Our Grantmaking: More Than Funding
LEG CY Welcome to Legacy magazine — a thoughtful look at issues facing the modern philanthropist. We hope you find it engaging and informative as you consider your charitable planning. Please contact our giving experts at firstname.lastname@example.org for strategic philanthropic advising.
FEATURE STORY Why Grantmaking Is More Than Just Funding by Naomi Strongin
MEET OUR NEW TRUSTEES
CONVERSATIONS WITH OUR DONORS
Jeffrey Kinrich and Nurit Robin
Choosing Foundation Grantees by Grants Committee Chairs
Meet Pam & Evan Kaizer
ISRAEL PASSOVER GRANTS
Ask Our Experts Meet Our New Israel Consultant
Addressing Food Insecurity
How You Can Help
About The Jewish Community Foundation Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of $1.5 billion entrusted to it by 1,400 families. The Foundation partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2021, The Foundation and its donors distributed $120 million to more than 2,000 nonprofits that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 10 years, it has distributed nearly $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum. Visit jewishfoundationla.org.
REFLECTIONS From the President & CEO Through Tzedakah, Freedom and Justice Will Prevail At the time of this writing, the war in Ukraine is raging, and the horror of the tragedy is unbearable. It’s beyond shocking to watch the most violent attack on a European country since WWII unfold before our eyes. Perhaps by the time this issue of Legacy reaches you there may be a negotiated settlement. Even so, the destruction wrought and the lives uprooted will take at least a generation and likely longer to rebuild and heal. With Passover upon us, I can’t help but think of the analogy to freedom. The Ukrainian people want to live in freedom and democracy, independent from any rule by a modern-day Pharaoh, Vladimir Putin. Sanctions against Russia are today’s 10 plagues aimed at convincing Putin to let the Ukrainian people return to their lives free of tyranny. And just as ancient Pharaoh didn’t heed the call back then, so too modern-day Pharaoh Putin is not getting the message either, to the great demise of his country and his people. My parents, of blessed memory, taught me a great deal about the preciousness of freedom. They came to this country after surviving the horrors of the Holocaust with barely more than the clothes on their backs. Thanks to
If I’ve learned one thing during my lengthy nonprofit career, it’s that through tzedakah, kindnesss, and compassion, ultimately freedom and justice will prevail.
HIAS, then known as Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society — one of the organizations actively aiding Ukrainians fleeing the destruction — they were able to settle into a new life in Youngstown, Ohio. Freedom from oppression was the greatest gift they ever realized in their lifetime, and they never let me forget that. It allowed them to flourish in the United States and, in turn, compelled me to pursue a career in tzedakah over the past 40+ years. The outpouring of support from across the globe has been overwhelming and incredibly heartwarming. Foundation donors promptly responded through generous contributions of nearly $1.6 million (and growing) in Ukrainian emergency assistance. As our donors well know, having charitable resources set aside in a Donor Advised Fund or a Family Support Organization enables them to quickly respond in times of crisis like today. Additionally, we provided a $150,000 Foundation grant to The Jewish Federation’s Ukraine Relief Fund, so total Foundation support so far amounts to more than $1.7 million. Our tzedakah — and that of many other generous people — is most encouraging in these troubling times. It is providing some relief and a glimmer of hope to millions of Ukrainians suffering from the horrible onslaught of Russian savagery. If I’ve learned one thing during my lengthy nonprofit career, it’s that through tzedakah, kindness, and compassion, ultimately freedom and justice will prevail.
Marvin I. Schotland President & CEO Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles jewishfoundationla.org 3
Naomi Strongin Vice President, Center for Designed Philanthropy
Why Grantmaking Is More Than Just Funding When people learn that I work at the Jewish Community Foundation, they often ask how their favorite organization can receive funding. The question implies their view that The Foundation is laser-focused on sending money to nonprofits in need — but that is not The Foundation’s whole story. Another equally vital component to our work goes beyond dollars and cents — why and how we fulfill our mission speaks to something more fundamental. The Talmud teaches us that the world stands on three pillars — Torah and the love of learning, community service, and acts of loving-kindness. In a similar vein, The Foundation’s grantmaking rests on a set of three core values: 1. Tzedakah — The pursuit of justice for the organizations we support. 2. Shalom — The pursuit of peace and fullness for the communities our grantees serve. 3. Tikkun olam — The pursuit of a more perfect world through tangible, specific commitments at the ground level that make such a world possible. With these building blocks as our guide, we help a range of stakeholders such as donors, grantees, and civic leaders glean insight into what their funding can achieve and how strategic philanthropic investment can strengthen institutions and improve people’s lives. 4 jewishfoundationla.org
We measure success by much more than just the dollar amounts of our grants — because they tell only part of the larger Foundation story.“
Accomplishing this takes work — distributing critical funds to nonprofits, building essential infrastructure for support, establishing robust communication networks, and convening important allies committed to lifting every member of our diverse society. It’s why we measure success by more than just the dollar amounts of our grants — because they tell only part of the larger Foundation story.
make clear to all recipients of Foundation funds that we are invested in their ability to thrive. We start by listening, and then we ask how we can assist and develop programs and other resources to respond to their needs. Last year, we reached out to nonprofits, funders, and experts in a broad array of fields to assess how The Foundation could best support a city struggling in the face of the pandemic. What we heard was a desperate demand to adapt programs and delivery models to the COVID-19 era, a call for professional and leadership development and wellness, and a need to explore new partnerships, which led to the rollout of our Reimagine Grants that awarded $3.7 million to 44 local organizations. This represented both the greatest dollar amount and number of recipients ever awarded by The Foundation in a single grants cycle. It was a direct outgrowth of our dialogue with the organizations we are proud to help.
Central to this story is the sense of trust we foster in both donors and grantees. On the grantee side, we strive to jewishfoundationla.org 5
We subsequently brought many of those grantees together on Zoom to get to know one another. Making shidduchim (matches) that can lead to unexpected and fruitful collaborations is vital to The Foundation’s work. Our workshops and seminars enable nonprofit professionals to sit around the same table (or Zoom screen) and learn about (and from) their peers. The results can be transformative. As our grantees become better acquainted, they can turn to one another for guidance and referrals and share best practices, which ultimately buoys the individual organizations and the whole nonprofit sector. This is a sacred and connected community, a kehillah kedoshah, in action. Just as The Foundation nurtures relationships among our grantees, we also create new connections for donors,
taking advantage of our deep knowledge and experience to offer keen insights and introductions that can help drive their philanthropy. Whether we’re hosting a panel on foster youth, a seminar on seniors, or an expert talk on estate planning, we help equip donors to have a real impact. At The Foundation, they find a community of like-minded individuals with similar interests. They rely on us to do due diligence, as we are continually vetting charities to ensure their credibility and effectiveness. In turn, this allows Foundation donors to maximize their effectiveness by introducing them to organizations with a solid track record of accomplishment. Personalized attention is another Foundation hallmark and a significant aspect of the service we provide.
Our workshops and seminars enable nonprofit professionals to sit around the same table (or Zoom screen) and learn about (and from) their peers. “
Our donors come to us at different stages of their philanthropic journeys — some are just setting out, whereas others have already gotten their feet wet and know where they want to go. Some seek to establish a charitable estate plan, while others are eager to engage the next generation. In each case, we enable them to pursue their passions and make a difference across our region, in Israel, and around the globe. This past year, The Foundation added even more value for grantees through an investment in Catchafire, an online platform that pairs skilled volunteers with nonprofits that have specific (typically short-term) project needs. Approximately 100 of our grantees now have access, free of charge, to this system and are already reaping the benefits. One group was recently looking to develop an in-house accounting software system, and through Catchafire, it partnered with a retired accountant with a background in accounting software development. Over 35 hours, the volunteer helped build the new system the organization was hoping for,
saving the nonprofit more than $5,000. Other Foundation grantees have used Catchafire for help with direct mail, customer relations management, rebranding, and public relations. Our investment in helping LA nonprofits thrive ultimately benefits our donors because the organizations these donors support can now leverage their dollars for greater impact. We’re part of countless conversations about making life better for Angelenos and Israelis every day, and our institutional grants are dedicated to achieving that goal. But it’s how we do that which makes The Foundation unique. That process, rooted in our essential values of tzedakah, shalom, and tikkun olam, enables The Foundation to be a force for positive change in the world. I invite you to join us in carrying this cause and these conversations forward.
MEET OUR NEW TRUSTEES
JEFFREY KINRICH is a managing principal with Analysis Group, an economic consulting firm. He consults with law firms and their clients on cases involving financial and economic analysis, accounting, business valuation, and statistics. He often testifies on damages, valuation, and accounting issues in federal and state courts, as well as other dispute resolution forums. Over his 40-year career, Jeffrey has directed numerous large-scale analyses across a broad range of litigation areas. A certified public accountant, he specializes in damages quantification and valuation in the areas of commercial litigation and intellectual property. Additionally, Jeffrey has significant experience in many other areas of the law, including breach of contract, construction, fraud, antitrust, business interruption, marital dissolution, dealership disputes, and tax litigation. He has authored a number of publications on damages-related topics, and coedited the book Lost Profits Damages: Principles, Methods, and Applications. Before joining Analysis Group, Jeffrey was with PricewaterhouseCoopers for 20 years.
NURIT ROBIN, an attorney, is actively involved in building and sustaining Jewish life in Los Angeles. She has been a member of the Milken Community School Board of Trustees since 2013, serves on the school’s Executive Committee, and co-chairs its Education Committee. Nurit currently serves on the Los Angeles Regional Board of the ADL and on the ADL National Commission. She is a former Board member of BJE (Builders of Jewish Education), Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) Synagogue, and VBS Day School, and served as chair of the VBS Day School Endowment. Nurit is a graduate of Syracuse University and received her Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review. She is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Foundation. Nurit and her husband, Richard, are committed to Israel and devoted to strengthening Jewish education in Los Angeles.
Choosing Foundation Grantees
Mark Schwartz Cutting Edge Grants 2.0 Chair
Serving on one of The Foundation’s grants committees is a highlight for many members of our Board of Trustees. Our lay leaders invest significant time and thoughtful effort each year to ensure our grants address timely pressing issues facing our community. Here, three of our grants committee chairs —
Marcia Weiner Mankoff
each a longstanding trustee — share their
General Community Grants Chair
insights into The Foundation’s fair and thorough strategy:
• Mark Schwartz –
Cutting Edge Grants 2.0 Chair
• Marcia Weiner Mankoff –
General Community Grants Chair
• Selwyn Gerber –
Israel Grants Chair
Selwyn Gerber Israel Grants Chair 10 jewishfoundationla.org
What do you look for when reviewing a grant application? MARK SCHWARTZ: First, we make sure the program fits our criteria that have been developed jointly with staff and the grants committee. Because we serve a broad spectrum of needs in the community, a grant application that is highly focused on a specific large and growing segment is appealing. We look for creative solutions to problems that will affect a large number of people. MARCIA WEINER MANKOFF: We are simultaneously evaluating the strength of the request, the community’s need for this program, the organization’s track record, and its leadership and financial sustainability. We hold all applicants to the same criteria to ensure that we are viewing all proposals through an equitable lens. SELWYN GERBER: The three core factors are governance, viability, and effectiveness. We are concerned with such matters as whether there are other sources of funding, the effectiveness and efficiency of services provided, and the demographic being served. For our Israel Grants, we focus on being diversified geographically and by population category.
What advice would you give a nonprofit seeking to apply for a grant? MARK: I would encourage all grant applicants to take full advantage of all the resources The Foundation offers. The staff holds grant workshops to provide valuable assistance to grant seekers. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Jewish community and are a wonderful resource not only in the application process but as a source of advice during the grant implementation phase. The Foundation can also connect a nonprofit to other potential funders. MARCIA: Help us understand what distinguishes you from others doing similar work. If you are invited to present to our committee, consider bringing past beneficiaries of your program to take part in the presentation, as they help bring your program to life. SELWYN: Start by reviewing our website to gain a sense of the work we support and our process. Be prepared to provide references from other funders.
What qualities make a grant applicant stand out from the rest? MARK: A grant applicant with a record of successfully serving a specific target population is likely to stand out. Additionally a grant applicant serving a population that is growing and that we have not previously aided will likely draw our attention. MARCIA: In addition to having strong leadership and a well-qualified professional team, the applicants who stand out often approach a specific community’s needs in a unique or innovative way. SELWYN: A clear description of the organization’s mission and needs and its adherence to factors outlined in the criteria we develop each year.
We are grateful for the expertise and dedication of committee chairs like Mark, Marcia, and Selwyn for guiding The Foundation in our institutional grantmaking. Visit jewishfoundationla.org to learn more about Foundation grants.
CONVERSATIONS With Our Donors
It was evident to us from the start that The Foundation was the best address for charitable giving, which connects us all to the larger Jewish community.”
PAM & EVAN KAIZER:
Driven by Social Activism It takes a special kind of soul to make a lifelong commitment to prioritizing community needs, but Pam and Evan Kaizer don’t see themselves as exceptional. They are, Pam says, just “regular donors, fortunate enough to have the resources to be charitable and the eagerness to do good.” Firm believers in tikkun olam, the Kaizers leverage their philanthropy by donating through the Jewish Community Foundation and encouraging friends and colleagues to follow suit. They recently sat down with Legacy to share targeted strategies for effecting positive change.
Tricks of the Trade The longtime executive director of a large family foundation, Pam is an expert in the finer points of charitable giving. Evan is the CEO of a family-held real estate investment firm, which effectively means that he manages a family office, including Donor Advised Funds at the Jewish Community Foundation. Informed by the couple’s professional experience, the two have developed a personal philosophy for making every contribution count. The first step: “Open a Donor Advised Fund [DAF], like we did at The Foundation,” Pam counsels. “It’s smart, and it’s easy. You deposit your money in one place and recommend to The Foundation where you want to give, and it handles everything for you. There’s an amazing professional staff if you need guidance. The fees are incredibly low, and they go toward The Foundation’s own grantmaking, which means one’s gift is worth even more. It also makes doing your taxes so simple. The Foundation
sends you receipts to give to your accountant, and you’re done.” A primary advantage of the DAF, Evan notes, is its financial flexibility, which speaks to another aspect of the Kaizers’ prescription for powerful philanthropy. “We tell everybody we can about the value of donating appreciated stock, which offers a big financial advantage,” he says. “Because you’re not realizing the capital gain, you don’t have to pay taxes on it, and all that extra money goes to the charitable organizations you’ve selected.”
In the Beginning Both Kaizers have roots in public service. They met after they were fellows in the prestigious Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs program in San Francisco, a training ground for future civic leaders. Pam and Evan always knew they wanted to work to strengthen their community. Evan spent the first part of his professional life as a legislative assistant to Congressman Henry Waxman and then as chief of staff to California State Senator Alan Sieroty. Pam began her career in philanthropy at the Getty Oil Company and served as a program officer at the California Community Foundation before striking out on her own.
CONVERSATIONS With Our Donors
Got Stock? A Donor Advised Fund is an ideal way to support your favorite charities with appreciated stock. With a Donor Advised Fund, you can contribute appreciated stock, save on capital gains taxes, and have charitable
“We were driven to be socially engaged, “ Pam says. “Through social engagement, we saw community needs. And when we saw community needs, we understood it takes money to meet them.” The lesson stuck. From their home in Studio City, where they raised two children, the Kaizers became active members of their community and synagogue, Adat Ari El. They continued to look for ways to support essential community organizations and invested their time and energy in nonprofits such as Food Forward, which fights hunger and food waste. Pam served as Food Forward’s founding board chair and continues today as an active honorary board member. Evan served for 20 years as a board member and chair of Friends of Israel’s Environment, which supports Adam Teva V’Din, Israel’s leading environmental advocacy nonprofit.
resources ready to share. Gifts of appreciated assets are the very best way to donate. We know how to simplify the process.
Food Forward collects leftover produce from a local farmers market.
“We learned that knowing the leadership and staff of organizations we were interested in facilitated us becoming supporters. By developing these relationships, we built trust and became regular donors,” Evan says. “That’s still how we approach our charitable giving today. We trust the people we’re giving to. We always give general operating support because the staff of a 14 jewishfoundationla.org
“ nonprofit knows best about how its funds should be invested,” Pam added.
For us, a Donor Advised Fund was the right fit. You can contribute appreciated stock, save on capital gains taxes, and have charitable resources ready to share.”
The Right Fit Once Pam and Evan had identified organizations to support, all that remained was finding the ideal funding vehicle. “For us, a Donor Advised Fund was the right fit,” Pam says. “Many of the organizations we wanted to give to didn’t know how to accept appreciated stock, but with a DAF, it was extremely straightforward.” Deciding where to open the DAF was a no-brainer. Pam and Evan are deeply connected to their Jewish community. Their children attended Adat Ari El Day School and graduated from Milken Community School.
Currently, they are members of Temple Israel of Hollywood and belong to a havurah they started with friends more than 40 years ago. Giving Jewishly seemed only natural, and it steered them in one clear direction — the Jewish Community Foundation. “It was evident to us from the start that The Foundation was the best address for charitable giving, which connects us all to the larger Jewish community,” Evan says. “Our experience there has borne that out, and we couldn’t be bigger cheerleaders.” jewishfoundationla.org 15
Ask Our Experts
Our team members at the Center for Designed Philanthropy work every day to help donors
identify their charitable passions, facilitate family meetings, and connect them with outstanding
Naase V’Nishma is a Jewish value meaning “we do and we listen.” I encourage you to do, to take action. Perhaps that means donating to a new organization or increasing a gift to one you’ve supported for a long time. Whatever it is, take action. And while taking action, continue to listen and to learn, which will ultimately lead to greater understanding and meaningful giving.
nonprofits that are repairing the world. To start off the year, we asked their advice on a question we often hear from donors: “As I begin thinking about my philanthropy for 2022, what advice do you have on making a meaningful gift?”
A good first step is to remember which passions, ethics, traditions, and motivations have influenced your giving choices in the past. You can make a deep and tangible impact by focusing your philanthropy on a limited number of strategic investments in these areas. Marissa Nachman, Program Officer
Naomi Strongin, Vice President
Take time to consider the Jewish values that speak most strongly to you. Perhaps you benefitted from a Jewish education and want to continue that tradition with your tzedakah. Or you value the family meals you share on holidays and want to support organizations working to end hunger. Connecting your giving to your core values is a great way to make a meaningful gift. Sara Hahn, Senior Program Officer
Close your eyes and imagine the person you want to help with your gift. Imagine what you hope your gift will be able to give them. I find this to be an effective and clarifying process for the donors I’ve helped who are struggling to narrow down their giving when there is so much need. Warren Fong, Senior Program Officer
Meet Our New Israel Consultant As Israel consultant, Offi Zisser adds an on-the-ground perspective to The Foundation’s giving in Israel, advising on strategy, grantmaking, and oversight. Offi brings more than two decades of experience working in philanthropy, with dozens of funders, foundations, and corporations. Her philanthropic career began at the Joseph Drown Foundation in Los Angeles, and continued in various senior roles in Israel’s philanthropic landscape, including heading the advisory services division at Jewish Funders Network Israel, and managing Azrieli Foundation Israel. Offi received her master’s of business administration from Pepperdine University, her bachelor’s in economics from UCLA, and her International Baccalaureate diploma from the Armand Hammer United World College in New Mexico.
It is such a privilege to be in a profession which brings me in daily contact with generous people and organizations, who choose to invest their resources and time on defining their giving passion and making this a better world.” — Offi Zisser, Israel Consultant
New Passover Grants The Foundation awarded grants to these three organizations in Israel to address food insecurity during Passover.
Established in 1982, the Jaffa Institute works to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty in South Tel Aviv/Jaffa communities through educational, recreational, and social enrichment programs for disadvantaged children and their families. Its programs include an educational center, a cafeteria and food program, a health care facility, and a center for Ethiopian and Russian immigrant families, which serves 3,000 Israelis annually. During Passover, Jaffa Institute will support the growing food needs of its community as unemployment has increased and food security has decreased. It will deliver food packages containing food staples, holiday-specific necessities, and food vouchers to over 200 Holocaust survivors and 300 elderly individuals.
Founded in 2003, Leket Israel is Israel’s umbrella organization for the donation of surplus food. It provides more than 110 tons of food per week to over 195 soup kitchens, homeless shelters, senior citizen centers, and other social service organizations throughout Israel. Each year during Passover, Leket provides over 34 million pounds of fresh produce to the country’s most needy. Leket has experienced substantial demand for food as unemployment across the country has increased due to COVID-19.
Founded in 1980, Yad Eliezer is Israel’s largest poverty relief agency, serving more than 100,000 individuals and families throughout Israel with its array of food, social service, and life-cycle event programs. Food programs include access to a holiday fund, food box delivery, Feed-A-Baby, Meals-On-Wheels for the elderly, and surplus produce collection. This year during Passover, Yad Eliezer will address an increased demand for food brought about by the pandemic. It will distribute approximately $1 million worth of matzah, chicken, wine, and other holiday essentials to thousands of needy families, disabled and ill adults, and lone soldiers with no family. jewishfoundationla.org 19
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JEWISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF LOS ANGELES
Executive Vice President
President & CEO
Senior Vice President, Finance & Administration/CFO
Evan Schlessinger Marvin I. Schotland
Vice President, Advancement
Abby L.T. Feinman Marcia Weiner Mankoff Scott H. Richland
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Mark N. Schwartz
Vice President & General Counsel
Adlai W. Wertman
Vice President, Charitable Gift Planning
Vice President, Center for Designed Philanthropy
Many of us in the Los Angeles Jewish community are deeply concerned about the fate of countless people in Ukraine currently facing the direct consequences of the Russian invasion. In response, The Foundation recently granted $150,000 to The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ emergency relief fund to help those directly affected by this developing crisis. If you’d like to learn how you can help, scan this QR code with your phone’s camera to go to a list of resources on our website.
Naomi Strongin TEL FAX
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