NewsBits: Around the Philanthropic World

A few stories you may find interesting…

from The NonProfit Times:

Creating A Dialogue In Religious Fundraising

Two-way conversations with donors are helping religious nonprofits with fundraising results. The UJA-Federation of New York’s annual Generosity event this year drew approximately 700 young Jewish donors in their 20s and 30s, up from 500 people at the first event in 2006. These donors found out about the event from the online social networking site Facebook.

“Giving was up 30 percent,” said Stuart Tauber, vice president of fundraising. UJA contacted more than 3,000 people through Facebook to find the 700 attendees. While people were eating, they took out Blackberries to text pledges and sent messages during the event.

“We never incurred the expense of mailing,” Tauber said. “And we reached people we never contacted before because we didn’t have an address for them. Someone else had an address.”

from Reuters:

Bankers to help wealthy give again

The wealthy have scaled back charitable giving in the financial crisis but philanthropy is set to make a comeback as economies rebound and private bankers are looking to help their clients back favored causes.

“People’s pockets have hurt so the funding plans have reduced to a new reality,” Felipe Godard, head of European International Markets at JP Morgan Private Bank (JPM.N), told the Reuters Wealth Management Summit.

“But the appetite is still there,” he said, adding that clients across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region are still interested in giving and JP Morgan is using expertise built up in the United States to help customers elsewhere.

from JTA:

Q&A with UJC’s Jerry Silverman

Jerry Silverman, who took over the helm of the UJC/Jewish Federations of North America about a month ago, sat down with JTA this week to talk about his task of helping the federation system begin to evolve.

from Cleveland Jewish News:

Federation optimistic about future at Beachwood facility

Following much debate, media coverage, and public dialogue sessions that revealed support in the Jewish community for reinvesting in downtown, Federation’s board of trustees voted to move the agency’s headquarters, while still keeping its facility on Euclid Ave.

Proponents insisted that the central address for the Jewish community should be where the majority of the local Jewish population lives. Donors and others would better understand Federation’s role in the community if the headquarters were in their neighborhood and they could easily attend programs, supporters said.

Natasha Mozgovaya writing in Haaretz:

The houses that Moishe built

Moishe House, an innovative international framework for recent college graduates in a homelike setting, has a simple formula: Three to five young Jewish people live together, receive 25 to 75 percent of their rent money and a modest monthly budget, and in return undertake to hold a number of social and educational programs aimed at young people like themselves. The programs are varied – from the (Sabbath-welcoming) Kabbalat Shabbat and sing-along evenings, to “breakfasts with ice cream,” “Jewish meditation,” and outings to movies and elsewhere. The main thing is for young Jewish people to spend quality time together. Is it any wonder that the idea is spreading like wildfire?

… The Moishe House network currently has 29 houses in America and abroad; two opened this month in Moldova and Hungary, and two more are opening next month, in Denver and Mexico. The network operates in nine countries, and has an annual budget of $1.3 million.

… Many of the people who attend events there consider this their only formal connection with Judaism… Young people are put off by the synagogues and the federations “because institutions don’t understand them. We don’t have a mission of bringing them from zero engagement in Jewish life to 100-percent involvement. Many of our events give one the feeling one’s going to a party in Israel. We are, however, trying to provide people with creative ways to think about Judaism.