Giving in Israel Survey 2012-2015

Begging for donations, the Prime Minister humiliates us

By Avi Naor, January 15, 2017 

Who decided that we need extravagant 70th anniversary celebrations paid for by our rich uncle?

We have recently been informed of the Israeli government’s decision that because of a lack of funds, the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Declaration of Independence, costing around NIS 70-100 million, will be funded by donations from wealthy people in Israel and abroad. Our government even outdid itself by deciding that the prime minister himself would be responsible for obtaining the donations.

This is one of the most shameful decisions an Israeli government has ever made. I was taught, and I have taught my children, that one should live modestly and within one’s means. Who decided that we need ostentatious celebrations, and that if we don’t have enough money to fund them by ourselves, the solution is to solicit contributions from our rich uncle? How humiliating, how lacking in self-respect, and how degrading for the Israeli public and for our brethren abroad. Continue Reading

“It takes a lot to do a lot”

What are the challenges faced by funders who wish to generate significant social change through large donations?

Why academic, medical and cultural institutions are perceived as safe social investments and have better success in attracting large donations?

Why are large donations to areas such as social change and closing social gaps more open to public criticism and perceived as riskier?

These are some of the questions discussed during the Committed to Give meeting with William Foster, a partner at the Bridgespan Group and head of its consulting practice.

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An exercise in actual giving

An exercise in actual giving: It was exciting to see a large group of people gather on a Friday morning to discuss how to create social impact, by applying the “Keren Baktana” (“Little Foundation”) giving circles methodology. The participants were presented with three social initiatives which were submitted in advance by members of the Epoch Times Israel community, and they carefully evaluated their feasibility.

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How to Take Israeli Philanthropy to the Next Level?

eJewishPhil (Custom)

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 International Day of People with Disabilities- Shira Ruderman

Every year on December 3rd we mark the International Day of People with Disabilities – and each year I ask myself what we managed to change in this area, and how we can deal with the fact that the area of disabilities is not perceived as “attractive” enough in the social and philanthropic world. Continue Reading

NPO’s Board of Directors and Donors – Partners in Action – Workshop at Lay Leadership Conference, JDC Institute for Leadership and Governance

In November 2015, “Committed to Give” held a workshop for nonprofits chairmen as part of JDC Institute for Leadership and Governance’s conference for Lay leadership.
With the participation of Shuki Ehrlich, Shula Mozes, and Judith Yovel Recanati, the workshop examined the interface between lay leadership and philanthropy, and discussed ways to build an effective, longstanding and continuous relationship between the nonprofit’s board of directors and the donor. We spoke about giving strategies and matching expectations between the donor and the organization which he/she supports. The participants in the workshop had the opportunity to have an unmediated dialogue, ask donors about the interface between the donor and the lay leadership, and discuss the connection between the organization’s working strategy and the donor’s giving strategy. Continue Reading

(Please) Keep Giving – Shuki Erlich

By Shuki Erlich, Chairmain of “Committed to Give” initiative for the promotion of philanthropy in Israel

In the days following the latest Israeli elections, we witnessed a troubling, repulsive and shocking call all over social media – “to stop giving”. This campaign called upon “those who have”, including donors and social investors, to halt their support of those living in Israel’s periphery because of their vote for right wing parties, and particularly for serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It must be noted that this campaign followed another massive non-political campaign which took place prior to the elections and called upon all Israeli citizens to come out and vote “in order to have a say”. Continue Reading

Your philanthropy roadmap- Rockefeller philanthropy advisors

This brief guide by Rockefeller philanthropy advisors  is designed to introduce the world of thoughtful, effective philanthropy. It’s a roadmap for donors— individuals, couples, families or groups. It offers an overview of issues that philanthropists may want to consider as they create their own giving strategies.

To access the guide  click here.

Jewish Funders Network Releases “Handbook for Funder Collaborations”

Funder collaborations are effective tools that multiply efforts, and build unique models to achieve common goals in order to maximize impact. The process of collaborating creates opportunities to move beyond the work of a single actor by bridging gaps, and bringing together different players who share the same vision, goals, and strategy.

The “Handbook for Funder Collaborations” is a compilation of research conducted by JFN that provides a comprehensive review of existing studies, articles, and in-depth interviews with stakeholders in Israel. While the Handbook focuses on collaborations based in Israel, most examples include Israeli and American funders working together, and the lessons are relevant to any cross-cultural partnership.

Funder collaborations are effective tools that multiply efforts, and build unique models to achieve common goals in order to maximize impact. The process of collaborating creates opportunities to move beyond the work of a single actor by bridging gaps, and bringing together different players who share the same vision, goals, and strategy.

To access the Handbook, or to learn more, click here.

Overcoming the Barriers for Israel Philanthropy

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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The Power of the Collective: Israeli Philanthropists Joining Forces

eJewishPhil (Custom)

“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

Worth more than money – Amuta21C

At the Amuta21C conference held on the 24th of June 2014, targeting managers of the third sector of the economy and society – two panels were staged exploring the complex relationships between charities and donors. Continue Reading

Striking the Balance


eJewishPhil (Custom)

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

On Public Giving and Inspiring Lives of Volunteerism


eJewishPhil (Custom)

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

The Power to Change



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

What Do a Wake-Up Call, a Reporter and the Next Generation Have in Common?


-or- Israeli Philanthropy from the Perspective of an Israeli Philanthropist

By Avi Naor

A conversation I had with an American colleague, a board member and donor for one of Israel’s leading cultural institutions, made me realize the dialogue between the Israeli- and non-Israeli philanthropists and activists was at a critical crossroad: She told me she wants to discontinue her involvement in Israel because, once again, she found herself on a board that included no Israeli donors. “Where are the affluent Israelis, and why don’t they match our contributions,” she asked me indignantly.

For me, that encounter was the final straw. Continue Reading

Shuki Ehrlich – excerpts from presentation at the JFN 2014 conference


I would like to share with you three major – even dramatic – achievements in the Israeli philanthropy scene, over the last few years:

  1. Significant increase in the amount of private donations and in the number of private donors;
  2. Private donors have become more professional and willing to provide meaningful long-term commitments;
  3. Donors have become more involved in leading social change and in developing the strategy to promote it.

There are many examples of innovative social initiatives that have successfully created change and generated nation-wide impact on Israel’s society. Continue Reading