I read Eli Valley’s latest post on Jewcy with some amusement, albeit said amusement being somewhat tempered by it’s reliance on a cavalier attitude regarding the safety of Israel’s citizens. In “The Holocaust Will Be Mass-Mailed,” Valley humorously chides the organized North American Jewish community for using fear as a fund raising technique. As one one commenter noted: “Eli isn’t denying that anti-Semitism is a concern. He’s attacking the cynical, self-serving use of hectoring fear tactics to solicit donations.” EstherK also noted that “Scare tactics like that aren’t effective methods of fundraising among members of a younger(your definition here) generation.”
All true of course, but the fact remains that when it comes to raising funds from Joseph and Judith Jew, these sorts of tried and true tactics are quite effective. Those little checks for $18 to $180 certainly do add up and mass mailings are profitable when attempting to glean a few extra shekels from the hoi polloi. But our organized Jewish community didn’t become the powerhouse that it is by being a one trick pony. The reliance on scare tactics for fund raising is patently ludicrous for the cosmopolitan and astute crowd over at Jewcy, but you’d be amazed how well another tactic works with an otherwise intelligent, sophisticated and well-moneyed, predominantly male target population: The tactic in question? Why, sex of course!
I first met Sarah (all names have been changed) at one of those tiresome Jewish community events in a large metropolitan city. Sarah was preparing for a presentation that she was going to be giving later that afternoon and she was, in every sense of the word, the picture of the consummate, poised professional. Later at the bar where we went to unwind, I was amazed to find out that she was merely 22 years old. After a few drinks we got to talking about her job. Sarah is a fund raiser for a major Jewish organization and she noted how amazed she was on her first day of work when she noticed that everyone in her department was female, under 25, hot and with an average double D cup size.
“But you look like, I don’t know, a C?” I asked. “Oh honey, I hide it well when necessary, and not so well also when necessary” she responded. As it turns out, most major Jewish organizations, especially those with offices in large North American cities and in Jerusalem, have a cadre of hotties who are used to solicit donations from wealthy single men. These generally include people who make their living on Wall Street, in law, real estate or in media – but in all cases the target is a minimum $10,000 contribution. The technique? Build a group of these guys – get them involved with the promise of networking opportunities with others in their profession and all that that entails career wise. Oh and there’s also the doing good for the Jewish people part. Don’t forget that. Very important. So very, very important. These guys are big into altruistic pursuits. Huge!
Soon you will have a group made up of high net worth individuals between the ages of 29 and 39, with the occasional recent divorcee in his late 40s and 50s out recapturing his wasted youth with the boys. These are called the donors. Get them together for small, exclusive events – a speaker from their industry, someone well known, nothing too Jewy. Afterwards you and your hottie fellow employees go out with the boys for a drink or two. They will inevitably get roaring drunk. They will inevitably make clumsy passes at you. It will be banal, embarrassing, boring and occasionally outrageous. However, if you can walk a fine line between leading them on while not putting out, soon huge checks will be raining upon you and you will have helped save the Jews from Hamas, Ahmadinejad, Nazis and the scourge of intermarriage or whatever.
Sarah tells me “Don’t feel too bad for these guys. They get a tax write off and they get to party like rock stars with hot babes. In New York if you make $300,000 a year, you’re still considered kind of pedestrian compared to what’s out there. They have fun, we help the Jews, everyone’s happy. Though it is kind of sleazy when you think about it.”
“How so?” I asked Sarah. “Well they’ve coined a term. You know how boys are. It’s called being donored – and it’s used when a donor nails a fund raising bitch.” “A what?” I asked? “A fund raising bitch. It’s what many of us call ourselves. But truth is, a donor getting lucky with one of us is a rare occurrence. I’ve never seen it happen even though we get propositioned all the time.”
Eli Valley’s mass mailings are effective lowest common denominator tactics. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat and our communal elders are FULL of tricks. Thanks for letting me share and do have an awesome Passover.