Young Philanthropists Urge Continued Support for “Jewish Innovation” Amid Economic Downturn
The Slingshot Fund is now accepting nominations for the 2009 / 2010 edition of Slingshot, an annual guidebook that celebrates Jewish innovation by highlighting 50 North American organizations that take innovative approaches to addressing age-old concerns of identity and community in Jewish life. Organizations that are selected for the guidebook gain significant exposure to a diverse funding community and become eligible for a capacity building grant from the Slingshot Fund.
At a time when the Nation’s economy faces recession and when funders are scaling back on their giving, Slingshot Fund leaders — comprised of young philanthropists in their 20s and 30s — are urging members of the Jewish funding community to “double down” on their efforts to fuel Jewish innovation.
According to Jessica Warren, a founding board member of the Slingshot Fund, “Funding innovation cannot be looked upon as a luxury, only applicable in times of prosperity. Innovation is the Jewish community’s R&D department. To cut off funding for these innovative programs now would be destroying a bridge that connects our communal past to a vibrant future. It’s in these challenging times of decreased giving when fledgling organizations are most vulnerable, that we must view Jewish innovation as a funding imperative.”
The 50 nonprofits that will be selected for next year’s guidebook will be evaluated by 25 foundation professionals with expertise in funding Jewish life. Each organization will be extensively reviewed and selected based on its innovative response to the changing needs of the Jewish community and the world around it, impact on its constituents, organizational effectiveness and leadership.
Of the 50 organizations and projects that appear in the guidebook, a smaller group of grantees will be selected by a review committee of young funders from the Slingshot Fund. Selections will be made based upon the criteria of innovation, impact, leadership, effectiveness, and their ability to engage the next generation of Jews in relevant and meaningful ways.
“When we launched Slingshot five years ago, we were attempting to shine the spotlight on and bring prosperity, transparency, and accountability to the field of Jewish innovation,” said Jos Thalheimer, a founding board member of the Slingshot Fund. “Now, the phrase Jewish innovation is part of the funding world’s vernacular, and is seen as a greater priority. Investing in innovation, especially given the economic situation, is key to maintaining a thriving Jewish community that the next generations can enjoy.”
The nomination form can be downloaded at this Web link: http://slingshotfund.org/news/09-10_Nominations_Form.doc. In order to be considered for Slingshot ’09-’10, completed nomination forms must be emailed to Barbara Taylor at Barbara@slingshotfund.org and received by December 1, 2008.