How The Jewish Federations of North America's Venture Philanthropy Works
Today’s philanthropists want to have a voice in where and how their dollars are used. The Jewish Federations of North America is dedicated to provide support and vehicles for these passionate, committed and informed individuals who want to play a leading role on issues of national importance to the Jewish community domestically and overseas. Our mission is to fund initiatives that will improve the quality of life for Jews and others, reflect the Jewish nature of social action, and leverage personal philanthropy through collaboration. Unlike the federations’ annual campaign, which raises funds to sustain core services, The Jewish Federations of North America’s Venture Philanthropy strives to make investments in innovative and compelling initiatives with the potential to generate significant social returns.
The Jewish Federations of North America’s first pilot initiative, the Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality & Shared Society, brings individuals and private foundations together to provide financial and strategic support to high-impact projects that address Jewish-Arab relations and/or seek to meet the social needs of Israeli Arabs, Bedouins and Druze.
Twenty fund partners are sought each year to make a $50,000 commitment to the fund. Collectively, the partners identify, prioritize and execute grant-making decisions. Members have completed the first year of grantmaking and new partners are currently being sought for Year 3.
Based on the success of the first Venture Fund, additional Venture Funds are in the early planning phases and will hopefully launch once economic conditions improve.
The Jewish Federations of North America is also collaborating with Sheatufim – The Israel Center for Civil Society on their Cross Border Philanthropy initiative. The goal is for 10 Israeli and 10 North American philanthropists will coalesce for the advancement of social goals in Israel and around the world, combine and leverage their financial resources, and create a whole that is larger than the sum of its parts. The primary themes of the initiative are collaboration and the pooling of resources. Each program participant will commit to at least two years of involvement and an investment of $50,000 per year or a total of $100,000 into a joint fund with total group investment of $2,000,000. Group members will decide together the area of focus and the selection of the specific interventions for their investment to partner 10 Israeli philanthropist with 10 North American philanthropists.
The Jewish Federations of North America's program offers businesses loans to boost coexistence (JPost article): A new loan program designed to help small businesses thrive in specific areas aims to benefit employment sectors throughout the country which promote coexistence between Jews and Arabs by allowing them to work together.
Social Venture Fund supported program KORET made its 1000th microloan through their SAWA program assisting Bedouin Women in the Negev. Click here for the full article.
Click here for The JTA's feature on the Social Venture Fund's Consultation Visit to Israel and the activities of some of the projects.