Weekend Reading


Congress’s Assault on Charities

Ray D. Madoff, The New York Times 

Proposals in both the House and Senate tax bills would increase the standard deduction to dollar amounts so high that a vast majority of American taxpayers would no longer itemize and therefore would receive no tax benefits for their charitable giving. Charities are particularly concerned about this expansion of non-itemizers because it would include many larger donors who tend to be mindful of the tax consequences of their gifts. A recent report by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy estimates that charities could lose as much as $13 billion in donations if the standard deduction is increased.

Are Jewish Organizations Great Places to Work?

Scott Kaufman, eJewish Philanthropy 

Menschlichkeit is not the same thing as management.

Putting Trust at the Center of Foundation Work

John Esterle, Center for Effective Philanthropy

In a time of massive distrust at all levels of our society, it’s worth exploring if there is an opportunity for philanthropy to model trust in ways that can help move the country forward collectively.

The Future of Liberal Judaism: Reflections and Recommendations

Steven WindmuellereJewish Philanthropy

At a point in time when “individualism” is seen as the dominant organizing principle, an initiative that speaks about “shared engagement” would seem to run counter to contemporary cultural norms; but this is precisely the case behind this proposal, to create a countervailing method and message in order to excite, engage, and promote liberal Judaism. Finding the new commonalities and a shared voice of liberal Jewish thought and practice ought to drive this proposal.

The Healing Power of “No”

Scott Brazda, PEAK Grantmaking

Throw away the standard rejection form letter and take just a few minutes to explain the reasoning behind your board’s “no.”

How U.S. Charity Could Be Transformed by Giving Cash Directly to the Needy

Benjamin Soskis, The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Globally, there are signs that such a transformation is slowly starting to take shape, in part, due to the overwhelming evidence that giving cash is effective. In fact, the approach is "among the most well-researched and rigorously evaluated humanitarian tools of the last decade," a panel of development researchers from the Center for Global Development and the Overseas Development Institute pronounced in 2015.

Remembering Freedom Sunday

Mikhail Fridman, Ilia Salita, Genesis Philanthropy Group

JFN member organization Genesis Philanthropy Group is commemorating Freedom Sunday, the US Jewish community's march for Soviet Jewry.

Making a Significant Shift in Funding Priorities

Erin Cinelli, Exponent Philanthropy

In addition to figuring out the right place in the education continuum to nurture student aspirations, the board also wanted to move away from cycle-based, transactional grantmaking, and was interested in exploring opportunities for foundation-initiated, transformational grantmaking.


Board Member Institute for Jewish Nonprofits introduces cohort 1

Shabbat shalom and have a great weekend.