet for each prospect? And why not write up your follow-up thank you letters now so they are ready to go?

Haven't sent out those camp visit invites yet? Don't worry - we've got you covered. Take a look at this Webinar recording and assorted resources to help you make this a summer to remember for your prospects as well as your campers and staff!

Contact your Mentor if you have additional questions about successful camp visits.


Camp Case: Herzl Camp

Holly Guncheon
Development Director

Camp Case: Herzl Camp
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. Read on to find out how we did it.


Apply Now to Join the Grinspoon Institute

The Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy is now accepting applications for a new cohort of camps. To find out more about the application process, click here.


GIFT Participants Convene in Northampton, MA

GIFT Participants Convene in Northampton, MA

GIFT participants from across North America gathered and shared insights and wisdom, contributing greatly to the content of the course.

In May, GIFT (Grinspoon Institute Fundraiser's Training) participants convened in Northampton, MA for the mid-session retreat focused on Asking for Gifts and Work/Life Balance. Sessions included practicing elevator talks, doing mock solicitations, and making plans to grow professionally and personally in the future.

"I've enjoyed observing how course participants are deeply engaged in this program. During the mid-session retreat it was wonderful to see people's commitment to creating a culture of philanthropy for their camps, engaging volunteers, alumni, donors, and board members," said Laurie Herrick, GIFT Director.

"I didn't know how to be an effective fundraiser until I participated in the GIFT program. You don't know what you don't know." Jaimee Boettcher, URJ Coleman Development Director

The course consists of three in-person meetings (two at GIJP conferences and one in the spring) and monthly webinars where course content and homework is shared. All course participants also attend monthly small group cohort calls with colleagues who grapple with challenges in their projects and share development resources. At the end of the year-long course, each participant in the GIFT program will have created an individual Breakthrough Project, the purpose of which is to cause a significant upward shift in fundraising effectiveness for their camp.

The third cohort of GIFT will begin in November 2012. Applications will become available in late August. GIFT is open to development professionals, executive directors and in some cases other camp staff or lay leaders who are in a leadership role in fundraising for their camp. Individuals who would like to participate in next year's GIFT program should contact their Grinspoon Institute mentor for more information. Grinspoon Institute Director Mark Gold feels that "it has been wonderful to see the impact of the GIFT program on Institute-affiliated camps. I hope that camps continue to take advantage of this exciting opportunity."


Conference Update

Teamwork. It's an idea at the heart of the Jewish camp experience. You treasure the importance of teamwork in everything from the recruitment and training of your staff to making bunk assignments to ensuring the successful competitive balance of each year's color war.

At the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy we believe effective teamwork also leads to high performing organizations. The ability to develop productive, spirited teams among diverse stakeholders - executive, staff, board and community leaders, alumni, and funders - is a distinguishing feature of successful camps. Effective teams understand and respect each member's role. They hold themselves and each other accountable. They value training and practice to continually hone their skills. And they intentionally monitor and evaluate their performance in an ongoing commitment to improving the team's results.

At the 2012 Grinspoon Institute Conference, we will examine and celebrate the power of teamwork. We will also work together as one big team of Jewish camp professionals and lay leaders. The conference is an opportunity to share our experiences with each other to move the entire field of Jewish camp forward. Thank you to the nearly 100 of you who volunteered to share your experiences and expertise with the rest of the "team" at the conference; invitations to verify your commitment are being prepared and sent now.

Registration for the 2012 Conference in Springfield, MA on November 4-5, 2012 will open in August. Keep an eye out for our invitation - it will be sent to all known professional staff and board members. In the meantime, it's not too soon to hold rooms at the hotel, which was full to capacity last year. To reserve your room at our discounted rate, call the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel's Reservations Department at (413) 781-1010 or 1-800-426-9004 and mention "Grinspoon Institute Conference."

Thank you to Harold Grinspoon for his continuing support of our Annual Conference. Because of his generosity, registration for the conference is fee. Please think about which Lay Leaders you would like to specifically invite to attend this year. Finally, Harold would like to personally thank your camp's philanthropists - please let us know if you would like us to send any of your philanthropists personalized VIP invitations to the conference this year.

More information about the conference can be found on our website.