Eli Verschleiser: Co-Founder of Our Place Charity

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Eli Verschleiser serves as the Chairman of The Multi Group of Companies, where he has overseen a private real estate investment banking firm specializing in sourcing complex financial solutions for its client base. Through his companies Mr. Verschleiser has been involved in over $6 Billion of real estate transactions. In addition to his investment banking activities, Mr. Verschleiser has developed commercial and residential projects in the New York metropolitan area for his own account, and was responsible for winning the national public 858 Acre RFP for the Master Re-Development of Riviera Beach Florida. 

Mr. Verschleiser is involved in numerous community and philanthropic organizations, including acting Treasurer of The American Jewish Congress, co-founding Our Place, a New York based not-for-profit that provides support for teens in trouble, and co-founding Magenu, an international not for profit that works to protect children by promoting education in personal safety. In addition Eli is an honorary board member of numerous additional not-for profit organizations.

1) Please tell us about the charities you are closely associated with?
 Through OurPlace, I am very involved in helping teens that have substance abuse issues. Substance abuse is more than just that. There are so many underlying issues that it can take a lifetime of support for any individual. OurPlace has saved over 8,000 kids and currently receives more than 1,000 new cases annually. OurPlace has numerous drop in centers throughout the NYC metropolitan area. 
My wife and I founded a new organization, Magenu. Magenu has made inroads into the private Jewish school sector in educating administration, teachers, parents, and children on how to protect themselves from child abuse. To date Magenu has educated thousands and has now opened additional offices in Florida and in NJ. 
I am the Treasurer for the American Jewish Congress which has been successfully advocating  for the people for over a century. As such we are currently involved in Science Diplomacy for Israel and numerous other major projects as proponents of the people. 
2) How did you get into philanthropic efforts?
My family has always been involved in charitable work. My grandfather made a lasting impression on us, and was well known for his community work.
3) What is the best way to market a charity?
If you take a hands on approach it is easier for you to get others involved. The best way to market is to set the example yourself, which sets a positive example for the entire organization and its members/volunteers/participants. This creates an organic environment for marketing, where word of mouth generates the most interest.
4) What is the biggest challenge when leading charitable efforts?
The challenge is always getting the organization to a self sufficient point. You need to remember "never to lose steam". Enthusiasm is contagious. If it gets difficult as it always will, find more enthusiasm, see what you have accomplished thus far.
5) How, if at all, do you mix business with charity?
In all my deals I urge on the other side to donate a minimum of 5% of their profits from the transaction to a charity that I believe in. You would be surprised by how receptive to that concept most dealmakers are.
6) What charities and philanthropists do you admire?
I admire all charitable efforts if they done in a selfless manner. There are many who have an ulterior motive such as business, personal reputation, and for tax reasons. 
7) What is your life motto?
"You don't take it with you."
8) What is next for your charities?
I would like to work towards having  Israel be a model country for the world to look towards when it comes to child abuse prevention and education. Israel is small enough to be able to implement a national educational program for all its elementary thru high schools in this field. It can changed the world if the correct model is implemented, which we believe we have.