Hillel International

Over the course of 6-months,Orr Group partnered with Hillel to determine the feasibility of a movement-wide Centennial campaign and developed a practical and actionable plan that recommends the campaign’s goal, timeline, structure, and investment buckets.

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For nearly a century, Hillel’s network of dedicated student leaders, professionals and volunteers have encouraged generations of young adults to celebrate Jewish learning and living, pursue social justice (tikkun olam and tzedek) and connect to their peers and the global Jewish people. By participating in life-changing trips and campus initiatives, students learn to make a meaningful impact on the future of the Jewish people and the world while they grow intellectually, socially, and spiritually. At the heart of the Hillel network is the Charles and Lynn Schusterman International Center, supporting local Hillels to ensure that the movement achieves its mission “to enrich the lives of Jewish students so they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.” Hillel engages with and inspires the leadership of more Jewish college students than all other endeavors combined. Today, the Hillel network serves Jewish students at more than 550 colleges and universities. 

In 2023-24 the Hillel Movement will celebrate its 100th anniversary, a significant milestone and an opportunity to lay the foundation for a strong, vibrant Hillel for the next 100 years.

As the Hillel Movement approaches this milestone, Hillel engaged Orr Group to determine the feasibility of a movement-wide Centennial campaign. The goal of this work was for Orr Group to help build interest and consensus throughout the organization for a comprehensive campaign, assess Hillel donors’ motivations for giving and the movement’s fundraising potential, and establish the blueprint for a transformational campaign.

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To do this, Orr Group undertook a two-phased approach to assess campaign potential and develop our recommendations. As a federated model, Hillel prioritized gaining feedback from campus staff. We met with 15+ campus leaders to gauge their interest in participating in a movement-wide campaign and their level of readiness for doing so. Using their feedback as well as the input of Hillel International’s leaders, we crafted a draft case for support to test in the next phase of our work — interviewing potential donors at both the campus and national levels. We used our learnings from these interviews as well as the findings from a peer organization analysis and an assessment of the Advancement department’s capacity to execute a campaign to develop a campaign readiness and implementation plan with a recommended campaign goal, timeline, structure, and case priorities. Based on our findings, we recommended that Hillel undertake a 12-month campaign readiness phase to fully realize its potential for a movement-wide campaign, focusing on advancing donor relationships, accelerating fundraising and recruiting campaign leadership and campus participation. 

Orr Group’s recommendations were well-received by Hillel’s executive and Board leadership. They are in the process of implementing the readiness phase plan.