The Jewish Week Reports on the Present and Future of Jewish Philanthropy

The New York Jewish Week is out with their annual Charitable Giving special section, including:

For The Perplexed, A Guide To Giving: Experts weigh in on how to judge requests and vet charities. The philanthropic road from Maimonides to Guidestar.

Charity Begins At The Beginning: Instilling the spirit of tzedakah at a young age, and keeping it going.

A Leadership Training Program Struggles For Funding: In tough economic times, what’s seen as a particularly valuable federation initiative needs a donor or two.

A Foundation With A Cause: One family foundation has made the inclusion of special needs children in the Jewish community its signature issue.

Using Philanthropy ‘To Solve Problems’: Mark Charendoff, the departing Jewish Funders Network president, looks back, and ahead. Here’s an excerpt from Tamar Snyder’s interview with Charendoff:

What are the top challenges facing the Jewish philanthropic world?

The world that I’ve been focused on is the world of Jewish philanthropy, mainly from the lens of private Jewish philanthropists. From my vantage point, I see so much waste. As a community, we do a fairly good job identifying causes and trying to contribute to those causes and do God’s work. We do a poor job when it comes to using our resources to solve problems. Sometimes we’re throwing money at perfectly good things.

The Jewish community, and the federation system in particular, faces the challenge posed by the aging of its donors. What advice do you have for attracting younger Jews to donate to Jewish causes?

They should stop aging. Seriously, I don’t think you attract younger donors by trying to attract younger donors. You attract them by doing good things and having causes that are very compelling. We need to show them that their money will go farther with us than with other possible outlets.