In Omaha the local Hindu community asked to meet with leaders from the Jewish community. The Hinuds were trying to build their community and they wanted advise from the Jews on community building and fundraising.
Jews know how to raise money. The Mishkan was the first fundraising project in Jewish communal history, and it was very suceessful.
It began with Hashem saying to Moshe “Take for me Terumah.”
The word “take” – vayikach – is very interesting.
The first time it appears in the Torah is by Adam, the first man. Hashem “took” him and placed him in the garden of Eden.
Rashi says that in this case “took” means that Hashem “enticed him with pleasing words and persuaded him to enter.” This always seemed strange to me that Adam should have to be persuaded to move to the garden of Eden. And where was he moving from?
But the main point is that vayikach seems to imply a use of persuasive language.
Also we see that when Korach started his rebellion he “took” followers. There too, Rashi says taht Korach took them with words.
Even though Rashi does not say it here, it seems implied that Moshe was instructed by Hashem to “take” donations with persuasive language. This is how we raise funds. Rashi gives us hints of certain successful techniques for fundraising.
1. Rashi says, “lishmi” which literal means for my name, but usually implies for no ulterior motives. When raising funds your words must convey that the cause is pure.
2. Rashi says that the gifts meed to come as a gesture of good will. The words used need to convince people that this is something that they want to give to, not something that they need to give to.
3. Rashi says that the people knew exactly what their gifts would be used for in the mishkan. They wanted to see the impact of their gifts.