Defining a Chevrah LeTo’elet Hatzibur [Public Benefit Company]

"Pumping It Out" by Wolfgang Schlegl“What do you mean that Israeli charities can be registered as companies?”

That was the question someone asked me last year that that had me thinking to myself, yet again, that Israeli charity legal/tax structure is a language onto itself and should require its own Ulpan.

Towards this end, I hope to clarify in this post the somewhat contradictory concept of a Chevrah LeTo’elet Hatzibur [Public Benefit Company]. Continue reading

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Israeli Government Grants: The Broken Promised Land

"Behind Broken Glass" by HzopakObtaining government funding seems to be every nonprofit’s goal, at least in Israel. I have heard countless lecturers, founders, and foundation representatives preach the Darwinian virtues of incorporating government grants into an Israeli charity’s fundraising strategy; after all, the nonprofit is servicing the Israeli public. It is to the Government’s benefit – if not its outright duty – to ensure that this charity’s program continues to exist

Not bad on paper. In practice, however, these Israeli government grants can sometimes be more trouble than they are worth.

For the purpose of this post, as a banker I would like to restrict my focus on the budgetary challenges associated with these grants.  Specifically, the two disadvantages that arise because grant monies are dispersed only after expenses are incurred. Continue reading

Rise, Knight of the Nonprofit Round-Table

“The Office of the Prime Minister invites nonprofit organizations, companies from the business sector that donate to the public or the third sector, and businessmen that work in the fields of philanthropy, to apply for participation in the roundtable.”

No, King Arthur hasn’t been reborn nor are we in Camelot. Heck, we’re not even in Kansas.  What this is, though, is a serious attempt by the Israel Government and a number of foundations that operate in Israel to increase the cooperation, strength, and transparency of Israel’s nonprofit sector. Continue reading

The Five Fingers of Fundraising Strategy

The holiday season of November & December has nonprofits both excited and nervous at the same time. Gaily Perry writes that:

For many nonprofits, one out of every two gifts comes in the last three months of the year…Online Giving is even more important at year-end. About 40 percent of online gifts are made in December. And 40-60 percent of those gifts are made the last two days of the year.

So naturally, everyone is rushing to find the best fundraising medium that will net their organization the most donations possible.  But charities need to take a step back because, believe it or not, proper fundraising encompasses more than just “direct mail vs. email solicitations” and even “Facebook vs. Twitter.” Continue reading

The New Jersey Scandal, Pt. 3: The IRS Expected Response

The arrests of 44 individuals–including, 3 mayors, 5 respected community rabbis, a score of government officials, and others–on Thursday of last week (July 23) should highlight the dangers of organizations donating to international causes; and I guarantee you, the I.R.S. is having similar thoughts.

I believe that two reactions can be expected.

1. Greater Scrutiny of Charities

The fear that a charitable donation might not be used for a charitable purpose is not new. The U.S. Department of Treasury has long known the important role that charities play in financing terror and released in 2006 its third version of “Financing Guidelines: Voluntary Best Practices for U.S. Based Charities.” Continue reading

Nonprofits’ War of Independence

Professor Joel Fleishman, author of “The Foundation: A Great American Secret; How Private Wealth is Changing the World,” is very clear on one thing: America has a long history of positive social change affected through the initiatives of private individuals and foundations.   These nongovernmental institutions have been succesful because of their greatest weapon, independence.   An article that was recently forwarded to me in The Commentary Magazine entitled, “The War on Philanthropy”, by David Billet, argues that this autonomy is under fire. Continue reading