Institute helps summer camps fine-tune their business models

Several California camps, including URJ Camp Newman near Santa Rosa and Camp Tawonga near Yosemite, have received more than $775,000 in grants from the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy.

Elsewhere in the state, Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa and Camp Mountain Chai in the San Bernardino Mountains, Camp Ramah in Ojai, Camp JCA Shalom and Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps in the Los Angeles area have also received Grinspoon funds.

Harold Grinspoon, a successful real estate entrepreneur turned philanthropist,  is investing in Jewish camps to help them become profitable nonprofits. His goal is to create breeding grounds for the future of Jewish leadership and enhance the future of Jewish giving.

Philanthropist Harold Grinspoon visits one of the camps he’s trying to help professionalize with matching grants and consulting services. photo/jta/harold grinspoon foundation

Over the past five years, Grinspoon has committed $10.6 million in matching grants and more than $7 million in consulting services (more than 38,000 hours) to help Jewish camps raise money, improve their facilities and technology, and grow attendance.

His institute has been assisting 75 Jewish camps and six national camping organizations across the U.S. to transform their business models and operations into successful nonprofits. Free consulting services from a team of 10 mentors have worked with board leaders, camp directors and executive directors in the camps to strengthen their governance, create development departments, and build technology systems that have increased donor bases from hundreds to thousands of dollars and increased stewardship of alumni.