MajorGiftsNow is the product of more than 25 years of development experience, much of it done the old-fashioned way, with hard work. It wasn’t until three years ago that we discovered that technology could be harnessed to make the work of relationship building much easier.
Development happens at the speed of trust. The quicker you can develop trust with your donors and the deeper that trust is, the sooner you will receive gifts and the larger they will be. Our philosophy and practice of e-gagement™ simplifies and automates the process of building that trust, marrying the Science of Engagement with Art of Relationship Fundraising.
I’m Joshua C. Karlin. I started my professional life as an entrepreneur. Back then I was involved as a volunteer at the Jewish Federation of New Haven. I remember sitting at lunch with another young leader in the community, tasked with soliciting her for the annual campaign. As we talked about her story, her values, and how she felt connected to the work of the Federation, I had the epiphany that people were actually paid to have these lunches! I decided right then that after I sold my business, Fundraising Development would be my next career.
It was clear that while the Jewish Federations had the most successful annual campaigns, Universities received the largest gifts. I needed to learn what they knew and how they did it. My mentor told me to talk to my alma mater and I went to work for Tufts University to learn what they knew about fundraising.
She also told me that planned giving was the future of fundraising so I should read Arthur Anderson’s Guide to Planned Giving every night. I did. She also told me it would put me to sleep. It did. Yet as my first year as a professional drew to a close, I was recruited to be the Endowment Director for the Jewish Federation in Rhode Island. In another year, my expertise had grown and I had so developed the trust of my professional colleagues that they asked me to be President of the 120-member Planned Giving Council of Rhode Island (PPPRI).
After 20 years in the field, I discovered the company that is now my technological partner in MajorGiftsNow. In my two years as the VP of Endowment at the Jewish Federation of LA, using their tools I raised three times my annual goals, over $15 million in the first year and $54 million in two years. I was sold. So when I moved to the national office of the Jewish Federations of North America to lead the Endowment field with 100 foundations raising $1.7 billion per year with over $20 billion in assets under management, I committed to sharing the technology with my colleagues.
Just before we launched the first cohort of Foundations, I left JFNA at the end of 2016. Realizing that these tools were transforming the way not-for-profits were raising funds, I decided to start MajorGiftsNow to bring e-gagement™ to charities, to show them how to marry the Science of Engagement with the Art of Relationship Fundraising.
The marriage is enhanced by using email and online to identify your top prospects for major gifts and legacy gifts and to automate the process of communicating regularly with them about things they care about most. It sounds like the antithesis of building a personal relationship, but in fact, it enhances and deepens the relationships, making the time you spend together much more productive.
These tools have been used by over 100 organizations. Their proven success has given me the confidence to provide a bold, and perhaps a little crazy Guarantee, unmatched in the field, that you will raise 20 times our fees in the first year or we’ll work for free until you do. See our Guarantee page for details.