By Shula Mozes
The trend of Israeli philanthropy has gained significant momentum in recent years and has seen an emerging culture toward giving within Israel, far greater than what is commonly thought. Many have the perception that Israelis don’t engage in charitable giving for a variety of reasons, however, the trend has grown at a rate of 10% annually, with as much as 50% of all philanthropic activity in Israel – around $4 billion – provided by Israelis. Continue Reading →
The announcement by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan that they will donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares, whose current value is estimated at around $45 billion, is both exciting and inspiring, a demonstration of genuine leadership and social responsibility.
In Israel, alongside highly positive reactions, an announcement of this kind – such as previous announcements by Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison and others – also arouses thoughts and contemplation as to where this leaves us, Israeli society. When will an Israeli entrepreneur come out with a similar declaration that will give us a feeling of pride?
A comparison is indeed appropriate between our culture of giving and that which is customary in other Western societies, a culture characterized not only by the volume of giving, but also how it is managed, its aims, and so on.
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Private giving in Israel is still far from being a significant factor in social change. Still, things are rapidly changing and here are some recent stats that every organization should take notice of.
One of the major new directions in social funding is the formation of long-term partnerships between non-profits that aim to tackle a certain social issue and donors that seek to alleviate problems.
Historically, here in Israel we construct such partnerships, with Jews all over the world. When thinking of big foundations, the U.S. and Europe immediately spring to mind, and touring the Jewish diaspora in order to fundraise among wealthy Jews is common practice. Virtually every organization in Israel has learnt to understand the wishes and the approach of their overseas partners and throughout the years, this has set in motion significant changes in Israeli society.
However, the Jewish world is changing and does not quite see Israel as its poor relation in need of help, the way it used to. They invest more money in strengthening their local communities and eventually less money is being allocated to projects in Israel.
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“I think that tackling any major issue of social change in Israel
must involve and often be led by Israeli leadership”
Julie Sandorf, President, Revson Foundation
When Israeli philanthropists initially entered the world of giving, their instinct to create an organization of their own brought about the “MONGO” (my own NGO) trend, with Israeli givers adding their own organizations to the multitude of Israeli nonprofits. Yet, as Israeli donors gain experience, many realize that going it alone and creating something new is not always the best path. Funders who have encouraged the NGOs they support to join forces are now taking their own advice to heart, serving as role models in the not-for-profit world by championing the concept of collaboration. Continue Reading →
By Shuki Erlich & Maya Edut Lapid
For many years Israel was rightly accused of receiving donations from abroad but not giving. This picture has changed drastically, especially in the last decade, and today philanthropy in Israel is beginning to thrive. Israeli donors are taking responsibility and becoming involved in promoting social change.
While American Jews and Israelis share the goal of strategic and effective giving that creates lasting and meaningful change, there are significant differences in the perspectives and characteristics of each culture, as well as in the practices that can enhance and advance philanthropy in Israel and the U.S. alike. Continue Reading →
By Merav Mandelbaum
I still remember my first donation to a nonprofit organization.
I had been a volunteer at the Reuth Medical Center, the largest rehabilitation and chronic care facility in Tel Aviv, for ten years. Every week, I sat at the bedsides of numerous chronically ill patients, many of them Holocaust survivors, keeping them company and doing what I could to ease their pain. Continue Reading →
By Shira Ruderman
Philanthropy is intertwined with the culture and transformations Israel has undergone. Thirty years ago, Israel was almost purely a welfare state. Today, with a strong economy, changing the philanthropic landscape is necessary and we are working to create a different future for the next generation of funders. Continue Reading →
The question arises: Why do Israel’s rich donate less to philanthropic causes than their foreign counterparts? Shuki Ehrlich, Chairman of Committed to Give, an NGO dedicated to promote philanthropy in Israel, explains in the Cost of Doing Business – Podcast
Extensive news coverage of the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) survey on Philanthropy
From TheMarker English
CBS Survey Press Coverage – collection
This is the official statement from the Central Bureau of Statistics regarding the state of philanthropy in Israel –
March 4th Media Release
Committed To Give‘s commentary regarding the CBS survey –
The Committed to Give initiative is a group of private Israeli donors, acting together to encourage philanthropy among wealthy Israelis and influence them into donating from their personal fortunes to social causes.
The ‘third sector’ in Israel thirsts for independent financial resources unfettered from governmental sources to develop innovative services and provide a swift and flexible response to societal needs.
Private philanthropy is of national importance to facilitate undertakings, promote initiatives and development to drive social change.
Committed to Give instigated, in conjunction with the Central Bureau of Statistics, a survey to collate reliable data on the extent and character of philanthropy in Israel. The survey, the first of its kind, measured and investigated financial trends of philanthropy in Israel.
We were delighted to identify from the results of the survey, which provided an initial assessment of the Israeli philanthropy scene, that there is an upward growing trend with a 21% increase in donations between the years 2009 to 2011.
Notwithstanding these findings, we recognize that more effort is required among Israeli high net-worth individuals, which is aligned with the goals that the Committed to Give initiative has set for itself – to encourage and significantly increase strategic private philanthropy within this population.
The Committed to Give group believes that by changing the culture of giving – it will be possible to increase the scope of significant donations and over time benefit the ‘third sector’ which fulfills a vital function in Israeli society.