Interview: A Model (Citizen) Fundraising Partnership, Part 1

[Editor’s note: In our January issue, FundRaising Success talked with Dan Fleyshman, founder of the Model Citizen Fund, about his organization’s fundraising partnership with the Karma Foundation. Today we run the full interview with Fleyshman. Check back next week for part 2, an interview with the Karma Foundation’s Marvin Epstein.]

At age 23, Dan Fleyshman became the youngest owner of a publicly traded company after selling $15 million of clothing to retail stores and securing a $9.5 million licensing deal with Starter Apparel. An avid philanthropist, Fleyshman supported two dozen charities before ultimately founding the Model Citizen Fund, a nonprofit that provides backpacks with more than 100 items to underprivileged people around the world.

Recently, Fleyshman teamed up with the Karma Foundation, a philanthropic, members-only networking group, to raise money and provide more survival packs for the homeless. More than $25,000 has been raised so far through the partnership through a variety of fundraising tactics.

Fleyshman and Marvin Epstein, executive VP of the Karma Foundation, recently spoke with FundRaising Success about their organizations and their fundraising partnership.
FundRaising Success: Can you talk a bit about the Model Citizen Fund?
Dan Fleyshman:
Model Citizen Fund is a nonprofit organization that supplies and distributes life-sustaining goods to homeless and disaster-relief victims all around the world. Our distribution model is to be able to fit about 150 survival items into one backpack, making the emergency relief kits portable and easily accessible. Thanks to our hardworking staff and generous brand-name suppliers, we fill the backpacks with nonperishable food, medical first aid items and other survival necessities. I like to refer to the packs as a “portable mini mart” — everything you truly need is found in there. For an average individual, the items in one backpack are enough supplies to last for about a week.

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