Programs for JFN Members
Learning Sessions and Workshops
Smart philanthropic giving begins with learning about and delving into issues that concern funders and their professional foundation staff, together with strategic partners, and social organizations. JFN membership enables funders to learn about these issues together. Learning sessions and workshops on tools for strategic giving are developed in response to the needs of members. Each session includes dialogue and a focus on the questions, dilemmas and fields of interest voiced by members.
The content sessions, conducted by various experts in the social and academic fields, as well as government officials, introduce members to a variety of giving fields. These enable JFN members to learn together and be part of a direct conversation. The tools workshops impart practical skills for giving, offering an introduction to Israel’s civil society, an understanding of the relationship between the funder and the NGO, as well as training in conducting due diligence for NGOS, managing grants, follow-ups and reporting, evaluation and measurement of the donation, exit strategies for grants and encouraging the funder’s involvement beyond just a monetary donation.
Creating connections and expanding relationships among network members serve as one of JFN’s primary goals. A strong, diverse and active network facilitates opportunities for important and sometimes surprising connections, which can have a great impact on the way a person makes social investments.
Membership events are held in a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere, either in person or virtually, fostering a sense of collegiality among the participants and serving as fertile ground for the exchange of ideas, transfer of information and formation of collaborations.
Membership events focus on unique content. While attendance is primarily limited to JFN members, occasionally, philanthropists who are not JFN members are invited as well as the professionals who work with them. JFN members are invited to suggest ideas for membership events.
Peer Networks and Forums
One of the ways to motivate and ensure an effective social investment is the ability to form philanthropic collaborations. We encourage our members to create peer networks when the need arises to handle a specific social topic in an in-depth and comprehensive manner. We believe that the joint forces generated from the connection made among social influencers can promote real and meaningful change.
Peer Networks allow funders to unite around a topic or specific field in which they aim to make a change and to lead mutual learning processes and share work methods as a basis for creating operational collaborations.
JFN initiates, promotes and assists the Peer Networks and Funder Forums. Small-group sessions with peers who share a similar agenda is an opportunity for learning and unique activity.
JFN’s Current Peer Networks and Forums
“Education in Mind”
The funders’ interest group on education in Israel is a network of donors and foundation representatives who are active in the field of education or interested in learning about it. The goals of the group are gaining a deeper and joint understanding in the fields of education and philanthropy in Israel, sharing work methods and experience, exposure to different models of activity, enhancing networking, support, assistance and mutual connections between the philanthropic actors in the field, and sharing opportunities for collaboration.
For more information, please contact Lisa Levy, interest group project manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Funders Forum
This is a forum comprised of funders and professionals at philanthropic foundations who share a common interest in environmental issues; some of its members are also involved in philanthropic giving in this field.
The Forum meets four to six times a year, bringing together dozens of funders and foundation representatives from Israel and overseas with experts from academia, the government, and the philanthropy sector for sessions of learning, sharing, consultation and skill-building in various subjects related to environmental protection in Israel.
For more information please contact Gil Yaacov: email@example.com
Arts and Culture Forum
The Forum was established in 2020 as an operative platform for joint and tailored philanthropic learning and action. The Forum includes donors and philanthropic foundations who are invested in supporting arts and culture in Israel and see great importance in strengthening infrastructures, organizations and activity in these fields and developing them as social growth engines.
The Forum convenes about seven times a year and meets with artists, cultural bodies, researchers, government and local government officials, with the aim of initiating and supporting collaborations and strategic processes, as well as expanding philanthropic resources and partnering with additional funding.
The Forum’s activities led to the establishment of the first joint venture with the Ministry of Culture to promote cultural management in local authorities.
For more information, please contact Sharon Dwek, Membership Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gender Giving Forum
In March 2021, a small group of JFN leadership came together on international women’s day to explore the complex identities of leading women in the global Jewish philanthropic world. This meeting exposed the glass ceilings women face in their homes, boardrooms and the communities to which they belong. Out of this initial meeting stemmed the JFN Gender Giving Forum which held its kick-off meeting in December 2021, hosted by JFN Board member and forum champion, Dafna Meitar-Nechmad and featuring Israel’s First Lady, Michal Herzog.
The forum is focusing on peer learning of the field of women and girls and relevant philanthropic models of intervention. In addition, members of the forum on working and funding to create a toolbox in the form of a guidebook to inform funders looking to fund in the area of women and girls and to apply a gender lens to a current philanthropic portfolio.
For more information, please contact Sharon Dweck: email@example.com
Read here about the forums and peer networks run by the Center for Family Philanthropy >>
Leading and Supporting the Philanthropic Coalition for Change for a Shared Field of Interest
We believe that philanthropic coalitions for change in a shared field of interest facilitate the leveraging of resources, sharing of knowledge and experience, collective thinking and dispersion of risks. All this will eventually lead to the creation of meaningful social impact.
The philanthropic coalition’s mode of operation serves as the driving force for some of the most significant social programs currently run in Israel. To ensure sustainability and effectiveness, philanthropic collaborations must be planned sensitively, intelligently and creatively. At JFN Israel, we utilize the knowledge and expertise at our disposal, in order to assist the foundations and funders in creating philanthropic coalitions. In 2015, we published the first Israeli handbook of its kind for Funder Collaborations, which provides tools, tips and a review of the existing sources of information in this field. After the publication of this handbook, the level of interest increased, as did the funders’ need to understand the areas in which philanthropy can collaborate with the Israeli government. In 2017, we published a handbook for Collaboration with the Government of Israel.
We encourage JFN members to form philanthropic coalitions with the assistance and ongoing advice of our team of experts:
Funder Collaboration in an Existing Project
A JFN member can choose to invest in an existing project, which is based on the investment of another JFN member.
One-On-One Proactive Entrepreneurial Collaboration
Two JFN members with a shared field of interest meet and decide to invest together in a new social project.
Leading Funder Groups in a Shared Field of Interest
Frequently, JFN identifies a social field for which there is rising interest, and in which many funders are active and/or are finding their way. In such cases, JFN will gather the interested funders to share their experience and discuss possibilities of coordinating and working together. At times, these meetings lead to foundations for social change.
Foundations for Social Change
Active foundations that are interested in empowering a social change that is taking place in a specific field can collaborate and offer joint grants to organizations or projects that provide a suitable solution in that field.
Giving circles are comprised of a number of philanthropists who decide to pool their resources to ensure significant giving to a specific field and/or project. At JFN, we provide consultation services and support for all types of philanthropic collaborations, helping them identify the options, relative advantages of collaboration and the effective investment channels that leverage the shared strength of investing in that field.
Matching Grants Initiatives
Matching Grants programs are initiatives of philanthropic foundations interested in growing the pool of funders in a specific field in which they are active and in increasing the philanthropic impact in this field. Every foundation that is significantly involved in a specific field can initiate a matching grant program in order to strengthen that field and to introduce it to new social investors, who are able to double their donation at a 1:1 ratio. Funders participating in these matching grant programs can donate to any organization, initiative or NGO they choose, as long as it meets the criteria set in advance by the leading foundation.
To date, JFN has conducted 19 matching grant initiatives, raising over $100 million for important programs in Israel and overseas. Matching Grant participants benefit not only from the doubling of their philanthropic donation, but also from learning about new fields of interest, expanding their circles of influence.
Surveys conducted by JFN reveal that a majority (86%) of the new funders who entered a field as a result of the Matching Grant initiative, continue to stay involved and even significantly increase their contribution over the years.
Examples of Matching Grants Initiatives that were conducted in Israel’s social field:
Building & Strengthening the Impact Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Israel
This Matching Grant initiative led by the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation together with JFN was established in June of 2018; and due to its success, an additional grant was announced in July of 2020. This program, which totals $1 million for each round, was created to assist in building and strengthening the impact entrepreneurship ecosystem in Israel and to increase the philanthropic involvement in this field. Impact entrepreneurship is designed to provide a solution to social and environmental needs that have not been met, as creating a measurable business model that is economically feasible. The growth of the impact field encourages the flow of new economic capital and helps develop products, tools and methods for addressing pressing global challenges through solutions, such as sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and accessible basic housing, health and education services at affordable prices. Further information is available on the Matching Grants Website.
STEM Education: The Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Foundation, in collaboration with JFN, established a $1 million matching grant initiative to strengthen and promote STEM education (Science, Math, Engineering and Technology) in Israel’s geo-social periphery and to increase the philanthropic commitment to this field. This initiative promoted formal and informal education activities for children in kindergarten through high school.
Workforce Development: The Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation established a Matching Fund Initiative in the field of workforce development for first-time funders and other funders who increased their donation to over $25,000, in order to promote prioritizing the field of workforce development.
Jerusalem Renewal: The Leichtag Foundation started this 1:1 matching grant initiative for first-time funders donating to Jerusalem Renewal, and to other funders who doubled their donation.
Mosaic 2: The AVI CHAI Foundation and UJA-Federation of New York, in cooperation with the Temura Foundation and JFN encouraged funders to actively influence Jewish Renewal in Israel. Similar to the original Mosaic, Mosaic 2 was also a huge success: The initiative enlisted 41 new funders, who contributed to 29 NGOs that promote the field of Jewish Renewal in Israel.
Mosaic: Mosaic is a matching grant program that focuses on Israeli Jewish Renewal and is an initiative of the AVI CHAI Foundation and UJA-Federation of New York, in collaboration with the Temura Foundation and JFN. In 2010, Mosaic enlisted 55 new funders, who together with the matching grants, contributed $2,420,000 to 35 NGOs that promote the field of Jewish Renewal in Israel.
The Matching Grant Initiative for the Environment in Israel: A joint venture of JFN and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation for Israeli environmental organizations that work to ensure the future of a healthy and sustainable environment in Israel. The initiative has enlisted 24 new funders, who, together with the matching grants, have donated $1,555,000 to 13 NGOS active in the field of environmental protection.
The Annual International Conference
JFN’s annual international conference brings together hundreds of philanthropists, decision-makers, and world renowned experts, for three packed days of extensive discussion on current topics and for an experience of shared learning and empowerment.
The annual conference serves as an opportunity to make connections in a dynamic inter-generational group of Jewish philanthropists from around the world. It provides an extraordinary platform for sharing ideas and learning. The conference is held in Israel every three years.
Six years have passed since we met in Israel, the local and international philanthropic community together. In these six years, our world has changed, at home and abroad, and especially since the disaster struck us as a society and as a nation on October 7th.
We see great importance and a real mission to meet as a philanthropic community. precisely at this time. To conduct learning and joint thinking around big questions and tackle large-scale and lengthy tasks facing philanthropy int he immediate and long term.