The New Philanthropy

The first of its kind, THE NEW PHILANTHROPY: AMERICAN JEWISH GIVING TO ISRAELI ORGANIZATIONS, draws on Internal Revenue Service documents to describe trends in American Jewish giving to Israeli organizations. Contrary to widespread belief, Eric Fleisch and I find that American Jewish giving increased substantially during the past two decades, roughly doubling to just over $2 billion before the great recession. We attribute increased giving to improved fundraising practices and growth in the number and variety of organizations fundraising in the United States, from 265 in the late 1980s to 667 in 2010. The largest sums were raised by organizations in the Zionist, welfare, and general education categories, followed by organizations in the medical, religious education, and arts & culture categories. The smallest sums were raised by organizations that support politically charged causes on the left (e.g. democracy, human rights) and right (e.g. West Bank settlements). We conclude that trends point to a rapidly diversifying philanthropic field and to ongoing engagement of American Jews with Israel.

The individual organizations are listed in the Appendix. We asking interested readers to help us by providing additions or corrections to this list of organizations. Please do so in our comment section.

Best wishes,

Ted Sasson and Eric Fleisch