Tzedakah – The Mitzvah of Asking
I know, not the traditional definition of Tzedakah. But isn’t it empowering to think about starting the new year being proud to be a solicitor? Proud to ask for financial contributions for your school?
During my tenure at WGBH, the VP of Development used to start each meeting by reminding us that the only way to get a significant and renewable gift was to sit down with the prospect and ask for it. Join PEJE’s Development Community of Practice to learn more about how to do that.
This past August, my colleague Sheila Alexander and I had the pleasure of coordinating the PEJE development conference, with more than 30 development professionals in attendance representing 28 Jewish day schools. At the helm was our facilitator and presenter extraordinaire, Rae Ringel.
Has a board member ever said to you “I’ll do anything but ask for money”? Or, as a development professional, is your time filled with events and mail appeals? At the conference, Rae pushed us to think about the Jewish value of asking for money, giving another person the opportunity to perform the mitzvah of tzedakah, a financial gift to your school.
I hear from many board members, “the word solicitor is taboo, no one wants that job!” Rae challenged us to come up with some better names for solicitor–here are some of them, after the jump:
Whichever name works for you, start using it! And please, post a comment to give us more to add to the list…
Your assignment for now, before my next post, is to make one appointment (yes, heads of school and board members, this is for you too!). Make one coffee date with a friend, parent, prospect, grandparent, or community member to ask them to support your school. Start 5770 off right with a double mitzvah. You perform the mitzvah of asking and give someone else the opportunity to perform the mitzvah of giving.