GIFT Leadership Institute

Transform your camp through a culture of philanthropy


Since the inception of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and JCamp 180, camps have desired a breakthrough in funding. The desire is to have an agency wide Culture of Philanthropy where everyone at the agency sees their role in development, where donors feel cared for and happy to invest their time and money in your work, and where the community is engaged.  

JCamp 180’s GIFT Leadership Institute (GLI)  guides leadership teams from nonprofit Jewish Camps (and their parent organizations) through  an organization-wide breakthrough to instill a transformative Culture of Philanthropy: a new, energized approach to how the organization thinks about, talks about, organizes for, and engages in fundraising.

A Culture of Philanthropy exists when organization-wide attitudes, actions, and structures reflect an understanding, respect, and responsibility for philanthropy’s role in the success of camp. This commitment is reflected in four ways:


  • Culture of Philanthropy is Integral to the Mission
  • Everyone Shares some Responsibility for a Culture of Philanthropy
  • Building and Maintaining Deep Donor Partnerships
  • Community Engagement

Program Outcomes

At the end of the program, the participants will:

  • Understand the complexities involved in an organization-wide culture change
  • Have a clear action plan for building a Culture of Philanthropy
  • Understand the roles of board, executive leaders, development and program staff
  • Create a breakthrough in community and donor engagement.

Why Join GIFT Leadership Institute

“GLI has been one of the most powerful learning experiences for me as an individual and for our cohort from the Mandel JCC. While GLI’s primary purpose is to strengthen the individual and organization’s focus on philanthropy, it has provided so much more. Cohort style learning provided insight into what can be gained by business planning with individuals from varied perspectives of the organizational structure. We coalesced around prioritizing and strengthening the culture of the organization and empowering other professionals and volunteers to find their “inner philanthropist” in order to drive the agency and all its parts forward towards greater success in building a culture of philanthropy.”

- Gilon Rubanenko, Senior Vice President, Programs and Engagement, Mandel Jewish Community Center of Cleveland

Program Requirements

To be eligible to participate in GIFT Leadership Institute, organizations must be:

  1. affiliated and in good standing with JCamp 180 and the HGF
  2. committed to full participation by their Executive Director and Camp Director, the Board Chair or equivalent lay leader, and a development professional. Other professional/lay leaders are welcome up to a total of 5 team members
  3. able to invest an average of 2-4 hours each month in course work and homework (more time will be required during retreats, and less in other months)
  4. committed and enthusiastic to implement an organization-wide Culture of Philanthropy.

What You Can Expect

  • Expert presenters and facilitators, relevant case studies, peer learning and individualized coaching
  • Program cost underwritten by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation
  • Partial reimbursement for travel expenses*
  • In-person and virtual sessions, as well as regularly scheduled team calls*
  • Required homework including some reading assignments

Program Application Process

Applications for the 2023 Cohort are closed. If you are interested in taking part in a future cohort or have questions about the program, please contact GIFT Leadership Institute Director Laurie Herrick -; 413-575-0588.

2023 Curriculum

Kickoff- David Posnack JCC, Davie, FL
(Sunday, Feb. 5 - Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023)
  • Assessing your organization
  • Understanding the fundamentals of a Culture of Philanthropy
  • The unique role of culture and how to alter it
  • Establishing an organizational Culture of Philanthropy 6-month plan
 Ongoing Course Activities
  • Monthly Team Coaching Calls
  • Periodic Topical Webinars
  • Periodic Affinity calls (with Peer Execs, Board Members, or Development Professionals)
 Spring Retreat at Pearlstone Retreat Center, in Reisterstown, MD
 (Sunday, April 30 - Tuesday, May 2, 2023)
  • Exploring and building your major donor portfolio
  • Leadership strategy
 Fall Final Retreat
 (Monday, Nov. 6 - Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023)
  • Presentation of outcomes and impact
  • Next steps for your camp
  • Completion and celebration 

Participants in GLI to date

  • Albert & Ann Deshur JCC Rainbow Day Camp in Fredonia, WI
  • Camp BB Riback in Pine Lake, AB
  • Camp Centerland of the JCC of Buffalo, NY
  • Camp Jaycee in La Jolla, CA
  • Camp Laurelwood in Madison, CT
  • Camp Ramah in the Berkshires in Wingdale, NY
  • Camp Sabra in Rocky Mount, MO
  • Camp Shomria NY in Librerty, NY
  • Camp Solomon Schechter in Tumwater, WA
  • Camp Yachad - JCC of Central NJ in Scotch Plains, NJ 
  • Emma Kaufmann Camp of the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh in Morgantown, WV
  • Habonim Dror Camp Galil in Ottsville, PA
  • Habonim Dror Camp Gesher in Cloyne, ON
  • Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa in Big Bear Lake, CA
  • Habonim Dror Camp Miriam in Gabriola Island, BC
  • JCC Camp Chi in Lake Delton, WI
  • JCC Camp Ruach in Bridgewater, NJ
  • JCC Camps at Medford in Medford, NJ
  • Mandel JCC Camps, Cleveland, OH
  • NJ Y Camps in Milford, PA
  • Shalom Institute in Malibu, CA
  • Springfield, JCC Day Camp, Springfield, MA
  • Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Spring, NY 
  • Camp Tel Yehuda in Barryville, NY
  • Wilshire Blvd Temple Camps in Malibu, CA