Morlie Levin, the former president of Hadassah read off some general findings on the impact of the economy on Jewish philanthropy, according to the JPPI study, which has not been released yet: The vast majority of Jews, now 90 percent live, in economically affluent and politically stable environments.
Israel ranks 27 out of 179 countries on the UN’s Human development Index, which looks at a country’s citizens’ life expectancy, individual GDP and education.
Germany ranks 29, the U.K. Ranks 22 , and the U.S ranks 13.
There are longstanding trends in philanthropy, it is becoming decentralized, there is a proliferation of nonprofits and an increase in competition for dollars – and donors have become more focused and specific in their giving. There has also been an increase in giving.
The age of the average donor is becoming older.
There has been a proliferation of foundations.
Staffs at foundations have become more professional.
Because of the recession, endowments are down significantly.
Madoff had an impact, not only in dollars loss but in the way institutions now work.
There have been reductions in staff.
But, the general sentiment of the report, according to Levin, is that the economic crisis will not have a multilateral effect on longstanding trends in philanthropy. That is not to say that organizations are not being effected, they are struggling to adapt in the short term, but we believe it is a short term situation.