Slingshot Day 2009

The fifth edition of Slingshot: A Resource Guide to Jewish Innovation will be unveiled today at a full day launch event to be held at Random House in New York.

Without diluting this year’s selected grantees, the bigger story is the creation of a free-standing organization which will steer Slingshot and the Slingshot Fund into the future.

Slingshot, fiscally sponsored by FJC, was started as an experimental project five years ago to begin mapping the complex world of nonprofit innovation in Jewish life, which was viewed by many as an emerging fad. Since then, the collective giving mechanism the Slingshot Fund has contributed over $1,000,000 to under-capitalized innovative Jewish projects, and Slingshot’s role in the national, and international, Jewish community has increased dramatically. The introduction of the independent organization Slingshot, staffed and lead by next generation leaders, is evidence of the changing face of the Jewish community.

Leading the change is the first ever Director, 28 year old Will Schneider, who came to Slingshot after six years working in the secular philanthropy world. Will, a long-time admirer of Slingshot is part of a trend of top young secular professionals who are shifting their career trajectories to focus on the Jewish community. Recent years have seen dozens of professionals leave the secular world to run Jewish organizations such as Joshua Ventures (Lisa Lepson) and Repair The World (Jonathan Rosenberg). The sudden allure of Jewish innovation for young professionals is a side-effect of the high profile that Slingshot has helped to create.

At its core, the Slingshot launch is powered by the passion of several dozen young investors. These investors, often the next generation members of their family foundations, have moved beyond being only participants in the Slingshot Fund’s collective giving experience and have taken on leadership roles in the challenge of setting up Slingshot as a sustainable, self-supporting entity. Their work will ensure that future waves of next generation donors are able to participate in the eye-opening, often life-altering Slingshot Fund grantmaking experience.

In case you missed it above, here’s the link to Slingshot 09/10.