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.
This was a quick exercise in understanding the complexity of the decision how and where to give. The participants were requested to bring 100 NIS each, and together with their peers they became a large giving circle that in the end of the gathering gave a grant to one initiative selected through voting.
The attendants were divided into groups and learned about the social projects. Later, they met the projects’ representatives and asked them a variety of questions in order to evaluate their feasibility, such as: what are the measures for success? How would you invest the money raised today? How can you ensure the project’s durability?
Following the discussions, all participants gathered for the voting, and they selected to donate the collected funds, 5,300 NIS, to the “School Break Science Academy” initiative. All three projects impressed the participants, and the fact that the votes were almost equally split between them reflected the decision’s complexity.
It was a pleasure to collaborate with both Epoch Times Israel and Keren Baktana, share with them an informed giving experience, and in the end – help an important project in its initial stages.
The three participating projects:
The School Break Science Academy: a program aimed at preventing violence and instilling values of sharing and consideration among elementary school pupils, through “old school” games and activities held during school breaks.
Anti-shaming project: A project focused on raising awareness among Israeli youth to “a loose finger on the ‘enter’ button”, the uncontrolled intrusion of social media into our private lives, and the devastating impact of shaming, when there are no boundaries to the freedom of expression.
React Program: React is a social business with a multi-disciplinary approach aimed at combating violence through a unique methodology that combines the cognitive, the emotional and the physical dimensions. The program focuses on various target audiences, and a pilot to be operated in prisons is currently being planned.