A few months ago, I was having a conversation with an old colleague about her website. Debra Ashton wrote one of the bibles of planned giving. Back when I was entering the field, her first edition was long out of print. So I tracked her down and called her on the phone.
I had recently become a professional fundraiser, and my mentor at the time, Nancy Winship of Brandeis University, had told me to first get a job in the field, /component/page,shop.product_details/product_id,59/flypage,flypage.tpl/pop,0/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,4/vmcchk,1/”>cialis dosage options and second to study planned giving. It was almost as if she had whispered “plastics” in my ear. It was already hot, and getting hotter. Planned giving and endowments were the future of fundraising, or at least a fast ticket to the top of the field.
Given that less than a year after she gave me that advice I went from my first position in the field to being offered a position as Director of Endowment and Planned Giving at the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island, I’d have to credit her with incredible wisdom and foresight. She is still at the top of the field after more than a decade of leading
So there I was on the phone with Debra, one of the stars of the planned giving field, and I told her I needed a copy of her book. She offered to look in her basement and see if she could find me a spare copy. She actually did and sent it to me. I spent the next year reading it as well as Arthur Anderson’s Guide to Planned Giving. The latter is no longer in print, but if you can get your hands on an older copy, it will help you fall asleep just as easily.Â
Debra on the other hand is a real pip. If you ever have the chance to hear her speak or attend one of her trainings, she is one of the funniest in the field. Her book, The Complete Guide to Planned Giving, is back in print, self published, still one of the best and simplest guides in the field, and available on her website. (Breaking news from Debra – “the Arthur Anderson book, Tax Economics of Charitable Giving, was bought by another company and is now published by RIA. The latest version is the 2006-2007 version which was published in December. It includes the PPA of 2006.”)
So naturally, as I began to conceive of
If I was so good at marketing, then why would I pick a name that no one can pronounce? Good question. But were her assumptions valid?
Perhaps they are. It is true. No one can pronounce Aliya, even those who know that it is a transliteration of a Hebrew word. Some put the emphasis on the first syllable, Ah-lee-ah, and others on the second, Uh-lee-uh. Personally, I prefer the first, but as the old saying goes, “call me anything, just spell it right for the search engines.”
Secondly, I am pretty good at marketing. Iâ€™ve been doing it to build my own businesses and othersâ€™ since before I was out of college, and I spent the past few years learning the ins and outs of the online world. SO what gives? Why pick such an esoteric name?
Two reasons. Firstly, I merely resurrected a consulting business I had that had been dormant for a decade while I joined the world of working for others. I was able to gain credibility noting that I have been consulting since 1994. Secondly, most of my fundraising clients are in the Jewish community. Most recognize the Hebrew word Aliya and more than a few know that its literal meaning is â€œto go up.â€ It is most often used either in synagogue, where one â€œgoes upâ€ to the Torah to say a blessing before it is read (an aliya), or when immigrating to Israel, which the Jewish tradition refers to as â€œmaking Aliyaâ€ or â€œgoing upâ€ to the Holy Land.
Good reasons? Maybe. Maybe not. But for a company that specializes in making profits and fundraising campaigns go up, I thought it was catchier than Going Up Marketing and Fundraising.