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IJCR IN THE NEWS: Philanthropy

New study examines Jewish philanthropy in U.S.

The J Weekly
March 8, 2012

A new study has found that only 24 percent of dollars donated by Jewish foundations go to Jewish causes. The data are part of a larger study conducted by the S.F.-based Institute for Jewish & Community Research. Read on...

ADL and AJC Suffer Big Drop in Donations

By Nathan Guttman, The Forward
December 9, 2011

The Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee, two of America's oldest and most prominent Jewish organizations, are suffering massive slides in public contributions as Jews appear to be turning away from large, multi-issue advocacy groups and toward single-issue organizations. The two groups seem to share a similar problem: A younger generation of donors is looking to support smaller, issue-oriented organizations, moving yet another step away from an era dominated by multi-issue mega-groups that represented broad Jewish needs and concerns. Read on...

Jewish Giving In The Global Village

By Brad Hirschfield and Erik Ludwig, The Jewish Week
November 22, 2011

Traditionally, Jewish thought and practice regarding philanthropy honored both the need to care for members of the Jewish family and also to assure the human dignity of the larger human family. In classical rabbinic literature this was done not simply so that we might get along with our neighbors, but in order to realize a grand scheme of peace and wholeness — mipnei darchei shalom in Hebrew. Jews must carry on their tradition of insisting upon a fully integrated approach to Jewish philanthropy. We should care for the engines of Jewish thought and practice that are capable of inspiring the next generation of givers, while honoring the profound Jewishness of caring for the increasingly large and diverse global village in which we all live.  Read on...

Academia’s Impoverished Billionaires

By Lynne Munson, Education News
November 8, 2010

“We recently learned that fifteen of America’s wealthiest colleges and universities sold an unprecedented $7 billion in taxable bonds last year. The loans, needed to pay bills and restore reserves, will cost these schools $360 million a year in interest. It is odd that these institutions would be so cash-poor, since, even at the depth of the financial meltdown, their endowments totaled more than $100 billion. A tiny percentage of spending from such enormous troves would keep the lights on and the libraries open. But, instead of sailing effortlessly through troubled times, our wealthiest private institutions were reduced to feverish budget-cutting and to rattling tin cups. Read on...

'Philly 500' Challenge: Renewal for Birthright?

By Deborah Hirsch
The Jewish Exponent
September 2010

Aryeh Weinberg, director of research at the San Francisco-based Institute for Jewish & Community Research, said it's not uncommon for nonprofits to seek more from those they serve during tough times, even though grass-roots campaigns take extra work and don't necessarily generate as much money.
Read on...

Jewish Couple to Give Away 75 Percent of Wealth

By JTA Staff
June 20, 2010

Los Angeles philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad have pledged to distribute 75 percent of their total wealth, currently standing at $5.7 billion, "during and/or after our lifetimes." A 2003 study by researcher Gary Tobin found that Jewish mega-donors, those contributing over $10 million each year to charities, apportioned only 6 percent to Jewish causes, including support for Israeli institutions.

According to the Tobin study, the reasons for the modest proportion of big Jewish giving going to Jewish causes include the ever-growing integration of Jewish giving into everything that includes "repairing the world," and the timidity of Jewish organizations in developing projects for mega-donations. In Broad's case, while he says he believes in supporting Jewish causes, his philanthropic decisions are based on hardheaded business sense. Read on...

What's Wrong With Charitable Giving - and How to Fix It

By Pablo Eisenberg
The Wall Street Journal
November 11, 2009

It's hard to overstate the crisis facing charitable giving today. So let me just say it as plainly as I can: Much of current philanthropic giving, by foundations and individuals, neither meets the needs of our charitable organizations nor addresses some of our most urgent public needs.

Foundation practices today are too bureaucratic, inflexible and cautious, and too focused on short-term objectives. Too often, the process and procedures of grant making are more tailored to the needs of foundations and their trustees than to the requirements of nonprofits. Read on...

Harvard Isn't Poor

By Lynne Munson and Donald Frey
Inside Higher Ed
July 31, 2009

It's a dramatic tale: The story of the once-wealthy institution that houses America's smartest -- our leading university, perhaps the world's -- now just scraping by. Searches frozen and secretaries dismissed, hot breakfasts suspended, trash piled high: Harvard is "poor," its endowment "collapsed," according to Vanity Fair magazine.

Harvard isn't taking issue with this impoverished profile. In fact, the stream of leaked letters and memos pouring out of this typically proud and stoic institution seem to suggest it is unopposed to its characterization as strapped. But is it true? Is Harvard really poor? Read on...

Charities' Loss of Trust and Stability Is the True Damage of the Madoff Scandal

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
By Gary Tobin
January 15, 2009

Now that nearly a month has passed since news of the Bernard Madoff scam broke, it is time to put the scandal in perspective. Much has been written about the horrific effects on Jewish philanthropy, and how the fraud reaches deep into Jewish nonprofit life.

Full Article

Madoff's Charity Victims

Interview with President of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research, Gary Tobin on the most troubling aspect of the Maddoff scheme.

School endowments: Saving for what?

Boston Globe
By Lynne Munson and Donald Frey
December 19, 2008

President Richard Levin admitted this week that the institution's endowment has lost 25 percent of its value, or over $5 billion. Harvard University's endowment is down $8 billion. These losses are difficult to appreciate unless their value is translated into real goods. For $8 billion Harvard could have provided 25 years of Crimson undergraduates with a free education. Or built the largest particle accelerator in the world.

Read the Article

Impact on Jewish Charities Is Catastrophic

Wall Street Journal
December 16, 2008

"In the Jewish world, we've just taken a major, central player, and introduced fear and uncertainty all over the system. It's like finding out your brother is a murderer" said Gary Tobin, president of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, which studies Jewish philanthropy. Dr. Tobin estimated the total amount of such giving in the U.S. to be as much as $5 billion annually.

Full Article
Read the Interview

Madoff: The Atomic Bomb for Jewish Charities

The Wall Street Journal
Posted by Dennis K. Berman
October 15, 2008

Deal Journal: So what are the direct effects of the Madoff scandal?
GT: There are three effects. The first is that at least hundreds of millions of dollars in foundation assets have disappeared. Major Jewish foundations have lost 50% to 100% of their assets, which means tens of millions of dollars on an annual basis won’t be given away. ...more

For nonprofits in a tough economy, marketing pitch must be perfect

The Jerusalem Post
By Jacob Berkman
October 16, 2008

Mouchly-Weiss also sits on the executive committee of the UJA-Federation of New York, and is on the boards of the New Israel Fund, the Abraham Fund and the Israel Policy Forum.

Her message is clear: With nonprofits facing a shrinking fund-raising pool as funders either lose money or become more tightfisted, organizations will have to come up with an effective pitch for convincing donors that they are running tight ships. And nonprofits have to recognize that their messaging may be their meal tickets. ...more

Paying It Forward - and Back

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
By Suzanne Perry
September 4, 2008

The Institute for Jewish and Community Research, in San Francisco, conducted a study of more than 8,000 donations of at least $1-million each made from 2001 to 2003. The biggest proportion — 44 percent of total dollars — went to colleges and universities, followed by health and medical institutions (16 percent) and arts and culture groups (12 percent). Groups that provide social services received only 5 percent of the pot."The disparity among nonprofits is so stark that it was inevitable that elected officials would start to to take a look at this," says Gary A. Tobin, the institute's president. ...more

Some Jewish Nonprofit Groups Lay Off Employees and Trim Programs

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Staff Writer
July 3, 2008

In these tough economic times, some Jewish nonprofit organizations are reducing the size of their staffs and programs, reports The Jewish Week, in New York.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, an international relief agency, and the Jewish federation umbrella group United Jewish Communities recently cut dozens of jobs, and several Jewish groups and programs have closed. ...more

Staying Afloat

With Economic Questions Looming, Nonprofits Weigh Options

The Forward
Anthony Weiss
June 18, 2008

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. ...more

Growing Share of 'Megagifts' Goes to Colleges, Hospitals, and Museums, Study Finds

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Debra E. Blum
December 11, 2007

Colleges, hospitals, and museums, long at the top of the list for America’s biggest donors and grant makers, are receiving a growing slice of multimillion-dollar gifts, according to a new study. ...more

Philanthropy's Largest Gifts Go to Colleges and Universities Religion and Human Services Are Almost Shut Out

Institute for Jewish and Community Research
Gary A. Tobin, Ph.D.
December 11, 2007

San Francisco – (December 11, 2007) - According to a new study released by the Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR), higher education, health, and cultural arts organizations receive the lion’s share of the largest gifts that individuals, foundations, and corporations contribute to American philanthropy. ...more

Report: A Fifth of Jewish Foundation Dollars Going to Jewish, Israeli Causes

Jacob Berkman
October 9, 2007

NEW YORK (JTA) -- The country's largest Jewish foundations give about a fifth of their funds to Jewish causes - and that number could fall, according to the researchers behind a report released this week... more

Day Schools Don't Isolate, They Foster Jewish Identity

J, the Jewish news weekly of Northern California
Saul Singer
July 28, 2006

It's too soon to tell. We still have to hold our breath. But the Jewish people may be slowly gearing up to save themselves. About 700 day schools are now in America, enrolling 200,000 students - double the number in 1978. ... more

Robbing the Rich to Give to the Richest

Inside Higher Ed
By Lynne Munson
July 26, 2007

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, fresh from an investigation of the student loan industry, is out with a plan he says will "help reverse the crisis in college affordability." Kennedy’s Robin Hood approach takes $18 billion from lenders and applies it to reducing loan repayment costs for students, among other purposes.

Read the Article

As Day Schools Rake in Mega-Gifts, Some See a Trend in Jewish Giving

Combined Jewish Philanthropies
Chanan Tigay
May 9, 2006

In February, news broke that the Jim Joseph Foundation would give some $25 million a year to Jewish education.

The previous month, the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Md., received a $15 million gift from a family foundation. In late 2004, a group of anonymous families made a $45 million donation to three Boston-area day schools. ... more

Only Encouraging Them

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed
James Piereson
November 18, 2005

Students at Yale University's School of Music -- and aspiring musicians hoping to go there someday -- must have been jumping for joy two weeks ago when the school announced that it had received an anonymous $100 million endowment gift that would guarantee them all free tuition. A few days later Tufts University, not to be outdone, announced that it had received its own $100 million gift. This one was from Pierre Omidyar, alumnus and founder of eBay, who did not specify how his money was to be used, only that the principal must be invested in "micro loans" to small business enterprises in poor countries in Asia and Africa... more

Fundraising Just a Mouse Click Away

Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
Tzvi Kahn, Jewish Telegraphic Agency
July 22,2005

When Carol Vavra, a major and tactical airlift navigator in the U.S. Air Force, returns home from the Middle East at the end of July, her husband will have a surprise waiting for her.

Paul Vavra, a recently retired Air Force major and an avid classic rock fan, bought his wife a pair of tickets to a Rolling Stones concert for $760 on eBay. In the process, he made a substantial donation to the UJA-Federation of New York... more

Wanted: 1 Rich Jew

Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
Rob Eshman, Editor-in-Chief
June 24, 2005

I have a friend who may come into a large sum of money. Not millions, but tens of millions. Sometimes, she told me, she daydreams about all the charities and causes she'll donate to.

"That's what I want to be, one of those people who sits around all day and gives out money," she said... more

Short News and Commentary: A Giving People

American Enterprise Magazine Online
John R. Lott, Sonya Jones, Mark Steyn, Alan Dowd, Naomi Riley, and Laurie Vuoto
February 4, 2005

Within three weeks of the Asian tsunami disaster, private donors in America had given even more than the $350 million in official assistance pledged by the U.S. government, note researchers Gary Tobin, Alexander Karp, and Aryeh Weinberg in a forthcoming study entitled "American Mega-Giving." With private contributions continuing to pour in, and $6 million per day of relief assistance being carried out by nearly 20,000 U.S. troops, total U.S. aid for this disaster will exceed $1 billion... more

Charity List Shows Community's Fund Raising Generally Is Stable

Rachel Pomerance
October 31, 2004

A snapshot of some of the largest Jewish charities reveals that Jewish fund raising generally is stable. But nuances in the numbers reveal who's up, who's down and why.... more

Boston Day Schools Get Anonymous $45 Million Gift

Nathaniel Popper
October 15, 2004

A group of anonymous donors has given $45 million to support Jewish day schools in Boston, the largest one-time donation ever made to the city's Jewish community... more

Prudent Management or Outright Greed? Critics Ask How Big Endowments Should Be

The Chronicle of Philanthropy Endowments: A Special Supplement
Ben Gose
May 27, 2004

Harvard University is sitting on nearly $20-billion in cash and wants much more. Guide Dogs for the Blind has cash reserves of roughly $260-million, nearly 10 times its annual budget. And Shriners Hospitals for Children maintains an endowment of more than $7-billion, a sum so vast that it covers 90 percent of the annual operating costs at the organization's 22 hospitals... more


May 1, 2003 - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Getting Megagifts to the Neediest Causes
Big gifts from wealthy donors and foundations are made primarily to a small group of very large charities, with the result that many causes -- and almost all small and regional groups -- are cut off from a substantial source of funds, according to a new study...more

April 17, 2003 - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Most Big Gifts Benefit a Handful of Large Charities, Study Finds
Megagifts -- donations of $10-million or more -- are a critical component of American philanthropy. Such donations accounted for more than $29-billion of the donations that charities received from 1995 to 2000...more

Apr. 1, 2003 - JTA
Among the wealthiest Jews in U.S., most give most to non-Jewish causes
In his 74 years, Arthur Sackler made a fortune in medical book publishing and amassed a collection of rare art and sculpture. In 1999, his family foundation gave $100 million to the Smithsonian Institution, where an Asian art gallery bears Sackler's name....more

Mar. 23, 2003 - San Jose Business Journal
Revealed: Where the wealthy give away their money
The vast majority of mega-gifts -- gifts of $10 million or more -- are concentrated in three areas: education, health, and arts/culture, according to a new study by the Institute for Jewish & Community Research of San Francisco...more

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