Israeli Non-Profit Conference Emphasizes Christian Fundraising Opportunities

October 22, 2015

3 min read

On Wednesday in Tel Aviv, the Israeli charity organization Israel Gives hosted a large conference for the sizeable non-profit sector in Israel, focusing in part on the importance of reaching out to Christian supporters of Israel.

Israel Gives is an umbrella organization representing 1,400 Israeli non-profits. In 2014, the organization processed over $10 million in donations from approximately 100,000 donors worldwide, which Israel Gives channeled to the different charities under its purview.

The Israel Gives Conference is held annually for those involved with Israel’s non-profit organizations, providing opportunities for professionals in the industry to meet, attend workshops and lectures, learn about new methods and innovations in the non-profit world, and present their own ideas and findings about a challenging industry in a fast-paced modern society.

“This conference is an outgrowth of our work with Israeli charities after seeing how so many non-profit professionals were thirsting for knowledge, information and best practices,”

Israel Gives co-founder Joseph Gitler explained to Breaking Israel News. “One of the nicest things in working with non-profits is the openness and sharing which you don’t see in the business world.”

The day-long conference boasted 23 workshops, lectures and panels led by 51 public leaders, lecturers and industry professionals. There were 460 participants registered to attend.

Workshop topics included everything from practical subjects, such as getting Google Grants or finding a target audience, to more conceptual ideas, like marketing values and morals in an increasingly materialistic world and harnessing the power of the community.

One subject which drew much interest was the growing potential impact of Christian Zionists in the Israeli non-profit sector. Israel Gives CEO Yonatan Ben Dor told Breaking Israel News that donations from Christians have been on the rise. Although they don’t ask their donors their religion, “In recent years, we have noticed more and more gifts from areas without a strong Jewish presence, such as the US Bible Belt,” he said.

Rabbi Tuly Weisz, Publisher of Breaking Israel News, and Shlomo Schreibman, Vice President of the new Israel Media Network gave a lecture focused on the topic, entitled “550 Million Reasons Your Organization Should Reach Out to Evangelical Christians”. The Israel Media Network works closely with Breaking Israel News advertisers, helping them craft their messages in a way that resonates with Christian readers.

Weisz emphasized to the audience of non-profit professionals that his presentation was not about raising money. “You are not going to hear the words ‘fundraising’, ‘dollars’ or ‘shekels’ in my lecture,” he told them. “When reaching out to any donor, the most important thing is to establish relationships, and the relationship between Jews and Christians is more important than dollars and cents. We need to first understand how to communicate our message and tell our stories in a way that Christians can understand and appreciate, by focusing on our common heritage, our shared Biblical tradition.”

Schreibman offered a number of case studies in which advertisers on Breaking Israel News ran creative marketing campaigns to tell their stories in effective ways, striking a chord with Christian readers, who eventually came to learn more about the advertiser by engaging with their content.

Ben Dor hopes more non-profits will work to connect to the Christian network of Israel supporters. “We are trying to teach the Israeli organizations how to talk to Christian donors, and not to be afraid of them,” he told Breaking Israel News. “Last year, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews spoke at the conference, and this year we have Breaking Israel News publisher Rabbi Tuly Weisz. The Evangelical Christians care about us here in Israel, and our charities should seize upon that.”

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