The Real Reason Israelis Don’t Donate

There is debate raging in the United States about tax incentives and the Nonprofit Sector. The U.S. government, by allowing donations to be tax-deductible, is surrendering money “owed” to it for the sake of encouraging charity. Many believe that the two – the rate of deductions and the amount donated to charity – are directly linked. Any decrease in the rate of deductions will lead to a decrease in the aggregate amount of charity donated to nonprofit organizations.

A recent study in Israel advocates the same theory, claiming that Israel’s poor standing in charitable-giving is directly related to the Israeli Government’s comparatively lower tax-deductible incentives.

However, by placing the blame squarely on the Israeli Government – instead of sharing the burden with the nonprofit organizations operating in Israel – these researchers are causing the Israeli Nonprofit Sector to leave a huge well of potential-donors untapped. The charities in Israel are failing to engage would-be donors, and it is this lost opportunity that should really be addressed. Continue reading

Weekly Must-Reads: May 23

A list of great articles from around the web that I posted to Twitter from May 16 – May 22, 2010.  This week’s topics include: Strategy & Governance; US Tax Tidbits; Social Media & Fundraising; Economy & Finance; and Potpourri. Continue reading

How NOT to Loan Money to a Nonprofit Organization

Loans can be a vital, strategic tool for a charity. At the most basic level, donations do not always arrive before the expenses they are needed to cover. At such times, credit – in the form of a bridge loan, for example – might be the perfect tool to allow a nonprofit to survive until the particular donation or grant is received.

The simplest way to lend money to a charity is for a donor to just give the organization the needed funds – either through cash, check, or wire transfer – with the (often unwritten) understanding that the funds will be returned at an agreed upon time. As no financial institution is involved, this type of loan is given in a relatively shorter amount of time, less complicated (no/less forms), and cheaper (no/lower interest rate and associated fees).

Nevertheless, an organization or donor might not want to procure a loan this way but rather through a registered financial institution; such as a bank, credit card company, or insurance company. Continue reading

Weekly Must-Reads: February 14

A list of the essential articles I posted to Twitter from February 7 – 14, 2010.  This week’s topics include:  Nonprofit Strategy & Governance; Social Media & Fundraising; Jewish Nonprofit News & Insights; and Potpourri. Continue reading

Do Nonprofits Deserve a Second Chance?

To the best of my knowledge, Judaism, Christianity and even plain-old, agnostic ethics advocates giving someone a second chance.  But is this true with nonprofit organizations? Does a charity that has made mistakes and lost our trust deserve our donations in the future?

This question was inspired by an article in CNN Money by Allan Chernoff entitled, “Is the American Cross Worthy of our Donations?Continue reading

Weekly Must-Reads: January 24

A list of the essential articles that I posted to Twitter from January 17, 2010 – January 23, 2010.  This week’s categories: Crisis in Haiti; Nonprofit Governance & Strategy; Internet, Social Media & Fundraising; Israel & Jewish Nonprofits; and Israel Economy & Finance. Continue reading

Weekly Must-Read Links: December 27

A list of my favorite articles that I posted to Twitter from December 20 – December 26, 2009.  Organized by category: Nonprofit Governance & Strategy; Internet, Social Media, Fundraising & Donor Relations; Israel/Jewish Nonprofit Community; and Potpourri. Continue reading

An Employee’s Small Gesture Can Send a Big Message

I experienced this incident first-hand about a month ago. I think it illustrates how even small gestures can have large (and sometimes negative) consequences.

I was interested in registering for two events that were being run by a nonprofit organization.  I checked the website but was only able to find details about one of the events.  I emailed the organization (at the email address provided) to register for the  events and to check if the second event was even taking place:

Continue reading