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

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Today’s US Dollar & How it Affects Your (Nonprofit’s) Budget

Summary of US Dollar’s Recent Activity

The peaks in the dollar/shekel exchange rate this past year and a half make me more nauseous that the merry-go-round at the local playground (and they really make me queasy). The dollar tanked and leveled out against the shekel at an 11-year low in late May of 2008, trading for 3.24. As if to prove itself, the dollar then proceeded to rise faster than analysts had predicted, peaking a little less than a year later in Mach of 2009 at 4.25. Since those glory days of March, the dollar has plummeted against all of the world’s currencies. Specifically, the last six months have seen the dollar drop against: the Pound, 7.2%; the Shekel, 8.9%; the Euro, 8.7%; and the Yen, 10.6%. With world markets (and charities financed by donations in US Dollars) hanging on the dollar’s every move, things are, once again, looking just a tad scary. Not monster-in-the-closet terrifying, mind you, but enough to make me bite my nails more often than I should. Continue reading

The Power of the Individual

As we start the Jewish New Year, I found it quite fortuitous that I ran across the following article and its implied message in the September 15th Haaretz paper.  The title read “Biker combines altruism, cross-country challenge.” In short, an extreme sports enthusiast named Ronen Medina is traveling cross-country, from Metula (Northern Israel) to Eilat (Southern Israel), on his electric scooter, visiting hospitals and distributing packages of candy to patients.

Continue reading