Trends in Giving

Making Donations with a social conscience, keeping up with changing technology, bracing for an economic downturn – these are just a few of the stories in a special section called “Trends in Giving” in this week’s Forward.

Here is a snapshot of just two:

Technologically Impaired?
Jewish Organizations Struggle To Keep Pace With New Technologies

So what exactly is breaking down when you take the term “not-for-profit” and put the word “Jewish” in front of it?

It could be a matter of where the money’s coming from. and are both extremely well funded by a wide range of sources, which makes it easy for them to experiment with new technologies. Plus, many secular not-for-profits receive a push to embrace new technology from behind the scenes.

“Some of the secular nonprofits have boards of trustees and directors with people from large corporations that exert pressure to budget the money necessary for technical development,” said Steven Lubetkin, senior fellow of the Society for New Communications Research and a synagogue tech consultant in New Jersey.

“They don’t usually do that in the Jewish not-for-profit world, because so many are owned or controlled by a federation,” he said.

Staying Afloat
With Economic Questions Looming, Nonprofits Weigh Options

With food and oil prices skyrocketing, the stock and housing markets in tatters, and the threat of a recession looming on the horizon, now is not the easiest time to ask donors to open their checkbooks.

Across the country, these economic ills are being felt not only by individuals and families, but also by a whole range of Jewish institutions, from synagogues to food banks to social service not-for-profits that depend upon the generosity of donors to stay afloat.

As a result, not-for-profits are looking for ways to get creative so that they can make it through the hard times and carry out their missions.