Giving Tree Associates specializes in creating customized and sustainable long-term development strategies for our clients. If their accomplishments don’t speak for themselves, their feedback will.

The Ark*

Project Description: Giving Tree Associates provided coaching services to The ARK to help expand its major donor program. Giving Tree guided The Ark in the development of a donor recognition and stewardship plan, advised on ways to identify prospective major donors, engage volunteer leadership in fundraising and expand communication with donors. With the creation of solicitation resource materials and role plays, development staff built resources that they could put to immediate use to expand their fundraising efforts.

Testimonial: “It was a pleasure to work with Tina Herpe. She was extremely knowledgeable, organized, and responsive to our needs. Thanks to Tina, our resource development efforts have become more strategic and efficient. It was an investment in our staff and organization that has already had a positive impact.”
Karen Stoller, Director of Marketing and Development

Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School

Project Description: In October of 2012, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School (BZAEDS), a private Jewish Day School in Chicago, hired Giving Tree Associates to manage live, silent and online auctions for its biennial event. More than 525 guests attended the event at the Swissotel in Chicago where the school hosted its largest attendance to date and exceeded its fundraising goal of $400,000.

Testimonial: Lisa, I can’t believe today is your last day with us!  Thank you for all of your help.  Your organization, efficiency, and creativity were a tremendous help to us and as volunteers, we could not have functioned without you!  You have a wonderful work ethic.  Thank you and good luck with your other projects!”-Lori Rosen, Silent Auction Co-Chair

Builders of Jewish Education – Los Angeles

Project Description: The Builders of Jewish Education Day School/Administrators Retreat in LA served as an opportunity for 39 area day schools to join together to learn, share and collaborate on issues of concern to heads of school, development directors, administrators and board members.  Amy Schiffman, GTA Principal, facilitated two sessions — one on fundraising for the busy head of school, and the other on the development of a strategic campaign plan — as well as moderated a panel on the topic of creating a culture of philanthropy.

Testimonial: “Just wanted to thank you! This was one of the best workshops I have ever attended to benefit our school and loved the planning and procedures suggested. It takes away a lot of the discomfort when you need to actually ask the donor when the time comes.” -Rabbi Danny Yiftach

B’nai B’rith Beber Camp

Project Description: GTA was hired in February 2009 to design formalized annual and capital campaign plans for Beber Camp, a Jewish residential, coed camp in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. As a result, Beber Camp experienced a nearly 200% increase in annual giving, both in total giving and in the total number of donors in a one-year period of time. GTA continues to work closely with Beber Camp by providing a Development Associate onsite two days a week to help manage day-to-day annual campaign activities. GTA is also helping Beber Camp to develop and implement a formal major gifts program.

Testimonial: “When GTA came to our first meeting we had no fundraising campaign or lay leadership. Only six months later, we have a comprehensive annual campaign, a sophisticated and friendly donor database system, and an energized group of 15 lay leaders on our annual campaign committee. This committee includes alumni, parent, camper, community, event, communications, special projects, and membership chairs. Giving Tree was able to mobilize our staff and lay leaders around a dynamic and innovative campaign.” -Stefan Teodosic, Director, Beber Camp

Camp JRF

Project Description: In May of 2010 Giving Tree Associates was hired to manage a capital campaign for Camp JRF, located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  GTA Consultants have worked to train and recruit a lay committee who oversee a $2.5 million expansion campaign.  This portfolio includes prospect identification and cultivation, prospect research, solicitation training and parlor meeting development.  To date, over $800,000 has been raised and GTA has expanded its scope to include board development and foundation relations programs.

Testimonial: “I want to thank you for the wonderful training session you facilitated with the Camp JRF Board.  You struck the perfect balance between practical and theoretical – and there was even fun!  You have truly helped to push us forward and I can’t wait to see where we end up!” – Rabbi Isaac Saposnik, Director, Camp JRF

Camp Kesem

Project Description: In May of 2010, GTA was retained by Camp Kesem, an organization that allows college students with a desire to make a difference to come together with children, ages 6-16, from families coping with cancer for a magical, transformational, free week at sleep-away camp.  Giving Tree was hired to create a major gifts campaign and to provide training, facilitation and a formalized structure for its Board of Directors. GTA created official member requirements, facilitated the establishment of nominating and development committees, personalized and expanded the number of prospective donors for its end-of-year direct mail campaign, created and organized a parlor meeting program and provided individual coaching for face to face solicitations.   As a result, Camp Kesem’s year-end campaign produced double the previous year’s total revenue and twice the number of new donors. GTA now continues its work with Camp Kesem in the area of database development.

Testimonial: “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Giving Tree Associates.  They are incredibly professional, attentive, and available to answer any and all questions.  One of the things I have found most valuable is their approach, as they truly partner with the nonprofit organization.  Rather than simply presenting how we should do things, they developed specific materials for Camp Kesem, in tandem with oustar Board and staff.  As a result, we were all educated along the way. I am confident that we will continue to see benefits from working with Giving Tree for some time, as we utilize the skills we have learned.  I would highly recommend them to other non-profit organizations, and would welcome the opportunity to work with Giving Tree again in the future.”– Jane Saccaro, Executive Director, and Mark Olson, Board Member, Camp Kesem

Camp Young Judaea Midwest

Project Description: In October of 2008, Camp Young Judaea Midwest retained GTA to maximize a matching grant opportunity from a national funder.  GTA guided Camp leadership in the development of its Board Members as fundraisers, the evaluation of their direct mail campaign and the examination of the efficiency and effectiveness of a newly purchased database management system.

Testimonial: “I wanted to drop you a note to thank you for all the hard work you must have put into the presentation you gave on Sunday. I was really surprised by how much detail and concrete content was in the training (and pleased to collect $70,000 in pledges from the work we did by close of business Tuesday!!!) I, and several others who had been in your training, was completely blown away by how much better your training had been compared to many others we have attended in the past. We are very lucky to have found you, grateful for all you have done and are doing, and even more impressed with your value.” – Amy Beth Hamermesh, President, Camp Young Judea Midwest

Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake

Project Description: From February 2016-July 2016, Giving Tree Associates worked with Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake on an organizational assessment. Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake is a Jewish overnight camp in New York that aims to strengthen Jewish identity, foster a connection to Israel, create lasting friendships, encourage individual achievement and heighten self-esteem and leadership skills. Giving Tree’s assessment focused on a major gift development strategy and the expansion of the organization’s individual giving base, which will ultimately lead to long-term sustainability.

Testimonial: Giving Tree Associates were the perfect match for Sprout Lake. Their tailored approach to meet our needs and create a true partnership was greatly appreciated. The professionalism and eye opening analysis has set us up on a path to development success.”  Noah Allen, Board Member, Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake

Carmel Catholic High School

Project Description: In 2016, Giving Tree Associates guided Carmel Catholic High School through a six-month strategic planning process. Working with both senior staff and volunteer leadership, Giving Tree prepared a five-year plan with goals, objectives, strategies and tactics that addressed seven key areas: Academics, Building and Grounds, Catholic Identity, Culture, Personnel, and Internal Communication, Enrollment Management and External Communications, Governance and Advancement, and Student Life.

Testimonial: “My experience with Giving Tree Associates was outstanding. I am extremely happy with the high quality of their work. Tina Herpe did a tremendous job leading Carmel Catholic through the strategic planning process. Giving Tree’s support exceeded all my expectations. They were instrumental in the success of our plan.” Dr. Brad Bonham, President, Carmel Catholic High School

Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry

Project Description: GTA began work with Chicago Action (CA) in May of 2009. In just three short months, Giving Tree restrategized and redesigned their direct mail plan, messaging and materials. This allowed CA to expand their donor base and raise over $64,000, more than double the dollars raised the previous year.

Testimonial: “We hired Giving Tree Associates to better communicate our organization’s mission and to expand our giving base. Our first fundraising effort with Giving Tree was very rewarding. Their professionalism, commitment, and dedication to our project helped make it a success.” – Susan Futterman, Co-Chair, Chicago Action

Chicago Jewish Day School

Project Description: During the 2008-2009 school year, Giving Tree’s services allowed Chicago Jewish Day School (CJDS), Chicago’s newest Jewish elementary and middle school, to double the total dollars raised from its annual campaign. CJDS was able to raise $570,000 in 2008-09, up from $250,000 in 2007-08. In just 18 months, GTA consultants helped lay and professional leadership recruit and train its first formal development committee, offer its first minimum gift event, design a major gifts program, apply for and receive a significant matching grant, develop a direct mail campaign, write and edit its newsletter and launch a grandparent’s campaign.

Testimonial: “With your guidance, we were able to professionalize our development efforts. The results you helped us reach far surpassed our expectations. Last year, in only a four-month period, we were able to raise nearly two times the amount of our original annual goal! It is a pleasure working with you and simultaneously seeing our school grow in this important department.” – Judy Finkelstein-Taff, Head of School, Chicago Jewish Day School


Project Description: Giving Tree Associates began working with Dare2tri in 2015 to conduct an organizational assessment and build a major gifts program. Over the course of a two-year partnership, Dare2tri launched a comprehensive major gifts and sponsorship program, year-round cultivation and stewardship plan, end of year direct mail program and signature annual event. Through their hard work, Dare2tri grew all campaigns raising 20% and 50% more revenue through the event and direct mail campaign respectively in the second year.

Testimonial:Dare2tri was privileged to work with Giving Tree Associates during some very formative years for our organization.  GTA was able to really help us think strategically about the direction of the organization and set up policies and procedures that will ensure our continued and long term success.  They are highly motivated, organized and experienced in the field and we would not be where we are today without them.  They truly became part of the team and the Dare2tri family and we know those relationships will continue beyond the engagement of our contract.  Thank you GTA for helping shape us into a strong, focused and well equipped organization!” – Keri Serota, Executive Director 

ELI Talks
Program Description: Giving Tree Associates worked with ELI Talks to develop a fundraising plan to ensure its ongoing sustainability once its primary funder, the AVI CHAI Foundation, closes in 2020. Giving Tree conducted a detailed analysis of ELI’s history, marketing materials, programs, and fundraising activities. Consultants interviewed and surveyed key stakeholders and identified potential future funders. Giving Tree assisted ELI Talks to develop new mission/vision statements and drafted sample written materials. The resulting reports (a fundraising plan and a goals/benchmark matrix), provided a three-year guide for ELI’s fundraising and marketing plans, infrastructure, leadership development,  as well as sample documents.
Testimonial: “Working with Giving Tree gave my project the clarity and direction it needed to build our long-term sustainability. Tina and the team were thoughtful and attentive to both the human side of the project and the details of the deliverables; overall they brought an experienced, good humored, and personalized eye to our work which we deeply appreciated. They were responsive, thorough, generous, understanding, and professional throughout the entire process. My whole team was grateful for the work they did and feel confident that the plan they provided will set us up for success!” Miriam Brosseau, ELI Talks Program Director
Food Allergy Initiative Chicago

Project Description: In November of 2009, Food Allergy Initiative of Chicago (FAI), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding life-saving treatment and ultimately a cure for food allergies, retained GTA. In partnership with FAI Chicago, GTA facilitated the solicitation of major gifts, sponsorship level gifts, live and silent auction items and in-kind donations for their Third Annual Benefit in November of 2010.  Over 550 guests attended the event at the River East Art Center in Chicago and the event raised over $1.5 Million (up from $1.1 Million in 2009).

Testimonial: “Stefanie and Lizzy from Giving Tree helped us implement an infrastructure that our organization desperately needed.  They facilitated fund raising, organized meetings, created forms and sponsorship materials, centralized data collection, managed volunteers, collected donations, helped run the Annual Benefit and much more.  Their work was always performed in an enthusiastic, professional and timely manner. Both Stefanie and Lizzy were a pleasure to work with.”– Suzanne Dunn Friedland, Co-Chair, Food Allergy Initiative Chicago

Goldie’s Place

Project Description: From March through July 2016, Giving Tree Associates guided Goldie‘s Place through a strategic planning process that resulted in a five-year plan for the organization’s growth.

Testimonial: “Thank you to Giving Tree Associates Consultants Lani Hart and Tina Herpe. I believe Goldie‘s Place has a strong strategic plan for the future. We have our marching orders and now need to get to work making it happen! We really appreciate all of your hard work and diligence in keeping us moving. So thank you, thank you for being on this journey with us!” -Johanna Dalton, Executive Director, Goldie’s Place

HIAS Chicago

Project Description: Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) Chicago hired GTA in July of 2010 to manage its 100th Anniversary Endowment campaign and celebration. HIAS Chicago is one of the country’s most well respected providers of immigration services, assisting people seeking refuge from desperate conditions through the immigration process, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. The campaign launched in February 2011 and seeks to raise $2,000,000 toward new and existing services. The celebration in June of 2012 will feature the donation of 100+ trees to Lincolnwood’s Channel Runne Park in honor of donors, their families and the thousands of immigrants HIAS Chicago has resettled.

Highland Park Community Foundation

Project Description: In April 2016, the Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) Board of Directors participated in a board retreat, led by Giving Tree Associates and decided to embark on a strategic planning process. From September 2016-January 2017, Giving Tree Associates guided Highland Park Community Foundation through a process that resulted in a three-year plan for the organization’s growth. The strategic plan allowed HPCF to set goals, define objectives, explore their mission and vision, conduct SWOT analyses, and define action steps that will chart the foundation’s course for the future.

Ida Crown Jewish Academy

Project Description: The Principals of GTA managed a five-year, $35 million capital campaign and a $1 million annual campaign for Ida Crown Jewish Academy (ICJA) in Chicago prior to founding their own company. They coordinated all aspects of the campaign and created personal solicitation plans for prospects of $100,000 and greater which resulted in $18 million in multi-year commitments. When the Principals founded GTA in 2008, Amy Schiffman stayed on to successfully manage the annual campaign until 2009. She helped ICJA raise an additional $300,000 during that time.

Testimonial: “The consultants at Giving Tree Associates listened to us. Amy and Stefanie made sure they understood our organization’s resources and capabilities before helping us construct a thorough and promising strategic development plan.”– Michelle Friedman, President, Ida Crown Jewish Academy

Imagine Englewood if…

Project Description: Imagine Englewood if… hired Giving Tree Associates in 2008 in order to direct their foundation relations program and offer assistance in board recruitment, training and retention.  GTA researched hundreds of potential funders and wrote letters of intent and full proposals for IEi.  Consultants also offered their expertise in development office management and budgeting.  They spent several hours each week working directly with IEi’s executive director in a coaching and advisory role.

Testimonial: “I would like for you to know that Ravit (GTA consultant) attended the Core Capacity Assessment Tool presentation at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.  She followed up with phone calls to make sure I was on target with the request.  She walked me through the process and met with IEi staff on several occasions to work out strategies and collect information to complete the necessary documentations.  There were several problems with our computer communications and Ravit made phone calls and wrote emails to CCAT to resolve any issues.  She also made sure I was aware of any changes and updates.  Without her guidance I would not have been able to complete the process.  This program will help us to build the foundation that IEI needs to compete in the non-profit arena and to better serve our youth and community.  I would like to collectively thank everyone for their assistance and contribution. Yes we can — Yes we can.”– Jean Carter-Hill, Executive Director, Imagine Englewood if…

Imagination Theater

Project Description: Imagination Theater hired Giving Tree Associates in 2008 in order to build a comprehensive grant writing and research program. Prior to hiring GTA, Imagination Theater raised approximately $60,000 per year in grant revenue from repeat funders and submitted only 2-3 new grant applications per year.  During the nine months in which Giving Tree worked with Imagination Theater, a formal foundation relations program was established and implemented, more than tripling grant income.

Testimonial: “I am extremely pleased by Giving Tree Associates’ professionalism, responsiveness and attention to detail and deadlines. They have added immediate value to our organization’s development program and I am confident that we will see long-term benefit from our relationship with them. Their practical approach to our development needs has provided our organization with valuable skills and a new approach to grant writing that we have never before experienced in our 45 year history.”– Jamie Pasquale, Development Committee Chair, Imagination Theater

Jewish Council for Youth Services

Project Description: In 2008, Giving Tree Associates was hired by Jewish Council for Youth Services (JCYS) to manage the “Max-Am,” a tennis-based fundraiser that was created by one of the GTA Principals in 2003.  Giving Tree coordinated all aspects of the event, including management of the volunteer committee, logistics, sponsorships, live and silent auction, and follow-up.  The event took place during one of the worst economic downturns in recent history, and with Giving Tree’s assistance, JCYS reached their targeted fundraising goal.

Testimonial: “Giving Tree Associates came to our rescue when we found ourselves without sufficient staff to both plan and execute one of our key fundraising events.  The team of staff is to be commended for coming in and skillfully taking over the event from “soup to nuts”.  Their expertise allowed me to carry on my role in donor cultivation and not have to worry about event details. The team exceeded my expectations with their recommendations for improving the event to maximize both participation and donations.  I find them to be extremely professional and very easy with which to work.  Our staff and lay leadership feel the same way.  If the opportunity arose we would definitely work with them again.”– Marty Oliff, Executive Director, JCYS

Jewish Federations of North America

Project Description: From June to November 2016, Giving Tree Associates partnered with Social Profit Ventures on a strategic planning process for JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet. The consultancy team worked with JFNA to develop a new curriculum and theory of change model for the country’s premier Jewish philanthropic leadership development program. The research and development phase included interviews with over 50 key stakeholders and partnership with a Strategic Working Group of Federation professionals, lay leaders and JFNA staff to ensure long term impact.

Testimonial: “It was pleasure working with the consultancy team on the strategic plan for the National Young Leadership Cabinet. I am thankful to both Social Profit Ventures and Giving Tree Associates for their guidance, expertise and responsiveness throughout the project. The team’s attention to detail, strategic prowess and skillful facilitation allowed our committee to develop a leadership development program for the 21st century that is worthy of JFNA’s exceptional leadership. Thank you.” – Rabbi David M. Kessel, Associate Vice President, Young Leadership & NextGen Engagement

Jewish New Teacher Project

Project Description: Giving Tree Associates was hired by Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP) in August of 2014 to develop and implement their major gifts program, and work on their strategy and leadership development. The project, set to end in September of 2015, was extended through September of 2016. Additional work was within JNTP‘s campaign plan, including rating & assignments, individual & foundation prospect research, and marketing & communications advancements. Giving Tree assisted JNTP in successfully planning a parlor meeting, which helped them exceed their fundraising goals!

Testimonial: “The Jewish New Teacher Project grew tremendously through our work with Giving Tree Associates and PLK Consulting. With the consultants’ help, we created our first development and communications plan and received coaching in the art of donor cultivation, stewardship, and solicitation. Our dollars raised from individual donations tripled over the course of two years as a result of our work together. We found the team to be reliable, level-headed, and kind, with strong attention to detail. We are so grateful.” – Nina Bruder, Director, JNTP.

Jewish Reconstructionist Federation

Project Description: Giving Tree Associates was hired to work with the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation (JRF) in January of 2010 in order to develop its national major gifts campaign, train national board members and coordinate a regional fundraising event.    As a result, this event, held in June of 2010, realized a 60% increase in net revenue.  JRF expanded the scope of work with GTA this past fall to include two additional regional events and national major gift development.  In 2011 GTA began managing JRF’s newest campaign initiative, with the goal of raising funds toward a revolving loan fund to benefit synagogue-based environmental initiatives.

Testimonial: “Thanks for all of your hard work Amy and Judy!  You made sure that the event was a success. All of the feedback I received was positive. Great venue, food, program and time frame. Short and sweet. The honorees felt appreciated but it didn’t drag on. Got lots of comments about how it was the best event JRF has ever done, we “got it right,” etc. I really felt good about it!  Thanks again.”– Lisa Stern, Co-Chair, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation NY/NJ Regional Event

“I just wanted to send this along to you — it echoes what I heard many times last night.  Kudos to us all, the hard work paid off it really went very smoothly and everything was just right.  Thank you for all of the hard work.”– Congregation Member, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation NY/NJ Regional Event

Junior League of Kane and Dupage Counties, Inc.

Testimonial: “Thank you so much for facilitating our board training last Saturday.  Having now gone through five board trainings this was by far the best one.  You could just see the light bulbs turn on in the room.  I really feel like your training has set the tone for a very successful year.  I can’t wait to work with you again in fundraising.”– Christina Brady, Board President, Junior League of Kane and DuPage Counties, Inc.

Lake County Haven

Project Description: Lake County Haven (LCH) empowers homeless women and their children to achieve permanent, independent living by providing temporary housing and supportive services. Giving Tree Associates conducted an assessment LCH’s resource development program, volunteer leadership structure, and governance documents. Giving Tree’s assessment report provided recommendations for ways in which LCH could strengthen its volunteer leadership and bylaws, increase its annual fundraising, and conduct a capital campaign to enable expansion of services.

Testimonial: “Giving Tree Associates conducted an assessment of Lake County Haven’s fundraising program. They provided many ideas for how we could grow our fundraising in the future including a major giving program, a capital campaign, and board development. I was impressed both by their in-depth analysis of LCH and by the detailed instructions they gave us for growing. They were always professional, smart, strategic, supportive, and generous. I worked with Lani Hart and Tina Herpe, and was very impressed by both of them. Giving Tree Associates, as a whole, is fantastic.”– Laura Sabino, Executive Director

Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago

Project Description: GTA began work with Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago in December of 2008 in order to manage its 100th Anniversary Campaign and Celebration.   Giving Tree Associates recruited, trained and educated a new cadre of lay leadership, who in turn attracted their personal networks to the celebratory event.   GTA Consultants managed all aspects of the June event, including committee management, invitation development, contract negotiations and corporate sponsorship.  Over $30,000 was raised at this first-ever fundraising event in the organization’s 100-year history.

Testimonial: “On behalf of the chair people for Maot Chitim’s 100th Anniversary Celebration, I thank you!  Thank you for inspiring us…for teaching us, and for guiding us through to an amazing event.  You really were the leading force behind all of our efforts and our success!  And, I can’t thank you enough for all of your time, your attention to ALL the details and your unwavering support. L’Shalom.”– Michele Friedland, Maot Chitim 100th Anniversary Event Co-Chair

Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation

Project Description: The Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation retained Giving Tree Associates in August of 2009 in order to facilitate their November Board Retreat.   At the time, the Board was grappling with issues critical to the organization’s future.  GTA conducted one-on-one interviews with key board members and staff prior to the meeting in order to better understand the Foundation’s culture and set a course of action for the retreat.

As a result, the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation was able to offer its board members a day-long series of meetings and workshops that allowed them to plan for the future and make decisions about long term growth.  GTA also offered training to staff/board members around the role of the board, successful solicitation techniques and effective governance strategies.

Testimonial: “The Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation retained Giving Tree Associates for a board retreat.  We worked with the two partners and they proved to be extremely organized and on task in developing the agenda and retreat materials. They were very effective in actually running the retreat and provided many good strategies on how our organization could raise more charitable dollars and leverage our funds.”– Lynda Robbins, Executive Director, Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation

North Shore Congregation Israel

Project Description: In early 2005, North Shore Congregation Israel, a Reform synagogue in Glencoe, Illinois, planned and launched an $18 million capital campaign in order to renovate and expand their current facility. In July of 2008, GTA was hired to manage the final fundraising phase of the project, which was known as the community campaign.  As the strategy development period came to completion, GTA coordinated a final campaign push for temple members. From October 2008 through January 2009, during the onset of the current economic downturn, GTA enabled North Shore Congregation Israel leadership to raise $750,000. In that same period, the number of congregant donors increased from 100 to 250.

Testimonial: “Giving Tree came in and provided a real jump start to a capital campaign that was flagging as it began. They helped us grow from one-on-one solicitations with a handful of major donors to a full membership campaign. Giving Tree energized the volunteers and helped us develop the necessary structure to expand the reach of our campaign. Not only did their professional expertise and experience contribute to our success, but they are a real pleasure to work with on the personal level as well.”– Rob Olian, President, North Shore Congregation Israel

Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning*

Project Description: Giving Tree Associates provided coaching services to Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning in fall 2015. Coaching focused on fundraising planning and campaign implementation as Orot launched its first fundraising campaign and planned for future fundraising activities. Founded in 2014, Orot is a pluralistic and multidisciplinary center for Jewish learning and practice for the Chicago metro area. It offers classes and special events for adults, an educational program for high school students and a Center for Jewish Mindfulness.

Testimonial: Giving Tree got us up and running for our first campaign. Our consultant, Tina, did a great job giving us an overarching vision on what a campaign is meant to accomplish, and all the steps we needed to take to put a plan in place. She held us accountable in our coaching, encouraged us and taught us the fundamentals. We feel organized and ready to go.

Park Plaza

Project Description: Park Plaza, the premier, independent-living community in Chicago for Jewish seniors, retained Giving Tree Associates in December 2016 to plan a grand re-opening celebration after significant renovations to their building. The Renovation Reveal event in June 2017 featured a morning of education on aging-related topics, food samplings from Zelda’s Kosher Gourmet, and a community service project. In addition to planning the event, Giving Tree worked on Park Plaza’s branding and PR, including a newly launched website, ads and Facebook page.

Testimonial: “Park Plaza had the privilege of working with Giving Tree Associates to help plan our Renovation Reveal event. After having completed significant renovations to our facilities, our goal was to spread the word about Park Plaza, and re-introduce ourselves as the premier Jewish senior living community in Chicago. Giving Tree both guided us through the logistics and planning of our event, all while adhering to our tight event timeline. They helped us to promote the event by diligently working to place ads in local publications and on Facebook and through a targeted direct mail program to the greater community. As a result of our work together, we now have our new website up and running and are active on Facebook. Giving Tree was responsive, professional, and made sure that no detail was overlooked. Thank you to the Giving Tree team for leading Park Plaza through this process and everything you did leading up to our successful event!” – Yehuda Lebovits, Executive Director

Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education

Project Description: The Partnership for Excellence for Jewish Education (PEJE) believes that Jewish day school education is critical to fostering an engaged Jewish people for an enduring future.  Its focus on three critical levers; professional leadership, board governance and financial sustainability, allowed Giving Tree Associates to play a role in shaping day school development programs in 2010.  GTA Principals, Amy and Stefanie, are members of PEJE’s coaching program and have facilitated both live and webinar workshops for professional and lay leadership on topics such as “The Effective Stewardship of Major Donors” and planning an annual campaign calendar (“Calendar Crunch”).  Amy and Stefanie will continue their work with PEJE in 2011 as a co-facilitator and coach at a national two-day professional training program for fundraising professionals and heads of school.

Testimonial: “Please accept our profound appreciation for sharing your expertise as a presenter at the 2010 PEJE Assembly Advancing the Jewish Day School Field. (The session)…served as a powerful model for leadership, collaboration and strength — all essential qualities as, together, we work to ensure institutional sustainability.  We thank you once again for being such an integral part of the 2010 PEJE Assembly.”– Rabbi Joshua Elkin, PEJE Executive Director and Amy Katz, PEJE Associate Director

Prizmah Center for Jewish Day Schools

Project Description: At the 2016 Prizmah Jewish Day School Conference, Amy Schiffman presented on Building a Highly Effective Board. This presentation drew a large crowd and taught attendees how to define the role of a day school board member, discuss the board’s role in revenue development, spot talent, build the bench, and optimize current leadership, and set goals around next steps. Amy continues to receive positive feedback and interest from this session.

Testimonial: “I truly enjoyed your presentation “Building a Highly Effective Board.” This was one of the most beneficial sessions I attended at the conference, and I appreciate your blunt and honest approach, and your examples were excellent.”– Michal Spivak, Board Member, Hillel Community Day School

Share our Spare

Project Description: In February 2013, Giving Tree Associates was hired by Share our Spare to lead their Board Facilitation. Founded in June 2011, the organization is dedicated to sharing new and gently-used clothing, toys and supplies with children ages four and under. Looking to move forward as an organization, Giving Tree Associates helped organize and implement the Board’s top priorities.

Testimonial: “I just got the best feedback from the meeting you facilitated last week. Everyone took their plan very seriously; they have been productive ever since. Better yet, everyone was engaged the entire time and left feeling like it was one of our most organized meetings ever! We owe it all to you and cannot thank you enough.” – Amy Kadens, President, Share our Spare

Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity – Rho Chapter, University of Illinois

Project Description: Sigma Alpha Mu-Rho Chapter is considered one of the top ΣAM chapters nationally.  It is one of the largest, strongest and most active fraternities at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  Yet, the house is over 80 years old and the results of a feasibility study determined that critical capital improvements were necessary in order to ensure the physical safety of the house.  The fraternity’s operating budget could no longer keep pace with its annual capital expenses.  Giving Tree Associates was retained in 2008 to provide guidance to the capital campaign committee. GTA has helped to create a “case for support” that the fraternity’s alumni can relate to and reestablished relationships through an alumni outreach program that educates its members about the current needs of the house.  GTA also manages grant writing services and serves as the campaign’s administrative team.

Testimonial: “We knew we wanted to establish a capital campaign; what we didn’t know was how to go about it, what materials were needed, and what the ask should be to certain alumni donors. Giving Tree Associates had answers to all those questions and much, much more. They are extremely professional and have been invaluable in keeping us focused and organized. We value the long-term relationship we have with Giving Tree.”– Dan Ripes, Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity

Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex & Union

Project Description: In the Fall of 2009, Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex & Union (SSDSEU) retained GTA to establish an effective marketing program and create positive messaging around the school’s core strengths and opportunities.  This effort was based on research and information obtained from interviews with current parents and stakeholders and culminated with a training /workshop involving Board and appropriate Committee Members.  SSDSEU and GTA worked together to conduct in-person and telephone interviews with parents, board members, community members and other key lay leaders/professionals in order to determine the community’s perception of the school.  As a result, GTA developed a marketing “message map” to document the most critical messages to be conveyed in internal and external communications.  They also worked together to incorporate the key messages and themes into a communications plan and draft editorial calendars for 2009-2010 school year.

Stage 773 (Formerly Lukaba Productions)

Project Description: GTA was retained in January of 2010 to develop a strategic campaign plan for Lukaba Productions.  Consultants guided professional and lay leadership in the production of project budgets, activity timetables and a campaign-related marketing plan.   In the spring of 2010 the scope of work was expanded to include a formal foundation relations research program.  GTA Consultants narrowed the field of hundreds of possible funders to under 24 promising grant prospects.  Calls were made to foundation program officers and letters of intent were submitted to compelling prospects so that Stage 773 staff were able to submit full grant proposals in the fall.  GTA Principals facilitated a solicitation training with the Board of Directors in late fall of 2010.

Testimonial: “We found GTA to be nothing but professional. Everything from their proposal to the completed project was clear, done on time and done on budget.  Amy conducted a program to our board on asking for donations which was well received and on target. She made it all seem like an easy task to do – this from a resistant board who has never asked for money.”– Laura Michaud, President, Stage 773

Temple Beth Am/Pressman Academy, LA*

Testimonial: “After our 3rd official phone coaching session, I felt moved to formally thank you for this opportunity to work together.  I feel like I have a ‘guardian angel’ on my shoulder as I work through the beginning of a new campaign structure at Temple Beth Am/Pressman Academy.  I look forward to our next sessions with eager anticipation.  Thanks for your guidance.  Please know that you are making a real difference in my confidence level and professional outlook and development.”– Jane Zuckerman, Director of Resource Development, Temple Beth Am/Pressman Academy

Temple Beth EL

Project Description: In January 2016, Temple Beth-El, a Reform congregation located in Northbrook, Illinois, retained Giving Tree Associates to conduct an assessment of their fundraising program and create a strategic endowment strategy. Giving Tree worked with Temple Beth-El’s Legacy and Endowment Committee to build an endowment program that includes a case for support, goals and strategies to achieve goals, donor recognition strategies, a communication plan and timeline. As part of the scope, GTA facilitated two endowment solicitation trainings for committee members, board members, past presidents, and other professional and lay leaders.

Torah Academy of Bergen County*

Testimonial: “I want to let you know that on Thursday afternoon I had a meeting with the head of school to discuss the campaigns.  I have you to thank for giving me real and practical knowledge so that I can indeed make our campaigns more effective.  When I sat down face-to-face with him and forcefully told him he can’t ignore me about how seriously I want our honorees lined up, he commented that he was thrilled that the school for the first time is going to be months ahead!  Thank you!!”– Ryan Hyman, Director of Community Relations, Torah Academy of Bergen County

*Coaching Client