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ABOVE AND BEYOND: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force

“The Machal forces were the Diaspora’s most important contribution to the survival of the State of Israel.”
– David Ben-Gurion

Sample Reel for ‘Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force’ – Playmount Productions from Katahdin Productions on Vimeo.

“In 1948, a group of World War II pilots, mostly from America, volunteered to fight for Israel in the War of Independence. As members of “Machal” – volunteers from abroad – this ragtag band of brothers not only turned the tide of the war, preventing the possible annihilation of Israel at the very moment of its birth; they also laid the groundwork for the Israeli Air Force.”

Donate to the production of ABOVE AND BEYOND: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force

Contact the film Producer:

“Quote” of the Day

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Social Media
A post from Maureen Carruthers of Low Hanging Fruit Media lays out the highs and lows of Web 2.0.  The money quote from her post

“Playing it safe in social media is a waste of time.  There are too many voices and they are shouting too loudly.  The only way to make the investment worth the effort is to figure out which tools, techniques and messages resonate best with your people.  Which means making guesses about what will work and seeing what happens.  If you are doing it right,  some of your ideas will fail.  That has to be OK.  As Clint Eastwood would say, “If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.”

Source: March Nonprofit Blog Carnival hosted by Kataya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog 

“Quote” of the day

“The kind of activism associated with social media isn’t like this (grass roots social activism) at all. The platforms of social media are built around weak ties. Twitter is a way of following (or being followed by) people you may never have met. Facebook is a tool for efficiently managing your acquaintances, for keeping up with the people you would not otherwise be able to stay in touch with. That’s why you can have a thousand “friends” on Facebook, as you never could in real life.”

Malcolm Gladwell in his article “Small Change” from the New Yorker.

Full article here: Small Change

Purim Fun In Beersheva

It’s Purim 5770 today in Beersheva as it is in most all of Israel and the Diaspora.

 In honor of the topsy-turvy nature of the holiday: remembering a serious crisis in Jewish history while being playful at the same time, we have the deep honor of posting our holiday feast’s guest, Robert Klein’s, “Prayer for the Welfare of Beersheva”.
“Our Father who art in Heaven, Rock of Israel and its Redeemer – Bless the City of Beersheva, the beginning of the flowering of our roasted seed-&-nut stands. Protect her with the wing of your loving-kindness, and especially protect the way-cool video sign over there at the intersection of Rager and Tuviahu streets.”

“Send your light and truth to the mayor and the deputy mayor, and the deputy mayor, and the deputy mayor, and the female deputy mayor – yes, to all four of these terribly vital deputy mayors, together with their office workers – and the nephews of their office workers, and the friends of the nephews of their office workers, and the friends of the friends of the nephews of their office workers, and the sister of the veterinarian of the dog of the friend of the friend of the nephew of one of their office workers – and set them up with a high-profile position and a good salary according to Your will.”

“Strengthen the hands of the defenders of our holy city, i.e. the Southern Region Police Force. Crown them with a crown ofvictory for the Beersheva soccer team, in reward for faithfully watching the team for many hours in the television room of the police station, and bless them with comfortable couches in that same television room, and bless them with a good living made off of the cameras which catch drivers who in actuality are going ten kilometers per hour less than the typical police car. And grant free parking throughout the city, and thusly peace to her inhabitants.”

“And our brothers, the whole House of Israel, watch over them throughout the lands of their dispersion, and speedily lead them upright to Zion your city, and to Jerusalem, the tabernacle of your renown – but if they don’t have the money for an apartment there, at least lead them upright to Beersheva your city, and lead them on her sidewalks with caution. And also lead them with clear maps, lest they fulfill what is written in the Torah of Moses your servant “And she went and got lost in the wilderness of Be’er Sheva”. (Genesis 21: 14)”

“May all the inhabitants of Beersheva merit Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) that they might fathom the mysteries of her street system. For example, why is it that at almost every traffic light, the street name changes, but when your turn right at the Stadium from HaMeshachrerim Street, you end up on HaMeshachrcrim Street- what’s up with that?”

“Appear in the majesty of the pride of your strength to all those who are standing in line at the local post office that they shouldn’t faint, and that no broken fingernail afflict the only clerk who is, so-to-speak, ‘working’.”

“And let us all say, Amen.”


Who’s The Target Audience?

Who should non-profits be targeting first for donations and membership offers?
“Nonprofits should (first) be targeting people who have benefited from their services,” says Sargeant, whose latest book on the subject, “Fundraising: Principles and Practice,” (Jossey Bass), will be published next month. “Sometimes nonprofits are a bit shy of doing that, but a lot of people, when they’re in the position to give back, are happy to do that. There’s no reason to feel uncomfortable.”
 – Adrian Sargeant, Robert F. Hartsook Professor of Fundraising at Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy. From “Payback Time” 2.25.10
After that, targeted Jewish postal, email or telemarketing lists are a very good second option.

That’s It?

“The average consumer receives 24.7 pieces of mail per week. That’s the fourth straight year that shows a drop in volume, a 5.7 percent drop compared to the heydays of 2005 and 2006 (which registered 26.2 pieces of mail per week). Of course, this also means there’s less of a crowd to stand out in (if you’re doing a direct mail marketing campaign).”

Source:Studies Show Direct Mail Healthier than Expected

by Ethan Boldt, editor-in-chief

Direct Mail “Quotes”

Denny Hatch has been in the marketing industry 50+ years and I tend to think that he’s one of the foremost experts in the field of direct mail marketing.
These are a few of Denny’s quotes from his recent article in the Target Marketing e newsletter.
  • “In this high-tech, connected world of the Internet and e-communications, many marketers think they can save money by relying solely on e-mail efforts. I urge all marketers not to ignore old-fashioned direct mail.”
  • “Recent surveys have shown that many in the 18-to-34 age group prefer old fashioned direct mail to e-mail. The reason: their brainpans are grafted to the Internet and their in-boxes are a perpetual blizzard of Spam—which they HATE, and do not trust people that send it.”
  • “If you have the budget, test direct mail alone, e-mail alone and a combination of the two.”
Source: Target Marketing e newsletter

Snail Mail – Not Dead Yet

At least according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

They call it Snail Mail in the article, a term that I have come to loathe, but am willing to overlook when I hear this sort of good news:

“Looking to cut costs amid the recession, Alicia Settle initially thought it would be a good idea to eliminate her company’s annual direct mailing. Spending about $20,000 on the personally signed letters, which offered customers a discount on early orders, seemed indulgent for Per Annum Inc., which sells city diaries, albums, and planners in the struggling corporate gift market. But after swapping snail mail for email last year, Ms. Settle saw a 25% drop in early orders compared with the same period the previous year.”

“We realized we had made a huge mistake,” says Ms. Settle, president of the New York firm.”

And Ms. Settle is not alone.

Lots of non-profits stopped sending direct mail prospecting in 2008-2009 to cut costs.

Lately they have been back in force, perhaps with a bit more caution than before, but with the realization that if you don’t go out looking for donors, they are unlikely to come to you by themselves.

And as trite as it may sound, you can still hold a piece of mail in your hand, sit down, read it at your leisure and write a check.

It may be a bit old-fashioned, but it still works.



Fundraising “Quote”

From : “Is the charitable giving cup half empty or half full?” By: ROBERT I. EVANS, AVRUM D. LAPIN AND STEPHEN DONSHIK – 10.25.09

“Giving USA noted that 82% of all charitable giving came from individuals last year in the form of current and testamentary giving. Those whose perspectives on fund-raising have been limited, or who are inexperienced in reaching out for charitable support, focus their efforts almost entirely on foundations and overlook individual giving, the biggest pool of potential dollars.”


The Future of Fundraising

“The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique.It’s about donors.If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here.”

— From the “What This Blog is About” section of Jeff Brooks’ new project,Future Fundraising Now

Inspirational “Quote” of the Day

“There is no shortage of … people, who wake up each morning and make the conscious choice to continue to be Jewish in a world that seems more and more hostile to our very existence.”

So the question remains: Do the Jewish people still produce heroes? Sure – all you need to do is to know where to look.

Marketing “Quote”

“All successful marketing comes down to a fundamental understanding of people, how we like to be spoken to, what captures our attention, and what messages stick.”

– Derek Sivers, Founder of CD Baby and blogger at

What’s So New About “All New”?

David from the 37 Signals, Signal Vs Noise blog, makes a great point about overmarketing a product based on a factor that is often greatly irrelevant, and that is how “new” the product is.

Did you ever feel like you were getting fleeced when a product claims to be “all new” or “newly improved”!?  If you answered yes, then join the club.
What can we learn from a marketing perspective in fundraising for non-profits?
– For one, don’t over consentrate on the newest, slickest thing your organization is doing, chances are it’s what you’ve been doing in the past with a new twist!  Instead, focus on your mission and how you are acomplising that within the framework of what you do on a day to day basis.
Here’s David’s full post, hope you enjoy…
“I love how revealing the language of marketing can be some times. When marketers are insecure about their offerings, it’s a predictable consequence that the presentation will grow ever more over the top.
The long-standing “all-new” trend is a perfect example of this. When an advertiser is claiming something to be an “all-new” car/soap/computer/camera it usually means exactly the opposite. It actually hardly even means new, at best it’s most commonly just “marginally-new” or “just-a-few-tweaks-new”.
In any case, focusing on just the newness of something is usually a pretty weak selling point. How about you just focus on something that rocks about your product? If the product is great, your customers will most likely automatically be buying the new thing.”

Do You Have Permission?

Marketing Guru Seth Godin’s seminal book, “Permission Marketing” has hit the ripe old age of 10.

For a retrospective review of this classic, take a look at Ken Magil’s incisive article in Direct!
If you disappeared, would anyone miss you? Your business? Your organization? Your brand?
Seth knows the answers.

Fundrasing “Quote”

“There’s a gold rush mentality in some nonprofit quarters about social media. Get moving! Get involved! We are obligated to invest! The real cry should be something more like, There’s a trace amount of gold in them thar hills!

Facebook is not your get-rich-quick scheme. It’s an interesting place to learn how to navigate this strange new world. Maybe it’s a good place to get out the word. But for fundraising? Don’t hold your breath.”

Jeff Brooks from: The Donor Power Blog 



Fundraising “Quote”

“For prospecting, e-mail is not a substitute for a well conceived direct mail program. E-mail open rates are declining. If truth be told, direct mail may actually cost less than e-mail, and generate a superior return on investment (ROI). E-mail is great for maintaining relationships with customers. If you rely on e-mail for prospecting, you will probably be out of business, whether in a good or bad economy.”

– David Kanter of Acculist USA

Fundraising “Quote”

“This is not a time to cut back, because if you cut back on building the visibility about the issues that you deal with and about your organization … you’re not putting a face on your organization. So when times are good again, no one is going to know you or remember you.”

— Lucy Cabrera, president and CEO, Food Bank For New York City, as quoted in FundRaising Success’ April cover story, “Filling the Void.”

Fundraising “Quote”

“Given the developments of 2008, it’s clear that nonprofits will, increasingly, leverage the power of relationships (through social media, e-mail, in-person requests, text messaging and more) to spark action around issues using new technologies. What will make these projects succeed or fail will be the creativity of their concepts, the urgency and content of their appeals, the commitment of their audiences, and the worthiness (from the donor’s point of view) of the ask. This is tried-and-true fundraising, really — just using newer, cooler gadgets.”

— From “Relationships 2.0,” by Sarah Durham, in the March issue of FundRaising Success.

Blog “Quotes” – On Goals

By Seth Godin from Seth’s Blog

“It’s not stupid to have a stated goal of starting several ventures that will fail, or asking three stupid questions a week, or posting a blog post that the world disagrees with. If you don’t have goals like this, how exactly are you going to luck into being remarkable?”


“We Serve Customers Not the Economy”

Ok, so maybe it’s easier to offer business advice when you’re a billionaire… at least if you’re a billionaire who’s name is not Bernie Madoff!!

Mr. Eitan Werthheimer, Chairman of Israel’s Iscar company offers his two cents about how businesses, and yes non-profits too, can cope with the current financial crisis.

Mr. Werthheimer said in a recent talk at the annual Globes Business conference here in Israel:

 “I’ve never seen a business sell to the economy.  We sell to customers.  If we need to we should wake up tomorrow morning and find new customers or create new products for our existing customers…”

Easier said than done, but what I think what Mr. Werthheimer is saying here is that in times like these, it can be easier for us to blame the economy rather than to make the necessary changes needed to adapt to the current economic climate.

As a non-profit, if you are suffering losses in your current annual giving campaigns, then there’s no better time than now to see if you can find a broader base of donors who support your mission!

Another other action step you can take is to re-think how to best achieve your organizations mission.

Innovation is a way to change how you do things while at the same time staying true to your organizations identity and your organizations goals and mission.

If you can’t get someone like a Mr. Werthheimer to donate a million bucks than the next best thing is to diversify and find 100,000 people who will each give you $10.00!


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