Several years ago, Jon Deaner traveled to Argentina on a UJA-Federation of New York-led mission with other young professionals to learn about Jewish life and tradition. Among the most moving experiences he had was his visit to a JDC day care program called Baby Help where he met young children living in poverty.
|Jon Deaner poses for a photo with children in Argentina.|
A photographer, Jon captured his visit in beautiful pictures. But as his initial connections to the children faded with the passage of time, it was that tangible feeling of being involved and making a difference Jon sought to replicate in a brand-new initiative at JDC.
At about the same time, Doron Goldstein -- the son of JDC Board Member Yoine Goldstein and one of the founders of Entwine, JDC’s young Jewish leadership platform -- was looking to transition from Entwine but remain actively involved with JDC.
Doron grew up traveling all over the world, meeting Jewish leaders from different communities and witnessing firsthand the lifesaving work of JDC. He understood the only way to be an instrumental player in JDC’s work was to engage head-on with program directors and content.
Together, Jon and Doron founded the first donor group under JDC Ambassadors. At a membership level of $2,500, the Impact Network model provides access to JDC Ambassadors events and engagement. Group members focus on a particular issue under JDC’s purview and then commit to raising funds for a project they believe in.
All of this comes as no surprise in 2013. Jewish philanthropy research shows new donors are excited to be involved in charitable causes. Many serve on non-profit boards, encourage friends to give and donate online; and once they are hooked, they want to go “all in.”
“They want to develop close relationships with the organizations or causes they support; they want to listen and offer their own professional or personal talents, all in order to solve problems together with those whom they support,” the research sats. Jon and Doron’s desire to “be information-driven, impact-focused, proactive, and peer-oriented” spoke to all members of the Child Intervention Impact Network.
Under Jon and Doron’s leadership, the group chose to learn about JDC’s involvement in early childhood programming and voted to support JDC’s Baby Help in Argentina. They met over Argentine wine and discussed Argentine history and politics; they learned about Baby Help from the director, Viviana Bendersky; they asked early childhood experts based in New York about the most up-to-date practices. They plan to support Baby Help concretely by purchasing vaccines and meals, raising awareness and communicating new trends in care. The bottom line: They are strategic philanthropists.
Following this idea, other groups have formed using the Impact Network model focusing in an issue of their choice. JDC is looking forward to engaging individuals more directly and giving donors the opportunity to be hands-on involved. To learn more about or join JDC Impact Networks, visit: http://www.jdc.org/impact.
This blog post features information from pages 11-16 from the report Next Gen Donors: The Future of Jewish Giving.