“Not together in person but together in spirit, we have the same challenges wherever we are in the world”
Insights from a global conversation between social investors and NGO directors | July 29th 2020
The social funders came from a genuine and honest position of partnership and commitment:
“Our goal was to provide oxygen for organizations we trust who are already on the ground and ready to act”
Jewish donors around the world are trying to balance between two central Jewish values: “Kol Israel Arevim Ze Laze – All Jews are Responsible for Each Other”, and “The poor of your city take precedence”.
Many social funders are stepping up to help NGOs they believe in and supported pre-COVID. On top of that, they allocated additional funds for health, humanitarian and other emergency needs because of the crisis.
“Reaching out for advice, not just for money”
“I’m part of the team of the organizations I support”
The COVID crisis serves as a measure for true partnerships between the social funders and the organizations. The fact that strategic, long-term donors want and are able to give organizations so much more than money, came up repeatedly. These donors take on tasks such as lobbying, strategic planning, and crisis management.
“Money comes with obligation and responsibility”
For the short term, we’ve seen an increase in donations in Israel and worldwide, primarily through grants and emergency campaigns. The online survey we conducted during the Zoom meeting supports this trend, with 64% of participating responders reporting they raised new funds during the crisis.
“The Whole World is a Very Narrow Bridge”
“Because of our commitment to Israel and our Zionist roots, our annual allocation to Israel and overseas will not go down in the short term. That’s the good news. The bad news is, that due to COVID, any additional fundraising that we do is really going to be locally focused”.
This is a global crisis. Israel’s needs and challenges are same as the needs and challenges worldwide. At first, each donor is called up to help people and organizations in their own communities and country. The Jewish communities around the world are experiencing a crisis that is challenging the funding model of the entire community service system including education, religion and welfare which is based on membership fees and fundraising events. Synagogues, Jewish schools, summer camps, JCCs – are for the most part inactive at the moment, and these are the core of community life where Jewish sense of belonging and identity are formed.
For the first time in modern Jewish history, and after many years during which world Jewry supported Israel and Israelis financially and morally, perhaps now it is time for us, as the State of Israel and as a society, to SEE them and be there for them.
Look reality in the eye:
“We know this is just an earthquake before the tsunami”
It’s still too soon, yet trends can be seen in the philanthropic and social arenas in light of COVID- however we can’t yet deeply understand the implications.
“Our challenges in philanthropy split into local, national and the international-Jewish world… NGOs think about their immediate needs, but funders have many needs in front of them and try to calculate the long term versus the short term”
In the short term, funders are focusing on social action and organizational survival. Nevertheless, in light of the ongoing crisis, it will be necessary to rebuild infrastructures, expand giving strategies, collaborative work when possible, and focus on results, impact, and diversity the income mix. It will be necessary to analyze which organizations should be supported, not only out of habit, but through a lens of organizational strengths manifested before and during, and in the new reality as a result of the crisis.
Investing in relationships:
“The world of philanthropy shows its importance time and time again. The power of philanthropy to be a voice, to be a convener, an accelerator and to strengthen relationships is crucial”
Your strategic funders are your partners for the journey, they chose to support you because they believe in what you do. Before and during crisis, they are there for you to think together, to adjust, and to modify to a changing reality. Talk to them, share with them, consult, and no less important, show interest in them, how they’re doing and how the crisis effected them on a personal level.
*This conversation is a collaboration between Committed to Give (Yecholim Notnim) and Sagi Melamed, founding partner of Am Israel Chai.
“Has the Covid-19 crisis impaired your ability to contribute, and will it affect your scope of giving in the future?” “Yes, it hurt by giving ability, I am not as wealthy as I was [...]
"Not together in person but together in spirit, we have the same challenges wherever we are in the world" Insights from a global conversation between social investors and NGO directors | July 29th 2020 The [...]
Diaspora Philanthropy To Israel Is No Longer A One Way Street/ By Andrés Spokoiny The emergence of Israeli philanthropy has created a new paradigm of Jewish philanthropic involvement with Israel. Today, most philanthropic projects [...]