1st Federation-Affiliated Jewish Women’s Fund to Launch as Independent Entity

An autonomous Jewish Women’s Foundation will be able to ensure accountability to its stakeholders, build its own infrastructure, and make its own investment decisions. The Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches plans to become the first of 24 national Jewish women’s funds affiliated with a local federation to establish itself as an autonomous organization. “Twelve years ago, an insightful and committed group of forward thinking Jewish women came together to implement a new philanthropic model for affecting social change to support women and girls in our community and around the world,” said Tami Baldinger, Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches. “Our local Jewish Federation saw the potential, supporting and nurturing our Foundation to … [Read more...]

Natan Fund Launches Amplifier to Propel Giving Circles into a Global Movement of Jewish Philanthropists

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The Natan Fund, a giving circle of young professionals in New York, has launched Amplifier: The Jewish Giving Circle Movement, a new global network of giving circles inspired by Jewish values. Amplifier is the first concerted effort to unite Jewish giving circles into a field, catalyze the creation of new circles, educate circle members on best practices in philanthropy, and connect giving circles to each other and to grantseekers of all types efficiently and effectively through an innovative new web platform. Amplifier, powered by Natan, was funded through a pilot grant by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and created in partnership with dozens of giving circles and organizations around the world, including eJewish Philanthropy. Giving circles are groups of people who come … [Read more...]

Do Israeli Nonprofits Really Have U.S. Counterparts in Friends Organizations?

There is a double-edged sword to continually looking for outside support for Israeli organizations. By Stephen G. Donshik In an article in The Jerusalem Post of September 9, 2014 - “Israeli Nonprofits Look to US Counterparts for Funding” - Niv Elis discuss how Israeli organizations are seeking funding in the United States by creating American-based nonprofits that raise money and then transfer the funds to their Israeli counterparts. He extensively quotes Tidhar Ofek, a board member of American Support for Israel (ASI). According to its website ASI is the first organization that enables Americans to donate online, tax-deductibly, to any nonprofit organization in Israel. We do this in partnership with IsraelGives.org: When you make a donation through these websites, the funds are transferred … [Read more...]

Five Steps to a Successful Spend Down: Operational Priorities

By John Hoover As was previously addressed in the most recent ACBP series blog, there is limited content available on the process of how foundations spend down. Below is a list of financial and operational priorities that we believe are important to consider in the beginning stages of spend down, and to monitor throughout the spend down process. 1. Determine when to spend down and how to communicate it. Is the foundation’s lifespan long enough to make program adjustments as well as corresponding financial adjustments? What is the most strategic way to align the fund’s finances with the spend down timeline? Is there a governance structure in place to periodically revisit this? Tactically, does the foundation balance risk with return and expectations with commitments while keeping … [Read more...]

Transforming Jewish Communities Through Legacy Giving

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By Arlene D. Schiff Maintaining the vibrancy and strength of Jewish communities across the country continues to be a concern for those of us involved, whether professionally or as lay leaders, in the Jewish communal enterprise. How do we ensure that the variety of Jewish organizations that make up the fabric of our communities continue to exist for future generations and are financially stable to meet current and emerging needs? Endowments, once a luxury, are now an essential element of every Jewish organization’s financial stability strategy. How do we build and grow these endowments so they provide the level of funding needed to compensate for declining annual giving? While at the same time converting our Jewish communal organizations from competitors to collaborators and encouraging our … [Read more...]

A Public Thank You for a Private Gift

By Rabbi Elliot Goldberg This summer, I began my tenure a Head of School at Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston. A few weeks in, I received an envelope from CJP, Boston’s Federation, containing a letter accompanied by a check for a significant donation to the school. The letter explained that the check was a distribution from an endowment fund that had been set up to benefit the school. Wanting to reach out to the donor, introduce myself and thank him/her for his/her generosity I inquired about the gift. What I learned surprised me. There was no one to thank. The gentleman who had set up the fund was deceased and had no remaining family. A close friend had been the recipient of acknowledgements and information about the fund for a number of years; he too has passed. When the fund … [Read more...]

AEPi Launches Million Dollar Philanthropy Campaign

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Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), the global Jewish college fraternity, launched a $1,000,000 commitment to 10 Jewish philanthropies at its 101st International Convention in Toronto, Canada. Brothers in 180 chapters in six countries will be fundraising through AEPi’s Official Philanthropy Program to accomplish the goal. This will be the single largest philanthropy project that the undergraduate students have ever undertaken. “As a Jewish Fraternity, AEPi is committed to Tikkun Olam - repairing the world. Our undergraduates have chosen to give back to 10 international recognized Jewish causes and agencies because that is where our heart and soul are, with Jewish people and organizations in every corner of our world,” said Larry Leider, AEPi’s International President. “Teaching the lessons of Tikkun Olam in … [Read more...]

Steps to a Successful Spend Down: Strategic Priorities

By Mariah Schuknecht At the Andrea & Charles Bronfman Philanthropies (ACBP), we have continuously researched spend down organizations since the decision was made to sunset ACBP by 2016. We have been surprised by the limited content available on the process of how foundations spend down, rather than the more broadly discussed topic of why foundations spend down. (We’re glad to see this starting to change, with resources like Duke University’s online spend down research library). We therefore went on a mission to consolidate both the process-related experiences of ACBP and other organizations’ research papers and articles relating to spending down. This is the first of two blogs this month that highlights the steps involved and items for consideration that we have organized from our … [Read more...]