There is no doubt that fundraising is not a particularly popular task among WWP members, as the small number comprising this team can attest. But as the ancient Hebrew saying goes, “if there’s no flour, there’s no Torah.” And so this group, continuing with largely the same personnel all along, decided to roll up its sleeves and tackle the needs created by increasingly ambitious and resource-intensive projects. During the course of our brief existence, we have learned a few of the secrets of the fundraising profession, including where to look for potential donors, how to make connections with them, how to fill out complicated grant applications, how to present the movement succinctly despite its complexity and non-hierarchical infrastructure, its goals and financial needs, and most importantly how to ask (or in English, how to make the ask). The team has also learned to prepare PowerPoint presentations, videos, and fundraising events in Israel and abroad as well as how to conduct mass mobilization campaigns (crowdfunding). We have also learned to say thank you as promptly as possible, to make sure to keep contacts up to date, and to keep our donors informed about our progress through newsletters. Our tasks also include bookkeeping (receipts, acknowledgement of donations made in memory or in honor of a person or event, bank transfers, and more).
Resource development can be frustrating and sometimes unpleasant (especially when we are refused) but it also has its rewarding side, such as when we have exciting meetings with donors who express their appreciation and passion for the movement and its activities. We have come to feel that our donors give us a tailwind, encouraging us and reminding us that we are not alone in this campaign for a negotiated agreement and that there are enough good people in the world who want to do all they can to help us make peace.
As noted above, the team’s ongoing activities are carried out on several levels and each member has been developing her or his area of expertise – appeals to private donors in Israel, appeals to those abroad, filing applications for philanthropic funds, producing mass recruitment campaigns in Israel and abroad, and managing ongoing donations. Naturally, no donor’s status stays the same – some reduce their support from year to year while others increase theirs. Since, however, the needs of the movement continue to increase and become more sophisticated, we are always busy locating additional donors, either individuals or foundations or institutions.
Which brings us to how you can help us with this ever-challenging endeavor. If you have an acquaintance or contacts with people or organizations you think may be interested in supporting us, or even a lead or a hunch, please tell us and we will approach them with dignity and gentleness.
Remember, too, how we began this update. We’re now in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign for this year’s march in Jerusalem to celebrate International Peace Day. Please encourage your Israeli friends and family to donate here and ask them to spread the word among their friends. If you live outside of Israel, you can donate here by credit card or check.
Translated from Hebrew by Donna Kirshbaum