Creating a wildly successful marketing and fundraising solution for non-profits
By Ilan Preskosvky
Over the past few years, I have profiled some truly remarkable charitable/chesed organisations from across the globe, but they are no doubt just a smattering of the hundreds of similarly incredible Jewish organisations out there whose sole purpose is to improve the lives of others – those of both their fellow Jews and the wider human race. What is often at the centre of their biggest challenges, quite predictably though, is raising the kinds of funds needed to fully achieve what they set out to do. This is where the invaluable online fund-raising platform, Charidy, steps in.
Established in late 2013, Charidy was founded by Yehuda Gurwitz as a way to take his years of experience as a fund-raising strategies consultant for various non-profits and create a multi-faceted, for-profit organisation that would work as a one-stop marketing and fundraising solution for non-profit organisations. Charidy was created to effectively provide these organisations with the sort of professional marketing assistance that would allow them to raise the kind of money that would enable them to realise their visions, while also freeing them up from the often all-consuming nature of fund-raising to concentrate on what they do best.
In less than five years, Charidy has worked with 1 500 organisations, including charities, schools, and synagogues, to create fund-raising solutions that are both incredibly profitable, but also sustainable in the long-term. In just these few short years, Charidy – which is based in the US, with branches in Australia and Israel, and which works with organisations throughout the world including a number in South Africa – have raised over 450 million dollars from some 500 000 donors. They have also, in certain cases, even extended their services to individuals who are in desperate need of money, but who lack the means or ability to ever raise it on their own.
To get a full understanding of how Charidy works and all its various ins and outs, you would need to spend some time on its website, www.charidy.com, but, in short, they offer everything one could possibly ask for from a professional marketing and fund-raising company, all based around an immaculately designed and carefully implemented seven-step success programme. This includes a dedicated team of marketers and fund-raisers, personal training on how to maximise fund-raising potential, and an “operations team” to work with during a fund-raising event.
Again, it would take more than the space provided by this column to fully outline even its most basic services, but the intuitive and user-friendly Charidy website spells everything you need to know about how your organisation could benefit from teaming up with them and how, precisely, they work. One area that is worth taking a particular look at, though, is perhaps their most notable and revolutionary fund-raising technique: the Charidy Matcher programme.
The way it works is that Charidy launches a fund-raising campaign – say, a charity bike ride or a simple pledge drive – and lines up anywhere to three different donors to match each donation given up to a certain target. In other words, say an organisation wishes to raise $1 million and Charidy enlists three “matchers” for the campaign, then every donation of any amount is matched by each of the donors – so, for example, a $100 donation becomes $400 – until that $1 million goal is reached. Worth noting, however, is that this is an all or nothing proposition, so if the goal isn’t met, the matchers don’t pay anything. Still, according to Chief Innovation Officer, Moshe Hecht, ninety-nine percent of all campaigns reach their target – usually and then some.
Charidy has actually already had plenty of success in South Africa, as overseen by the company’s South African representative, Aryeh Leib Hurwitz. Campaigns for, among many others, Sydenham Shul, Hirsch Lyons schools, and Chabad West Coast have been rip-roaring successes with Aryeh Leib noting both the generosity and tightness of the South African community having led to matcher campaigns where the targets are reached early and quickly surpassed – with external factors like the Rand’s still relatively low value only helping with securing donors. And, Aryeh Leib is clearly not exaggerating, as a quick look around at your local shul or school would show that Charidy has already become an established force in the South African Jewish Community as more and more not-for-profit organisations are making use of them for their own fund-raising. And, with Charidy and the South African Jewish community clearly seeming to be some sort of match made in Heaven, this should come as no surprise to anyone.