Avraham Lewis helps non-profit founders, executive directors and fundraisers become much more successful at raising funds for their projects and organizations by making fundraising ridiculously doable. With over a decade of professional fundraising experience, He has successfully fundraised for great kiruv projects here in Israel and internationally, including NLE project, Shorashim Kiruv Centers and more recently Justifi. He’s experienced a thousand or so fundraising meetings, with many successes and failures along the way! He’s learnt and been mentored in fundraising from some of the greatest in the field.
And, he’s tested methods, strategies, and tactics to help other organizations raise more money more effectively. You can read more about him on il.linkedin.com/in/avrahamlewis/ and you can be in contact with him if you would like to know how he can help your fundraising efforts firstname.lastname@example.org
1) What prompted you to allocate time from your busy schedule to begin coaching non-profit leaders to become effective and successful at raising funds?
I saw that talented and intelligent Jewish leaders were struggling with their fundraising responsibilities and that even a small amount of my time could make a big difference to their success. Since I quickly become passionate about other people’s causes, it made sense that I use my strengths to build other people’s successes.
Every non-profit organization I’ve helped is doing something great to build Am Yisrael. I have a methodology that works. By sharing it with other leaders and assisting them in excelling in their fundraising results, I become a partner in touching the lives of thousands of Jews that I couldn’t reach on my own.
2) How did you learn to fundraise?
I was close to a founder of a project that was doing great work here in Israel. I offered to raise funds and the rest is history. He was my mentor and I incorporated what he taught me. I read fundraising books and spoke to donors in order to understand things from their perspective. I’ve learned by making plenty of mistakes along the way.
3) What has kept you motivated on a daily basis?
You’ve got to be a highly motivated person to be fundraising in the first place. When you see what is made possible as a result of your fundraising efforts, the impacting on people lives together with the great joy you feel when you receive very large donations, then it’s impossible not to be motivated. Also, when you take responsibility for a cause, you see tremendous siata d’shmaya.
4) How did rejection affect your performance?
Rejection can be hard. You have to condition yourself not to take it personally. I use a tool which I learnt from Ariel Topf, founder of Bizness Magazine, which is to celebrate each ”No” because it brings you closer to a ”Yes.”
5) To what do you attribute your being a top performer in every organization that you’ve joined?
Thanks for the compliment! From my experience, when you care for your organization’s mission with a passion, consistently work hard and exude positivity and success, then donors want to support your cause.
6) You have succeeded in this difficult field during good and also during tough times; what’s the key to success in the current environment?
Relationships are still the most important ingredient for success. In these tougher times, donors expect “value” from their donation. The good fundraiser is able to effectively show the donor the feeling that he and his donation are valued.
7) What are the elements that are lacking in many organizations that make fundraising difficult?
Organizations are started to fulfill a certain mission. The leaders who build them are usually strong in their project field. That’s why they established or joined the organization. Fundraising is often not a key strength. When you couple that with the pressures of running projects and having to raise money for them, it’s not surprising to find that fundraising is difficult for so many of our organizational leaders.
8) What are the most common topics you teach your new clients?
Each client will be coached through a program tailor-made for him that will help the most. It’s very hands on. You get to see success early on and at each step. The list of possible topics includes skills, how to’s, daily routines, efficient scripts and presentations, fundraising confidence, overcoming objections, mindsets, what is really important to a donor, amount to request from each donor, strategies and working practices that will lead to raising more funds more effectively.
9) How do your clients feel about you being a “real fundraiser” instead of a “theory” teacher?
Since I’ve experienced around a thousand or so fundraising meetings, it gives clients tremendous confidence to listen to and act on what they’ve learned.
10) How soon can your clients expect to see success after they have started working with you?
I expect clients to see real insights from our first session.