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Posts tagged ‘IGI’

Thoughts from an Israel IGI Participant

By Mikhal Bouganim, a participant on the Federation’s May trip to Israel to explore grantees for the Israel Impact Grants Initiative program.

This wasn’t going to be a Federation story. In fact, I now admit with some embarrassment, JCF was merely the vehicle to get me to Israel. Here’s the context:

Israel is where my formative childhood years were spent, the place that kindled my love of history, longing for social justice and ability to grasp complexity. Where I first felt part of something bigger and understood the notion of peoplehood. Where I fell in love, more than once.
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A Return to Israeli Social Ventures

The Federation’s Israel IGI Program Supports Progress

Earlier this month, the Jewish Community Federation convened an important trip to Israel for 10 participants of its newest Israel Impact Grants Initiative (IGI) – its high-engagement approach to grant-making modeled on social venture philanthropy. Partnering again with the groundbreaking Israel Venture Network (IVN) for a second year of engagement with organizations that are working toward social change, the Federation ushered the group through a dynamic landscape of Israeli social businesses being considered for grants. Read more

Announcing Two Impact Grants to Outstanding Jewish Young Adult Engagement Programs in the South Peninsula

Today, the Federation announced two new South Peninsula-based grants to outstanding organizations through its South Peninsula Regional Impact Grants Committee.  These two grants are designed to connect young adults in the area to Jewish life.  The Federation’s trailblazing Impact Grants Initiative (IGI) program employs a high engagement and empowerment approach to grant-making modeled on social venture philanthropy.  The IGI program provides donor-participants with a hands-on way to make a real difference in their community by making high impact grants that focus on pressing community needs. Read more

Announcing Three Impact Grants to Outstanding Jewish Engagement Programs in Marin County

Earlier this month we announced three new Marin-based grants to outstanding organizations through our Marin Impact Grants Initiative designed to connect Marin families to Jewish life. The Federation’s trailblazing  Impact Grants Initiative (IGI) program employs a high engagement and empowerment approach to grant-making modeled on social venture philanthropy. The IGI program provides donor-participants with a hands-on way to make a real difference in their community by making high impact grants that focus on pressing community needs. Read more

Request for Proposals: Young Funders Impact Grants Initiative

The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund requests proposals for its new Young Funders Impact Grants Initiative (IGI) focused on innovative ideas and initiatives for engaging adults in their twenties in Jewish life. Read more

Investing in the Jewish People: Social Ventures as the Next Frontier of Jewish Philanthropy

The following is a keynote speech delivered by Federation CEO Jennifer Gorovitz at the Israel Venture Network Conference, on November 18, 2013, at Tel Aviv University in Israel.  The remarks are included here as prepared.

Shalom everyone. I want to thank Eric Benamou and the Israel Venture Network for inviting me to speak with you here today. I’m Jennifer Gorovitz, and I’m the CEO of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. I’m delighted to join so many great thinkers and leaders in the world of philanthropy, business, and social activism. Thank you, Eric, for your tremendous leadership in the growing sector of social venture philanthropy; and, thank you, Dr. Hartigan, for your enlightening perspective. Read more

Slingshot Guide Recognizes Innovation at the Federation

Slingshot, A Resource Guide to Jewish Innovation, is an annual compilation of the most inspiring and innovative organizations, projects, and programs in the North American Jewish community today. First published in 2005, Slingshot continues to highlight those organizations in Jewish life with particular resonance among the next generation. Since its inception, Slingshot has highlighted 191 innovative Jewish organizations in North America. Read more

Announcing the Inaugural Israel Impact Grants Initiative Grantees

Two years ago, the Jewish Community Federation (JCF) launched an ambitious pilot to revolutionize its grant making efforts. Known as the Impact Grants Initiative (IGI), this new model adopted a venture philanthropy approach that offered high engagement opportunities for previously unaffiliated local donors and lay leaders while identifying high performing nonprofits that can make significant impact on local Jewish communities. Read more

Announcing the recipient of the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Young Leadership

Each year we honor a recipient of the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Young Leadership. Recipients are consistent leaders in our Federation volunteer community, have great potential for future leadership, and are 40 years old or younger. Please join us in congratulating this year’s recipient, Brett Goldstein. Read more

The Impact Grants Initiative Brings Local Organizations Together to Engage Families in Jewish Life

The Impact Grants Initiative (IGI) is an engaged, empowered, and effective approach to grantmaking. In 2011, the Federation’s Board launched the IGI as a way to provide donor-participants with a “hands-on” way to make a real difference in our community by making high impact grants that focus on a pressing community need. Through the IGI approach we have provided innovative Jewish programs within traditional organizations or new nonprofits with multi-year funding to succeed, and capacity building support to thrive. And ultimately, the grants awarded as a result of this new model help build a more vibrant, connected and enduring Jewish Community.

Deborah Pinsky is the Executive Director of the Peninsula Jewish Community Center (PJCC).  The PJCC was awarded a grant from JCF’s inaugural North Peninsula Regional Impact Committee, for a project that will be executed in partnership with Kevah, an organization dedicated to fostering Jewish identity and community through the study of classical Jewish texts.  The two organizations, one an established institution, the other a younger “Up-starter,” are joining together to address a community-wide challenge – engaging North Peninsula families with young children and teens in Jewish life. Collaborative partnerships like these are just one example of the many benefits of the IGI approach.

Following is a conversation between Sara Bamberger, ED of Kevah, and Deborah Pinsky, ED of PJCC, on their IGI experience and their emerging fruitful partnership.

How is the JCF IGI process different from other grant application processes that you’ve been involved with?

Deborah Pinsky, PJCC: It’s rare that a large, local, deeply committed group of community leaders is involved “soup to nuts” in a grant process – from conception and framing of the RFP, to reviewing and evaluating the requests, to interviewing applicants and making grant decisions. One result, for us, was the committee urging us to put our heads together with Kevah, which had submitted a funding request with overlapping themes, ideas and methods. The resulting conversations turned into a joint proposal for Do Justice: Fighting Hunger; a project we expect to transform Jewish engagement and leadership development on the North Peninsula.

Sara Bamberger, Kevah:  While this is the first IGI grant we’ve received in partnership with another organization, this actually isn’t our first IGI grant — Kevah has been fortunate to receive IGI grants from other JCF IGI grantmaking groups. One of the things that makes the IGI grant process unique is the liaison piece.  Each grantee is assigned one or two committee members as ongoing liaisons during the life of the grant.  This means that the relationship between the funder, JCF, and the grantee, is deeper than simply the funder sending a check, and the grantee sending an end-of-year report. Rather, the liaisons are in touch with us throughout the year, to help us identify and address any challenges along the way, and ultimately ensuring the best outcomes for the project.  This is ideal for the organization implementing the program, and for the funder, which hopes to maximize outcomes.

How was the grant application process helpful to your organization?

Deborah Pinsky, PJCC: The process not only resulted in suggesting a possible collaboration, but gave us enough time to work with Kevah to conceptualize the new partnership and our joint proposal. We were strongly encouraged to be innovative and to think out-of-the-box, which is exactly what we did. The grant also commits funds to an expert-led process that will help us develop, measure and evaluate project outcomes in conjunctions with other IGI grantees in the South Peninsula. We’re looking forward to that. Finally, it’s exciting and unusual for applicants to be encouraged to request multi-year grants. In today’s environment, longer-term funding commitments are more crucial than ever for long-range success, especially for a project like ours that creates a partnership between organizations with very distinct profiles and cultures.

What was it like working with the IGI committee through the application and interview process?

Deborah Pinsky, PJCC: It was great. Both the staff and committee members were highly committed to a give and take process that could best lead to the outcomes they sought. One outcome, of course, was the PJCC-Kevah collaboration that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. The caliber of the committee members also led to a very thoughtful RFP and the knowledge that we had to come well-prepared for our “final interview”.

What does this grant enable your organization(s) to do that you couldn’t before?

Deborah Pinsky, PJCC: The Do Justice: Fighting Hunger project launches a robust multi-year effort combining so many great things — organic gardening; learning about and feeding the hungry; engaging in meaningful, interactive, family-focused Jewish learning about social justice and Tikkun Olam; giving families incredible hands-on experiences with Urban Adamah and Wilderness Torah; identifying and training new Jewish leaders; and enabling Kevah learning groups to become embedded for the long-term on the North Peninsula, with an on-site presence at the PJCC. It’s simply going to be transformational for our community.

Sara Bamberger, Kevah:  For Kevah, this grant offers a unique opportunity to enter a new market in an innovative way.  Also, we’ve never partnered with a JCC before, and we are thrilled at having the opportunity to use Kevah as a platform for the PJCC to deepen its ability to provide quality Jewish content, as well as a way to create ongoing programming that takes place outside the JCC’s walls.

For more information on the North Peninsula Regional IGI, contact Adina Danzig Epelman, Program Officer, Regional Grantmaking at 415.512.6216.


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