New York, NY, June 24: The Natan Fund, a giving circle based in New York City, today announced $953,000 in 54 grants to cutting-edge emerging Jewish and Israeli nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs.
Natan is a community of young philanthropists dedicated to funding Jewish and Israeli social innovation. Since 2002, Natan has awarded $9.6 million in grants to 168 emerging Jewish organizations and social entrepreneurs around the world.
The 2014-2015 grants mark the organization’s 11th annual round of grantmaking. Through a three-stage vetting process, 57 of Natan’s members, sitting on eight different grant committees, reviewed 298 applications. Members selected grant recipients based on their innovative methodologies, the strength of their leadership, and their potential for making a substantial impact in their respective focus areas.
“Natan members are continually inspired by the amount of creativity and passion that social entrepreneurs and emerging nonprofits are bringing to reinventing Jewish and Israeli life,” said David Steinhardt, chair of Natan’s board of trustees. “Each year, we’re honored to support new people and new ideas, and to continue our ongoing commitment to longtime grantees that are truly beginning to make systemic change in their respective fields.”
A notable addition to Natan’s grantmaking in 2014-2015 is a new focus on supporting social businesses in Israel. “After years of honing our expertise in the field of economic development in Israel, we wanted to delve into the burgeoning arena of social businesses,” said board member Talia Siegel. “Building the capacity of people to create businesses that have a double bottom line – social and financial – enables us to explore more of the pathways to making change in the world, beyond simply supporting nonprofit organizations.”
Natan makes grants all along the spectrum of early-stage social entrepreneurship: from individuals working on their first ideas and applying for their first grants, to post-startup organizations operating with multi-million dollar budgets that have been in the Natan portfolio for years. “What many people call the ‘Jewish innovation ecosystem’ continues to flourish,” says Felicia Herman, Natan’s Executive Director. “The challenge now is in ensuring that there’s enough ‘supply’ to meet the ‘demand’ – that we’re also generating more philanthropic resources to keep pace with the needs of this growing sector.”
Some notable facts about Natan’s 2014-15 Grants:
- Natan continues to give a preponderance of its grants as unrestricted support, especially to young organizations: 75% of the grants are for general operating support.
- 15 grantees are based in Israel; 3 in Europe; 1 in Latin America; 1 in Asia; and 33 in North America. 5 of the organizations operate programs in more than one country, and 8 grantees exist almost entirely as web-based platforms.
- 57% of the grants are renewals; 43% are for organizations and entrepreneurs that are new to Natan.
New 2014-15 grantees include:
A Wall in its Midst (Beliba Choma) aims to build bridges between the Haredi (ultra-orthodox) and non-Haredi population in Israel by bringing together students from vastly different backgrounds in order to learn from each other.
Dualis Social Investment Fund uses the model of a venture capital fund to achieve social impact in Israel through investing in and supporting for-profit social businesses. Dualis supports social businesses that provide personal skills, vocational training, employment and job creation for marginal populations in Israel.
Jewish Kids Groups is a new independent Hebrew school in Atlanta that offers summer-camp style, content-rich, meaningful Jewish supplemental education for children of all backgrounds.
Kevah enables adults to explore the spiritual and intellectual richness of the Jewish textual tradition in a comfortable setting of their choice by giving access to high-quality, agenda-free Jewish learning with a DIY twist.
KlezCalifornia enables people of all ages to engage actively and intensely with Yiddish music and culture. TAM – Tastes of Yiddish Culture for Kids is an initiative to create a Yiddish culture curriculum for formal and informal Jewish educational settings.
Limmud International builds the capacity and expands the network of Limmud communities and conferences around the world, providing support, connections, and training opportunities.
The Shefa School is the first Jewish day school specifically for children with language-based learning disabilities. The school will provide a research-based academic program for students in grades K-8 with the goal of remediating their language-based learning disabilities within a pluralistic Jewish environment.
Sugia is a global online platform that integrates Jewish culture and education with new media and popular culture. The organization uses an interactive new media platform to actively engage Jews from around the world in Talmudic-like conversations, discussions, and learning on the web. Sugia US – Talmud to the People will bring this platform to the United States.
A full list of the 2014-15 grantees can be found on Natan’s website: www.natan.org. The winner of the second annual Natan Book Award will be announced later in 2014.
Note about the 2015-6 Grants:
Natan will begin accepting new Letters of Inquiry in August and September 2014 for several of its core grant committees, for grants to be awarded in June 2015. Check Natan’s website over the summer for details about the 2015-6 grant timeline.
The Natan Fund is a giving circle that supports entrepreneurial organizations demonstrating an innovative approach to addressing the challenges facing the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Since 2002, through a rigorous collaborative giving process, Natan members have awarded over $9.6 million to 168 social entrepreneurs and emerging nonprofits around the world. In July 2014, Natan will be launching Amplifier: The Jewish Giving Circle Movement, a global initiative to strengthen and expand the field of Jewish giving circles. To learn more: www.Natan.org and www.AmplifierGiving.org.