A Good Return On Investment

The Jewish Funders Network and Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education announced they have awarded 199 grants – totaling over $15 million – to Jewish day schools across North America through its 2007-2008 MATCH donor incentive program.

This year’s program attracted 76 first-time donors and 123 previous donors. MATCH funds support Jewish day schools across all denominations, including Conservative, Reform, Orthodox, as well as non-denominational community schools.

“Supporting Jewish day schools that provide an outstanding general and religious education has proven to be a good return on investment for philanthropists,” said Rabbi Josh Elkin, executive director of PEJE. “The MATCH program offers a unique way to identify and motivate new donors, whose contributions assure that a quality Jewish day school education is available to more students in more locations across North America.”

On the first day of the program, $6 million was pledged for Jewish day schools. The total for the first 24 hours was a record-setting $9 million.

“As our previous initiatives in the fields of Jewish education, Israel, and the Jewish elderly poor have shown, matching grants are a powerful incentive to encourage donors to support new institutions in areas of importance to the Jewish community,” said Mark Charendoff, President of JFN. “Today’s donor wants to get more value from his or her philanthropic dollar and the MATCH program allows them to maximize their impact.”

The concept of providing matching gifts for Jewish day schools was established in 2004 by The Avi Chai Foundation and JFN in order to offer donors an incentive to give new gifts to day schools and offer schools a tool to attract new donors. Funding partners include The Gottesman Fund; Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert; The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; The Avi Chai Foundation and an anonymous donor.

for a recent post on the need for funding Jewish education, Are We Just Rearranging the Deck Chairs?, click here