Israel: One of the Biggest Importers of Philanthropic Funding

philaBig.JPGIsrael is among the biggest importers of philanthropic funding in the West, according to a survey that was conducted and commissioned by the Center for the Study of Philanthropy in Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem through the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The survey shows that most revenue received in 2006 comes from abroad and amounts to 5.1 billion NIS and makes up 67.5 percent of income of non-profit organizations.

The survey is the first of its kind conducted in Israel that relates to institutional philanthropy from foundations and the activities of 288 active non-profit organizations in 2006.

The survey found that the total income of philanthropic foundations amounted to 6.6 billion NIS.

”Institutional philanthropy in Israel is among the biggest in the world, accounting for 1.03 percent of GDP in 2006 and 2.38 percent of the government’s expenses that year,” says Prof. Hillel Schmid, director of the Center for Philanthropy Studies at the Hebrew University. ”In comparison, philanthropic worth is 1.85 percent of GDP in the United States.”

Of the 4.7 billion NIS donated by foundations in 2006, 39.6 percent went to non-profit organizations, and the rest went to national institutions (23.1 percent), private homes (12.2 percent), local authorities (11.9 percent) and overseas (9.8 percent).

Philanthropic foundations employed altogether 3,874 people in 2,002 full-time positions. 4,906 people work voluntarily at 44,885 hours a month. It was found that the volunteers work approximately 14 hours a month.

The survey provides a better understanding of the place and scope of philanthropy in Israel that primarily supports programs in the fields of welfare, education, health, art, culture and sport and the environment, says Prof. Schmid. ”Philanthropy in Israel is focused primarily in the center of the country (24 percent), Haifa and the north (19 percent), Jerusalem and surrounding areas (9 percent), while only a very small amount is dedicated to social initiatives and programs in the south (6 percent).”