Camp Case: URJ Camp Newman
By Dena Kaufman, Alumni & Development Director
During this summer, over 1,000 people will visit Camp Newman. Everyone takes a tour, is greeted by camp leadership, can ask questions, is given the opportunity to contribute financially and visits with their son, daughter, or grandchild. It takes time and planning, but it is so worth the effort. Daryl Messinger, Camp Board Chair, and Ruben Arquilevich, Camp Director, know that the more people that see and experience the joy and the needs of camp, the more successful a major campaign will be.
Parents have told us, "Year after year I send my money and child and I only hear bits and pieces of what they experience. This Shabbat Event allows me to be a fly on the wall and see the power of the experience, especially during camp Shabbat. Thank you!"
Once visitors experience the beauty of camp in action, they understand why their children love camp. These visits are about engaging visitors with camp so they can be valuable ambassadors, volunteers, and donors, sharing in our plans for the growth and future of camp. The tricky part is minimizing the impact to the campers.
Camp Newman has tapped various JCamp 180 programs to fully realize the power of these camp visits: utilizing the expertise of their JCamp Mentor; taking part in the Grinspoon Camp Legacy Initiative; leveraging Grinspoon Matching Grant programs; and sending me to participate in the JCamp 180 GIFT Fundraiser's Training program.
|Parents at Shabbat|
We started 4 years ago, with only 72 annual fund donors. However, to truly build a culture of philanthropy - that which permeates camp at all levels, as I learned from the GIFT program - we had to open our doors. When people visit Camp Newman, they see a banner listing the names of annual giving donors and a list of people who have pledged to the Camp Legacy Initiative. Of course these are pointed out during camp tours, so every visitor leaves camp aware that it takes money and participation to create the amazing environment they experienced at camp.
We now have over 500 donors, thanks to the encouragement of our JCamp 180 Mentors to create a culture of philanthropy. For the first time, this summer, I have had people say, "Oh, I still need to make my annual gift!" That is proof that we are changing the culture!