Rises to 215 on the Philanthropy 400;
JNF’s Boots-on-the-Ground Presence During Operation Protective Edge Had Great Impact;
Rising Interest Among Young Professionals & Affinity Groups Also Contributed to Growth
Jewish National Fund (JNF) closed its annual campaign year earlier this month and is $204 million closer towards achieving $1 billion over the next ten years having raised an impressive $81 million in 2014.
This announcement comes only days after The Chronicle of Philanthropy listed JNF at 215 on the Philanthropy 400, moving up from 327 in 2013.
"It never ceases to amaze me how enthusiastic and dedicated the staff and lay leaders at JNF are," shared Boston President Michael Blank. "Having just returned from a mission to Israel, I can report that JNF's powerful vision is being felt on the ground daily. This is truly an amazing organization I am proud to be a part of."
“JNF’s successful fundraising is measured by the collective power of our donors and the business plan put into place by our board members,” remarked JNF President Jeffrey E. Levine. “Clearly, the vision we have set resonates with American donors who know that we are the one organization best able to fulfill the mission of building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.”
Bill Miller, Vice President of Campaign added, “The tangible results we see today are due to the thousands who make up our very active lay leadership and a hard-working but lean staff. That, along with an effective realignment of the organization into five Centers of Excellence (COE) around the country two years ago, streamlined fundraising processes. Additionally, donors appreciate that their contributions can be directed to specific areas and that they can visit Israel and see the real results of their donations.”
Without question this year’s campaign success was markedly assisted by the number of donations made in the 50-day period during Operation Protective Edge. Some 24,000 contributions brought in more than $6 million (see our Emergency Relief Report) and provided immediate wartime assistance and aid, including the purchase of mobile bomb shelters and fire trucks. JNF was able to respond quickly and decisively as it works on the ground in Israel every day with numerous partners there.
Another growing level of support comes from JNF’s Affinity Groups and JNFuture, a national group of like-minded 25 to 35-year-old professionals committed to the environment and community development in the Jewish homeland. Affinity groups have mobilized philanthropic women, doctors, lawyers, rabbis and other professionals to come together in communities across the United States to support and raise money for Israel. In the last year alone, affinity groups have grown by approximately 15%, producing some 30% in added donations and JNFuture has increased in size by 30%, adding 40% in more donations.
JNFuture’s Root Society, comprised of those young people who give more than $1000 annually, grew by over 50% in new members.
Last year, JNF posted $123 million in donations, which included a large gift from the Boruchin estate, and set a bold and unprecedented vision in the $1 Billion Roadmap for the Next Decade, an innovative plan for Israel’s future. JNF’s Blueprint Negev campaign has transformed Israel’s Negev Desert, making the Negev an attractive place to live and work. Similarly, its Go North initiative has begun to provide new economic development opportunities to grow tourism, bolster employment, offer educational and housing options and make Israel’s north a desirable place to both visit and live.
JNF remains unique among Jewish charities as its long-term vision has grown to include building new communities in the desert, expanding the scope of river rehabilitation and water research, exploring energy production, increasing population in northern Israel, making all parks and playgrounds accessible to people with special needs, bringing thousands of people to Israel every year on missions and trips, and growing future leadership in our youth community through the Alexander Muss High School in Israel and Zionist education and advocacy programs.