2018-01-31 / Local News

‘Man of the Year’ author and fundraiser Lou Cove entertains and educates

By DAVID PORTNOE Voice Editor


Lou Cove (left), an expert fundraiser and author of “Man of the Year,” gave an entertaining and informative look at how to fundraise at an event sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey and the Jewish Community Foundation, Inc. Later that day, he discussed his memoir at a Bank of America Festival of Arts, Books & Culture event at the Katz JCC. Welcoming Cove at the Federation/JCF event were (from left), Milt Gottschalk, JCF president; Jennifer Dubrow Weiss, Jewish Federation CEO; Glenn Fuhrman, Federation president; and Leonard Glickman, JCF executive director. Lou Cove (left), an expert fundraiser and author of “Man of the Year,” gave an entertaining and informative look at how to fundraise at an event sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey and the Jewish Community Foundation, Inc. Later that day, he discussed his memoir at a Bank of America Festival of Arts, Books & Culture event at the Katz JCC. Welcoming Cove at the Federation/JCF event were (from left), Milt Gottschalk, JCF president; Jennifer Dubrow Weiss, Jewish Federation CEO; Glenn Fuhrman, Federation president; and Leonard Glickman, JCF executive director. It might not seem that a 12- year-old’s campaign to get a family friend named Playgirl magazine’s “Man of the Year” would become the basis for an ultra-successful career as a Jewish communal fundraiser, but that is exactly what happened with Lou Cove. Using his outgoing personality and an abundance of chutzpah to run a campaign enabling centerfold Howie Gordon to become Playgirl’s “Man of the Year,” Cove put the lessons learned to good use. He became an expert fundraiser for several national organizations, including the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass., and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s PJ Library program.

Cove came to the Weinberg Jewish Community Campus on Jan. 21 to offer fundraising advice to 20 Jewish Federation agencies, area synagogues, and day schools. He also spoke about his memoir, “Man of the Year,” to an audience as part of the Bank of America Festival of Arts, Books & Culture of the Katz JCC.

In an event jointly sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey and the Jewish Community Foundation, Inc., Cove offered humorous fundraising guidance in a presentation entitled, “Everything I Needed to Know to Raise $70- million…I learned When I Was 12.” Among the lessons he imparted was: “Make Them Laugh…then Make Them Believe;” “Secure Allies and Unlock Niche Networks;” “Unplug! Show Up!” and “Engage Every Player on Your Team.”

As an example, Cove spoke about knowing what motivates particular donors. Where do their interests lay? Is it Jewish education, history, or another area?

When Cove was vice president of the Yiddish Book Center, Steven Spielberg was one of the donors. He knew that Spielberg was interested in telling Jewish stories. Cove was able to convince him to put his name on the “Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library.” With Spielberg on board, Cove was able to attract other donors; what Cove referred to as “gelt by association.”

Cove is also a proponent of building relationships by showing up. While technology is important, it’s also important to “unplug, to show up, to put yourself in front of people.” He encouraged fundraisers to build personal relationships. “Get out of the office, get there, and be with the people,” he said.

Cove said that passion for the cause is crucial, and that every person plays a role. He noted that a donor who sent him a $1- million check told him how nice the secretary in the office had been on the phone—and what that said about the organization. Every member of the team is important, noted Cove.

As a final piece of advice, Cove told his audience, “Don’t forget to say thank you.”

Cove’s presentation was followed by a Super Sunday Kickoff event in the Jewish Federation offices, as community leaders made the initial calls to kick start Super Sunday/Week on behalf of JFund.

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