It happens to EVERYONE… 

The outcome of the fundraising meeting was not exactly as we wanted it to be. We often can forget to apply the basics of successful fundraising that move people to give their support. Therefore, EACH and EVERY time you ask for support, as fundraising guru Jeff Brooks creatively puts it, make certain your request is ‘S.U.R.E,’ which stands for: 





Each and every fundraising request needs these four elements to succeed. 

Let’s take a quick look at this method and see how it can help your kiruv organization or Torah institution.


Keep Your Request SIMPLE

Raising funds is about getting people to do something they quickly understand. And that they want to do. You don’t have to educate them or give them a lot of background. None of this really matters since it does not motivate them to action. Instead, make your request in a way which will show the donor how their donation will allow you and your organization to change the world in one simple and achievable way. 

For example, “Can you help us take one more unaffiliated Jew on our life changing Israel program?” 


Show the URGENCY 

In fundraising TOMORROW means NEVER. You have to give them a reason to respond RIGHT NOW. Later is not good enough. For example, “We need to book the flights by next week. Can you sponsor one unaffiliated Jewish student on our life changing Israel program?” 

It’s important that you give them a sense of what will happen if they don’t respond:

“If we don’t raise an additional $10K, there will be Jewish students who will never have this opportunity again.” 


Be REPETITIVE in Making Your Point 

Your simple message has to be repeated numerous times for the donor to get it. 

Say it again and again and again – in different ways and repeating the same message. About the time you think you’ve said it too much is the time they start to notice it. It has to be natural and not forced. And it has to help move the donor towards something they would want to do, based on their values and giving preferences. 

Here are some examples of saying the same thing in different ways that would be used at different points in our conversation: 

“Where is the greatest value we have seen from all our programming? It has to be Israel trips which make such an impact on students’ lives. In terms of growth, one Israel trip is equivalent to attending 24 months of classes.” 

“An example of a student who typifies what Israel trips can achieve is ……. who……” 

“When our donors invest in sending one student to Israel then ….” 

“What I saw on the last trip I led to Israel was….” 

“If you want to make a real impact with your tzedaka, then invest in sending an unaffiliated Jewish student to Israel which will …” 



People make their charitable giving decisions with their HEARTS, not with their heads. 

The argument you need to make if you want people to give is an EMOTIONAL one. You have to ‘break their heart’ with a problem or excite them with an opportunity. For example, “When Jolene came on our Israel trip last year, it was the first time she experienced an authentic Shabbat. Because of this she decided to learn more, and this led to her breaking off with her non-Jewish boyfriend.” 

“Now she desperately wants to come back on our follow-up program. She’ll be a mother to future generations of connected Jews.” 

“If we don’t raise an additional $10K by next week, then we can’t accept her and others like her.” 

“Would you give her the opportunity to live an inspired Jewish life by sponsoring her trip?” 

Facts and figures don’t move donors from one place to another, but the emotion will. Aim at their heart, not at their head. The heart knows, so that’s what you talk to. 


How can you APPLY THIS

Take five minutes, right now, and write down or speak out your fundraising request, making it SIMPLE, URGENT, REPETITIVE, and EMOTIONAL.

Avraham Lewis, Fundraising Specialist, is successfully guiding Torah organizations to raise more funds in less time. See more at

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