JCamp 180
News & Events


By Mark Gold

Mark Gold, Director of the Grinspoon Institute
A couple of months ago this column drew an analogy between baseball spring training and the early preparation for camp. In my April analogy, the Grinspoon Institute Mentors were likened to season ticket holders - just a bit more engaged with the camp than the rest of your fan base. So, if you were in spring training in April, where are we this month - just weeks before the first campers appear at the gate? In the past month I've been visiting camps and have seen the maintenance crews at work and the staff beginning to address the myriad of details needed to assure the first week of camp runs as smoothly as if it were the last week of camp. I've been to meetings of Boards of Directors and Legacy teams. My conclusion is that although it's May and the opening day of camp is still around the corner, the camp "season" really has been underway for some time.

As baseball teams moved from spring training to the beginning of the season, the team's abilities have become apparent. How a team looked on paper in the off-season and in pre-season is now overshadowed by the actual performance of the team on the field. Similarly, for your camp, the achievements of the Board in organizing and setting goals in the areas of development, governance, and fundraising will take a back seat to how well you do with successfully executing those plans. Development plans and related activities need to move from paper into action. As your most loyal fans, we at the Grinspoon Institute remain ready and willing to support you as you move from planning to actions in the early stages of the season. Although teams can often recover from a bad start, it's always easier to win after a strong start, so don't be surprised when we encourage an aggressive early season program.

In this month's eNewsletter be sure to read Natasha Dresner's article about stewardship - it includes advice that will help get you off to that great early start. We also have a great new "camp case" from Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake that's worth reviewing.

By the time the next eNewsletter comes out you'll be in mid-season form. Here's hoping for a strong start to assure your success for the season.



Legacy Initiative Profiled in Chronicle of Philanthropy!

The May 3rd edition of The Chronicle of Philanthropy featured an article about the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy's camp legacy program. There are 49 camps who are past or current participants in this program, and the success of our first 41 camps is highlighted in this publication.

This story recognizes your success and your dedication to the Camp Legacy program. To those of you associated with our earliest cohorts of Legacy camps, I want to encourage you to continue the stewardship and solicitation programs in which you have been so successful. For our newer Legacy participants, consider using this testimony to the value and success of the program to move your efforts forward. And for those camps who have not yet joined the Legacy team, I would hope that the successes documented in this article provide the extra encouragement you need to join the prior participants in securing the future of your organization.

On behalf of the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy and Harold Grinspoon, I want to thank the scores of volunteers and professionals who have worked as part of a camp Legacy team to secure the long term future of camp. Congratulations on being recognized by such a prestigious publication.


How Was This Letter to Harold Grinspoon Different from Other Letters?!?

Natasha Dresner

Natasha Dresner, Mentor
In every Grinspoon Institute newsletter we try to share with you information that could be applicable and useful to your camp. This month, courtesy of Camp JORI, we want to share an example thank you/stewardship letter to Harold Grinspoon. Among many letters Harold receives, this one caught his attention and received special approval. How was this letter different from other letters?

To find out the secret of this letter, read the full article in our Knowledge Center.

*Psst... One of the secrets of Camp JORI's letter was its emphasis on finding non-traditional funding sources. In this month's Webinar, Get Creative! Tapping Into Alternative Funding Sources for Camps, Natasha Dresner will lead a discussion on how both Camp JORI and Habonim Dror Camp Moshava have found alternative funding sources for their camps. Please register today and join us on Tuesday, May 22 at 1 PM EST for this free Webinar.


Camp Case: Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake

By Helene Drobenare

Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake
In 2004, at the very same time as the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy (GIJP) began working with the camp community, the Friends of Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake (CYJSL) was born. Within our first few months of formation, we began working with our first Grinspoon Mentor on fundraising and strategic planning. As one of the first camps in the program and no other camps' experience to learn from, together GIJP and CYJSL began exploring new territory for camp.

What have we accomplished so far? Read on to find out!


Conference Reminder

Don't forget to save the dates for our Annual Conference: November 4-5, 2012 at the Sheraton Monarch Place Hotel in Springfield, MA. Hotel and travel information can be found on our website.


May Webinar: Get Creative! Tapping Into Alternative Funding Sources for Camps

Every nonprofit organization must fundraise to ensure a sustainable financial model. But we can't always rely on our existing traditional funders. Creative diversification of funding sources is an important ingredient to weathering any economy, especially a downturn. In our next Webinar, to be held on Tuesday, May 22nd at 1 PM EDT - Get Creative! Tapping Into Alternative Funding Sources for Camps - Grinspoon Institute Mentor Natasha Dresner will lead a discussion about finding nontraditional money sources. She will be joined by two camp-presenters, Camp JORI and Habonim Dror Camp Moshava, who will share their creative solutions to finding alternative sources of funding for their camps. We encourage both lay and professional leadership of your organizations to join us for this brief webinar to both learn from others and share any of your own ideas and insights.

Please register today for this free Webinar: Get Creative! Tapping Into Alternative Funding Sources for Camps.

*Note: We have no limit on the number of people who can register. Please register even if you aren't sure you'll be able to make it at that time.