Contact:
Gary A. Tobin, Ph.D.
President, Institute for Jewish & Community Research

Jenna Ferer
Institute for Jewish & Community Research
press@jewishresearch.org
(415) 386-2604

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Jewish Organizations Shut Out From Philanthropists Largest Gifts

San Francisco – (January 8, 2008) According to a new study released by the Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR), Jewish individuals and foundations in the United States gave 95% of their dollars from gifts of $10 million or more to secular causes and 5% to Jewish causes between 2001-2003. This compares to 6% between 1995-2000. The study conducted by Gary A. Tobin and Aryeh K. Weinberg examined over 1,000 gifts of $1 million or more, representing nearly $7 billion, the largest sample of mega-gifts made by Jews ever assembled.

“While Jewish organizations do a reasonable job attracting smaller mega-gifts, those from $1-2 million, they are failing dramatically to attract the biggest gifts that Jews make to non-profits. The trends over eight years are remarkably consistent – Jewish mega-gifts exceeding $10 million to Jewish organizations were rare eight years ago and remain notably infrequent,” according to Gary A. Tobin, president of IJCR.

The IJCR’s report, Mega-Gifts in Jewish Philanthropy: Giving Patterns 2001-2003, provides extensive data about where mega-gifts are made, including higher education, health/medical, and arts/culture. The study utilizes IRS records and a variety of other sources to compile the list of mega-gifts. It draws comparisons to a previous study conducted by IJCR covering the years 1995-2000. The mega-gift research is ongoing and reports will be issued every two years. The full report with detailed charts is available for download on IJCR’s web site: www.jewishresearch.org.

Among the findings:

  • Gifts to Jewish causes accounted for 21% of all gifts over $1 million, but just 9% of all dollars.
  • Gifts of $10 million or more to Jewish causes were virtually unchanged from 1995-2003: 6% to Jewish causes from 1995-2000 and 5% from 2001-2003.
  • Higher education, arts/cultures, and health/medical accounted for 76% of all gifts over $10 million, and 86% of all dollars.
  • Federated charitable appeals and human services received no gifts of $10 million or more.
  • Human services, federated charitable appeals, including Jewish federations and United Ways and civic causes, combined for just over 1% of total dollars from gifts of $1 million or more.

The Institute for Jewish & Community Research analyzes a broad range of issues including racial and religious identity, philanthropy, and higher education. The Institute is an independent, non-partisan think tank, and provides innovative research and pragmatic policy analyses to Jewish and other communities around the world.

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