A little bit of encouragement goes a long way, but a bite-sized chunk of continuing education and ongoing training goes much farther. Professional fundraisers will have a golden opportunity to pick up a lifetime of experience from some of our most successful fundraisers and consultants in two intensive days later this month.

You would expect me to get excited about a seminar that I am co-sponsoring, but I can tell you in all honesty that even if I weren’t one of the main presenters, I would feel honored just to sit in the audience considering some of the prime talent that will share the stage with me.

Let me explain why by starting off with a question. Have you ever looked at the phone on your desk, or glanced down at your little BlackBerry or iPhone and tried to pick it up – only, it felt like it weighed a ton? Well, one of the star presenters at the upcoming Fundraising Seminar will be none other than, Bill Grimes, CEO of Bill Grimes & Associates, Inc. His session titled, “Breaking The Barriers To Productivity,” is going to address how to overcome psychological barriers that cause even the best of us to sometimes hesitate, procrastinate and avoid doing the very things that we must do to be successful in our work. Bill’s award-winning consulting and training firm deals with salespeople for many of the nation’s top financial services institutions. Bill himself has more than 35 years sales training experience and more than 200,000 people have attended his workshops. If you haven’t had the privilege to hear him, I recommend you make the effort, and if you already have, it could be time for some serious chazarah.

If I were serious about improving my fundraising techniques, I would come just to hear Yakov Engel, founder and CEO of Yeda LLC, clue me in on how to detect and connect with my donor’s personality, and not just his checkbook. Among Yakov’s other great qualifications, he is certified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – a system designed to assess how people perceive the world and make decisions. His advice and direction will be indispensible in helping you to tailor your presentation so your potential donor will want to listen, to you and your cause.

I can’t go any further without handing out the accolades to my dear friend, and co-host and follow presenter, Rabbi Herschel Leiner of H. LEINER & CO. Reb Herschel, as he is affectionately known, will break out real-life case studies from his storehouse of experience in raising more than $100 million for nonprofit institutions. Heshy will share the insider tools and secrets used by the most productive and successful nonprofits of the world. This will include how to leverage the positive aspects of a down economy to generate new donors and how to take your dinner, direct-mail and special projects campaigns from good to great. And to ensure that once the increased donations start rolling in that you maximize your hard-earned returns, Heshy will teach you to motivate your staff to its fullest potential and implement proper financial efficacy and data management.

In all humility, I would also add that I would also come to hear myself speak, even though I am as familiar with the sound of my voice as the back of my hand. I love giving over what I have learned and Baruch Hashem accomplished in my 20 years in the business. Along with my loyal team of marketing experts and creative talent, we have employed a diverse range of media to help nonprofit and corporate clients brand themselves and grow. I don’t mention the 20 years just in passing. It’s a milestone! Speaking of milestones…every yeshiva and nonprofit is on the cusp of, or maybe just a couple of short years away from an important milestone anniversary that should be leveraged to excite donors and raise awareness of their accomplishments. I will show you how to do it and I will also discuss the new and growing phenomenon of online networking opportunities that are literally revolutionizing the world of fundraising, not to mention the world itself. 

You will hear all this and more at this two day seminar, entitled “RAISING THE BAR: For Yourself, Your Career & Your Organization,” scheduled Bezras Hashem for Tuesday-Wednesday, Feb. 22-23, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown, NY.

As all fundraisers understand the great significance of their role in spreading the D’var Hashem – whether through Torah, Avodah or Gmillas Chasadim – we will have the zechus of hearing divrei chizuk from the world-renowned lecturer and Rav of Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin, Rav Moshe Tuvia Lieff, Shlita. Rav Lieff’s topic will be, “Raising The Bar in Ruchnius,” a message of importance to all the committed individuals in the fundraising profession who toil night and day to ensure the success and growth of our yeshivas, kollelim, and tzedakah organizations. Rav Lieff will also take questions related to the personal and professional aspects of fundraising.

Last – but certainly not least! – the beloved Rabbi Yonason Sanders, Dean of Bais Tova, the highly respected girls school in Lakewood of over 1,000 girls bli ayin hara, will share his expertise in cultivating relationships. His lecture topic says it all: “Building Bridges: Cultivating Relationships With Donors That Are Not Connected With Your Organization.” And which fundraiser is not interested in that?!

Finally, this year the seminar will have a fantastic new feature: “Breakout Sessions.” These group sessions – moderated by experienced fundraisers – will help you break fundraising records. You will be able to discuss your specific needs and goals, as well as address any fundraising questions on your mind!

This Week’s Bottom Line Action Step: Register today at www.FundraisingSeminar.org – Do it for yourself, your career and your organization!

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