Matching grants programs are initiatives of philanthropic foundations operating in a specific area, who choose to expand their philanthropic impact by expanding the pool of funders in this field.
Any foundation with significant involvement in a specific area of interest can initiate a matching grant program as a way to introduce additional funders, offering them the opportunity to double their investment through 1:1 matching. At the outset of a matching grants program, participating funders establish parameters for giving to the program’s target area, according to which the funders can support any organization, initiative or nonprofit they choose.
Until now, JFN has carried out 18 different matching grants programs, and raised over $100 Million for significant projects in Israel and overseas. Participants in the programs not only double their philanthropic impact, but are also exposed to new areas of interest, expand their circles of influence, and join forces to leverage the power of collective giving.
Furthermore, surveys conducted by JFN years after these initiatives were started show that the majority (86%) of new funders entering a field as part of a matching grants program continue to be involved in it, and even increase their support significantly over the years.
Following are examples of matching grants programs in Israel:
Matching Grants for Environmental Issues: This collaboration between JFN and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund was initiated to benefit Israeli environmental organizations working to preserve a healthy, sustainable environment in Israel. The program attracted 24 new funders and together with matching grants, raised some $1,555,000 to support 13 environmental nonprofits.
Psifas (Mosaic): Psifas is a matching grants program to promote Jewish Renewal in Israel, initiated by the Avi Chai Foundation and UJA Federation of New York, with the Tmura Fund and JFN. In 2010, Psifas enlisted 55 new donors, and raised, together with matching funds, about $2,420,000 to support 35 nonprofits promoting Jewish renewal in Israel.
Psifas 2: Avi Chai Foundation and the UJA Federation of New York, with the Tmura Fund and JFN, once again offered donors the opportunity to actively support Jewish renewal in Israel. Like the original Psifas, Psifas 2 was a great success, recruiting 41 donors who gave to 29 nonprofits promoting Jewish renewal in Israel.
Jerusalem Renewal: This year, the Leichtag Foundation is offering 1:1 matching funds to donors who support renewal in Jerusalem for the first time, and to established donors who double their funding.
Ta’asukah (Employment): The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation initiated a matching grants program in the field of employment, for new donors to the field and donors who increase their funding to over $25,000, with the goal of making work force development a national priority.
STEM: The Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Foundation, in partnership with the Jewish Funders Network, has created a $1 million matching grant initiative to strengthen formal and informal STEM education in Israel for grades K-12 and generate a greater ongoing philanthropic commitment to the field.