Charitable Giving

No Place Like The Home Page

The Charity Bids platform for nonprofits keeps donors connected to the organization without diverting them to third-party sites.

Assistant Managing Editor

When actor Tom Hanks decided to sell his 2004 Prius to the highest bidder for charity a couple of years ago, an unintentional conflict was set in motion.

His chosen cause was Welcome Back Veterans, a group that helps returning troops adapt to civilian life. The organization is a pet cause of Major League Baseball, and the auction was also supported by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a leading Hollywood charity.

Tom Hanks: Sale of actor’s Prius brought in $24,000 for charity via online bidding. Getty Images

Bringing Their Money To The Table

Giving circles grow in popularity, as younger donors seek community and connection.

Editorial Intern

Jo Schaalman “fell out of touch” with her Jewish identity when she left her hometown of Milwaukee for Boulder, Colo.

“My grandfather was a Reform rabbi, so I always had strong family connections. But I never found a synagogue where I fit in,” she said.

But when Schaalman, a business professional and nutrition expert who is now 35, became a member of Roots and Branches, a Jewish giving circle, in 2007, that all changed.

Giving circles use a "boutique" model. Photo courtesy Roots and Branches

Bukharian Young Adults Getting A Lesson In Giving

Leadership training program looking to impart concept of tzedakah to those not used to it.

Staff Writer

Some were born in the former Soviet Union, and came to the United States as children with their families. Some were born to émigré families here. Typical of Jews who grew up in households where education about Judaism was minimal, they had learned little about fundamental Jewish beliefs.

Including tzedakah.

A few weeks ago a dozen of them started their remedial education.

At the first meeting of Kalontar, a Forest Hills program for Bukharian Jews, participants learned the basics of tzedakah. SL

Must Small Donors Feel That Way?

In sluggish economy, organizations struggle with the cost of cultivating small donors.

Staff Writer

Allison Laichter, a darling of the Jewish communal world roundly hailed as a promising young leader, is out of a job.

The departure of Jewish Meditation Center co-founder Allison Laichter, center, sheds light on the small-donor problem.

That Noise Is ‘Big Data’ Knocking

With federation and foundation funding, GrapeVine aims to build a communal database.

Special To The Jewish Week

Think about the average Jewish organization’s database of contacts for a moment. What percent are either one-time participants or one-time donors? Seventy percent? Eighty percent? More? In most of the 800 nonprofit organizations we’ve worked with, these individuals who have dropped off radar screen constitute the vast majority of names in their database.

So what happened to these people?

Sacha Litman: Trying to prevent Jews from leaking out of the pipeline.

Charitable Giving November 2012

In sluggish economy, groups struggle with cost of cultivating small donors; Bukharian young adults getting lesson in giving; Giving circles thriving as younger donors seek community, connection.

Charitable Giving November 2012

Making The Most Of Gleaning

Using volunteerism and philanthropic dollars to feed the growing ranks of Israel’s needy citizens.

Israel Correspondent

Rehovot, Israel — When students at the Ulpana Orot Modi’in, a religious girls’ high school, learned that a classmate’s 18-year-old brother had fallen into a coma during the summer, they began to recite prayers and psalms for the young man’s recovery.

The 12th graders also decided to do good deeds on the injured man’s behalf, believing that he will be credited with the mitzvot and, hopefully, be healed.

Members of the Zahal Disabled Veterans organization spent a morning picking clementines for Leket Israel. Michele Chabin

Essay: Rebranding Tzedakah

Moving the concept from charity to sacred spending.

Special To The Jewish Week

The third paragraph of birkat hamazon, the prayer after eating, presents an odd conflation of concerns. Opening with a petition for divine mercy toward Israel, its people, capital, temple and monarchy, the prayer veers into an anxious plea to escape material dependence on other mortals: “Do not make us dependent upon the gifts of people, nor on their loans, but only on Your full, bountiful, and capacious hand, that we not be ashamed or humiliated forever.” .

Giving’s All In The Family

Inside one clan’s collective philanthropic effort.

Special To The Jewish Week

In June, Becca Linden’s extended family gathered at the Chicago Inn in Illinois. Some 80 relatives attended the weekend soiree, flying in from places like California, Toronto, Arizona, Colorado, and New York. The family reunion featured a sumptuous Shabbat dinner, family videos on Saturday night, and games like “two truths and a lie” (wherein players attempt to separate truth from fiction about each other’s lives).

Becca Linden established her family’s philanthropic foundation after realizing, at a family reunion, “We’ve been blessed.”

For ‘Friends’ Groups, A New Normal

With the philanthropic ground under them shifting, American ‘Friends of’ nonprofits having to adjust to new realities.

Staff Writer

Giving to American “Friends of” Israel organizations dropped sharply in recent years, but don’t blame the economic downturn, say the writers of a recent report that documented and analyzed the dip. The recession exacerbated the decrease in donations suffered by such groups as the Jerusalem Foundation, the American Friends of Open University and the Hadassah Medical Relief Organization but didn’t cause it, the report’s author, Avrum Lapin of EHL Consulting Group, told The Jewish Week..

Giving to American “Friends of” Israel groups, like the American Friends of Tel Aviv University, fell more between 2006 and 2009
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