Professional Fundraising in Israel Comes of Age

A religious organization seeks a fundraiser + proven experience
in exchange for high percentage

classified advertisement currently running in The Jerusalem Post

Last week, the Israel Association of Professional Fundraisers (IAPF) held their launch conference in Tel Aviv – and with it, the 200+ attendees formally declared fundraising a profession in Israel, not just an occupation. The all day conference featured top international, and local, professional fundraisers, academics and others as presenters and was heavily focused on discussions of ethical principals and professionalism.

As Retired Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner said in her opening address, this is an “historic moment”. And it truly was – for as Shai Ben Mordechai, IAPF Board chair, stated, “In Israel there was no commitment to a professional code because there was no profession”. No longer.

Conference attendance ran the gamut from fundraisers working for small amutot to major institutions; from consultants to those managing foundations. All coming together in recognition of the need for this type of organization on the Israel landscape.

Like in almost every other western country, a professional Code of Ethics now exists and plans are underway to develop a formal certification program for those working in the profession.

Now it’s our job. All of us, as professionals working here in Israel, need to support IAPF.

We need to encourage our colleagues, our clients and our employers, to endorse the Code of Ethics.

We need to insist that every Israel-based amuta, every mega-global Jewish organization with a foot-print in Israel and every American Friends organization raising money on behalf of thousands of amutot and religious institutions subscribe to all the best practices of the profession.

And we need to pressure media organizations and list-servs to simply refuse to publish advertisements such as shown above.

Worldwide, there is a move to greater professionalism and transparency in fundraising; there should be – we’re stewards of money that belongs to someone else.

The IAPF launch conference provided a good beginning. Now, it’s time to move to the next level.

After all, as Hamutal Gouri, co-director of Dafna Izraeli Fund, stated at the conclusion of a panel, “A good fundraiser is the best selling point of an organization”.