Background

Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial Foundation’s mission is to secure the preservation of the authentic remains of the former German Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and to seek Jewish voices of leadership for the future.

Lisa Steinberg is the Director of Leadership Engagement for the Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial Foundation. She brought over 25 years of fundraising experience to the team when she joined less than one year ago. She had used iWave before, but not to its full capacity until this role. “I didn’t understand the power that was in my hands. I never really had the time to dive into it before,” she says. “iWave’s training and support team allowed me to grab and grasp that power”.

The Challenge

Less than a year ago, the young and nascent foundation had no database of donors. That was both a data problem and a research problem. Steinberg had defined what a prospect profile should look like for their organization, but there was as yet no strategic plan to find new donors. They were simultaneously seeking key leaders to spearhead their new Philadelphia $1 Million Campaign. This was a brand new campaign to raise a grand total of $1M for the Foundation’s Endowment. Because the Foundation is young with a limited donor base and prospect pool, Steinberg knew she needed to identify prospects with a proven interest in like-minded organizations.

The Solution

Steinberg started her project by looking at the donor list on another Holocaust-related site. She then logged into iWave, searched a well-known wealthy donor whose name she found on the other site, and this led her to a donor list for the entire organization. She uploaded the list back into iWave and generated profiles and ratings for all donors. “Using iWave was my only way of building my list of 2,500 highly qualified prospects, specifically connected to our mission,” says Steinberg.

Steinberg was not only able to create an actionable list of potential donors but she also identified two key leaders in the Philadelphia Campaign who have become co-chairs for this initiative. The campaign has since raised over $150K with the promise of ongoing success.

Another challenge they faced was around engaging prospects in their events. As an example, the foundation was planning an event in the home of their chairman. Steinberg was challenged to build a guest list because of their lack of a donor database. So, Steinberg sent invitations to people she was able to identify in iWave. One of these invitations resulted in a six-figure gift. The donor said she loved the personal touch of the invitation.

“iWave helped me create the fishing pond we needed to find donors connected to our cause,” says Steinberg. She used iWave to create an actionable list of potential donors, identify two key leaders in Philadelphia, and create a prospect list they will use for their ongoing strategy.

If I weren’t fundraising and doing the most meaningful work of my life in my current position, I would be selling iWave. I believe in the product that much.

LISA STEINBERG Director of Leadership Engagement

At a Glance:

Organization:
Auschwitz Birkenau
Memorial Foundation

Location:
New York City, NY

Industry:
Historical

Key Challenge:
Lacked a donor database

Key Benefit:
iWave’s easy-to-use platform allows the team to build and continually add to their qualified prospect lists.