Donor Research and Service Design

Client: Jewish Communal Fund
Faculty: Erica Foldy
Team: Rachel Ackoff, Eliza Danielson, Dunyang Li, Yasaman Pishvazadeh, Rebecca Schumer
Year: 2013

The Jewish Communal Fund (JCF), a publicly supported foundation, promotes charitable giving to sectarian and non-sectarian organizations through donor advised funds. JCF engaged a Capstone team to determine which factors influence a donor to invest philanthropic dollars with a donor-advised fund versus a private foundation. The team focused on determining which value-added services JCF should consider offering in order to retain and attract new donors at the $1 million to $10 million-asset levels, with an overarching goal of informing JCF’s forthcoming strategic planning process. The team’s research methodology consisted of performing an environmental scan of Jewish and non-Jewish foundations, an existing services analysis, and a cost-benefit analysis of donor-advised funds versus private foundations; conducting interviews with financial, legal, and philanthropic advisors as well as high net-worth donors; and developing an electronic survey of a subset of JCF donors.