Last Look: Rebecca Raible, director of development, Equal Justice USA
Equal Justice USA was founded in 1990 as a program of the Quixote Center, a multi-issue social-justice umbrella organization based in Maryland. In 2008, it separated to become a fully independent organization and moved its headquarters to Brooklyn, N.Y., and just recently opened a West Coast office in Seattle. EJUSA's mission is to build a criminal justice system that is fair, effective and humane, starting with repeal of the death penalty and increased services to families of homicide victims. Its recent organizational accomplishments include ending the death penalty in New York in 2005 and New Jersey in 2007, and gutting Maryland's death penalty in 2009.
Here, we talk with Director of Development Rebecca Raible about the organization and its fundraising strategies and techniques.
FundRaising Success: How do you fund your mission?
Rebecca Raible: We fund our mission through grants and individuals via mailings, phone outreach, e-mail and events. We are expanding our donor cultivation and outreach to include more personalized attention through one-on-one meetings and intimate donor events.
FS: What are the biggest challenges your organization faces as far as fundraising is concerned? How do you overcome them?
RR: I see our largest fundraising challenge as diversifying our funding streams to achieve a healthier revenue balance, where we are not so heavily reliant on foundation funding. This is a difficult task in this economy; however, we are investing time and resources into our donor relationships now, so that when the economy rebounds, we will be poised for even greater success.
FS: Do you foresee any big changes in the way you reach potential donors and other supporters in the near future?
RR: We are investing resources: board and staff, time, and training into creating more personalized approaches and meeting opportunities for us to get to know our donors better and for them to feel closer to our organization.