A Tradition of Giving
For example, she offers the story of one JNF donor, a Holocaust survivor, who helped establish a park outside of Jerusalem. Instead of having the park dedicated in the donor’s name or that of her late husband, Scar encouraged her to dedicate the green space to her children and grandchildren.
“As the kids are getting older they will go over and see it,” Scar says. “[There will be] a greater sense of loyalty to the organization and to Israel. You’re bringing them into the fold.
“In this case, the philanthropy aspect was still focused on by the older person,” she explains, “but it did get the younger people interested in learning more about the organization.”
And even though the younger family members don’t have the assets to donate now, they eventually will.
2. Don’t shut any doors.
“Sometimes, families are looking to create their own niches,” Scar says. “I think it’s great — but always provide them with the information [about your organization].”
People change their minds and could end up coming back to your organization, she says. As potential donors age, they might decide they want to continue the legacies of their grandparents.
And don’t think 11 or 12 is too young to start getting someone involved with an organization. JNF engages tweens — roughly ages 10 to 14 — through “mitzvah projects,” Scar says, encouraging girls and boys who are about to celebrate their bar/bat mitzvahs to mark the occasion by developing fundraising ideas for JNF projects such as a scouting program in Israel.
“The child is so enthusiastic, and we make a big deal out of it,” Scar says. “Treat the child like a big donor for their $500 contribution. Never judge a person’s capacity by the amount they’re giving.”
Plus, engaging the children typically results in donations from the parents, as well, she explains.