Increasing Demands on Israeli Charities, but is it Fair?

"Money and Magnifying Glass" by Images_of_Money

I was dismayed when I heard that some American (and European) Foundations are requiring amutot [Israeli nonprofit organizations] to have the Se’if [Paragraph] 46a status, which declares donations to a charity to be tax-deductible.

This latest phenomenon demonstrates a lack of understanding of the intricacies of international nonprofit regulations and makes it harder for worthy Israeli charities to raise money abroad.

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Priorities When Deciding to Accept Donations Online

"Credit Card Swipe" by Robert Bahn

Online donations are rising every year, becoming an increasingly important fundraising tool for nonprofit organizations. To facilitate the growing demand and varied needs of charities, the number of online donation processors has been expanding accordingly.

As a result, charities have expressed their difficulty in sorting through the nuances and assorted extras to find the online solution(s) that’s right for them.

Which was why I was thrilled to co-produce an event early in July that hosted representatives from the leading Online Donation Processors here in Israel (and the world); including Paypal Israel, IsraelGives, Taramta, Give2Gether, and Tranzilla.

So which donation processor is right for you? Well, naturally, it depends on the particular fundraising-priorities for your organization.

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KISHOR: Raising Capital – Strategies to Help Your Business Grow or Simply Survive

"Pile of Money" by Jody.Klopp

I spoke recently at the Kishor conference to Women Professionals on Raising Capital. I really enjoyed the challenge of preparing for the talk as the subject was a business term not often used when working in the nonprofit sector.

When priming the presentation for the expected for-profit audience, I was surprised – though in retrospect I shouldn’t have been – by how much holds true when raising funds for either a nonprofit organization or a for-profit venture.

Moreover, after going over the slides, I was amazed how easily I could replace “investor” with “donor” in most of the examples. The fact that the session was attended by professionals from both sectors reinforced this belief, as well.

(The most notable exception to the above is the definition of traction, which is not shared by for-profit and not-for-profit companies.)

Upon further reflection, I was able to gleam three live-or-die principles that span the charitable and capitalist sectors. What follows are the slides of the from presentation and these three takeaways.

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Is PayPal the Best Option for International Fundraising?

"Free Money Collection in Cash" by

Paypal is one of the leading Internet-payment options in the world for for-profits and nonprofits, alike. With only a PayPal logo and some code easily inserted onto a website, payments are a breeze. And with over 230 million PayPal users worldwide, the chances are good that your customer or donor either already has a PayPal account or trusts the company enough to register for a new one.

Combine the above with the one percent discount PayPal offers qualifying charitable organizations and you’re looking at a strong argument why PayPal should be the online payment-system of choice — for local donations.

However, for international fundraising, PayPal’s “cross-border fees” should prompt nonprofits to tread carefully before jumping head first into this particular pool.

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Fundraising as a Journey

I recently read an article that argued that the “fundraising process itself, in particular, donor relationship building, is program building, and not just the means to an ends.” This got me thinking that there are other activities besides fundraising that…

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FONSI: The Changing Role of Money

"Plush California Cotton Bathrobes" by Sunset Inn & Suites Vancouver

Last Monday, February 28th, 2011, I had the privilege and pleasure of presenting a Quickfire (10 minute presentation) at the FONSI (Future of Nonprofit Summit – Israel) Conference in Jaffa, Israel.

In my short session, I attempted to describe how money is changing from an object of secondary importance into a measuring stick and a marketing tool. Furthermore, financials and budgets are now being used proactively to make sure the right message is being conveyed about your nonprofit organization. While the specifics of the sessions are beyond the scope of this piece, I did want to provide those that were at the conference with a link and embed of the PowerPoint presentation that accompanied by speech. (The presentation has been upgraded to clarify some points and include links to the article and tools cited.)

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6 Questions to Help Choose the Right Conduit Organization

"Port for Water Pipe" by ikhlasulamal

…Those Israeli nonprofits that choose the second option of a Conduit (also referred to as an Intermediary or Fiscal Agent) are in luck, as recent years have seen an quasi-explosion in the number of American charities that offer Conduit services. This being the case, foreign organizations have luxury and liberty — and some might argue the responsibility and obligation — to investigate the various Intermediaries so as to choose the best fit for the nonprofit. And, yes, all Conduits are by no means the same.

My six criteria for judging a potential Fiscal Agent: Cost, Currency, Time, Payment Method, Communication and Association.
Recent years have seen an explosion of these types of charities. With so many to choose from, Israeli charities have the luxury of choosing their partner – and they should because all Conduits are not the same. But, of course, the only way to finding the right fit is to ask the important questions, namely: Cost, Currency, Time, Payment Method, Communication and Association.

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The Carmel Fire & Haiti: No Need to Reinvent the Wheel

Jews around the globe are mobilizing to donate to help fight the effects of the recent fire in Israel’s Carmel Forest.

One of the outcomes of the Haiti Earthquake (January 12, 2010) is an in-depth case study in disaster-relief giving. Hence, those donating to Carmel Fire relief efforts need not reinvent the wheel and can rely on the many lessons learned just 11 months ago.

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