JERUSALEM (JTA) — Giving to Israel decreased by 16 percent between 2006 and 2009, exhibiting the same trends as overall American giving, a study found.
"American Friends: U.S. Philanthropic Support for Israeli Nonprofits," a study published last week by the EHL Consulting Group, found that American giving to Israeli causes exhibits the same trends as American giving overall, but in a much more exaggerated way, with higher peaks and lower troughs.
The study examined the trends of philanthropic support from 2006 to 2009 for 80 U.S.-based nonprofit organizations that fundraise in the U.S. to support services in Israel, typically focused on a specific organization. While giving to the organizations decreased by 16 percent, U.S. giving overall to those four sectors — arts and culture, education, health, and human services – decreased by only 1.5 percent from 2006 to 2009. Giving overall bottomed out in 2008 and began to recover in 2009, but American Friends giving continued to decline, creating the large disparity in the figures.
Giving to American Friends organizations continued to grow in 2007 but plummeted in 2008, indicating that the recession was in fact a major cause of the decline, not a long-term decrease in interest in giving to American Friends organizations.
Giving to Israeli religious organizations such as synagogues and religious academies were not included because it is not as comparable to giving in the U.S., according to the study’s authors.
This was the second study published on this topic by EHL Consulting, which is based in suburban Philadelphia. The previous study, published in 2008, examined 80 American Friends organizations in four sectors, comparing their performance from 2001 and 2006 with that of U.S. organizations by sector. That study concluded that from 2001 to 2006, giving to American Friends organizations outperformed parallel giving to U.S.-based nonprofits.
Most of the organizations, 75 percent, were headquartered in New York State, with most in New York City. The rest were scattered in other states such as New Jersey, Maryland and California.