Charity begins at home in Israel

Individuals provide 71% of total charitable donations, companies 27%, and estates 2%.

The aggregate income of Israeli charities and NGOs from donations by Israelis rose by 21% in 2009-11, compared with 10% growth in foreign donations, according to a joint report by the Central Bureau of Statistics, Commited to Give and Yad Hanadiv on Monday. Donations from Israelis totaled NIS 5.7 billion in 2011, up from NIS 4.7 billion in 2009 and foreign donations rose to NIS 8.1 billion from NIS 7.3 billion.

Most donations from Israelis in 2011 were by individuals, not companies or corporations: individuals provided 71% of total charitable donations, companies 27%, and estates 2%. 91-92% of individual donations in 2009-11 were less than NIS 100, while 40-45% of company donations in 2009-11 were greater than NIS 500,000.

Israeli companies are more philanthropic than their US counterparts, accounting for 27% of total charitable donations, compared with 6%, but philanthropy accounts for 0.6% of Israeli GDP, compared with 1.7% of US GDP.

Conversely, just 2% of Israeli charitable donations come from estates, compared with 10% in the US. Wealthy Israelis prefer bequeathing the bulk of their fortunes to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren than to charity as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett do. 58% of charitable donations from estates in 2009 were less than NIS 100,000, but in 2010-11, 64-81% of these donations were greater than NIS 500,000. In 2011, the average donation from an estate was NIS 1.7 million.

Despite the increase in charitable donations, just 4.7% of NGOs and charities' income in 2011 came from Israeli donations and 6.7% came from foreign donations. 50.3% of the NGOs and charities' income came from the government and 34% came from the sale of services and interest on assets.

39% of Israelis' donations were given to welfare NGOs, 20% went to educational and research institutes, 15% to religious institutes, 13% to voluntary and general charities, 6% to environmental, human rights, aid, workers, and housing NGOs, 4% went to culture, entertainment and sports, and 3% to healthcare NGOs. No individual donations were given to healthcare NGOs, compared with 51% of donations from estates. In the US, where healthcare is extremely unequal, 9% of charitable donations go to healthcare and 33% to religious institutes.

Total donations reported for tax deductions rose from NIS 1 billion in 2009 to NIS 1.3 billion in 2011. Corporate donations reported for tax deductions accounted for 51-53% of total reported deductions in 2009-11. Corporate donations larger than NIS 500,000 accounted for the largest share of reported donations 32-34% in this period.

"We are pleased to see from this first-ever assessment of philanthropy in Israel that individuals' philanthropy is growing strongly, rising by 21% in 2009-11," said Committed to Give chairman Shuki Ehrlich. "Alongside these findings, we see that individuals' philanthropy among Israel's wealthy still requires mention, and meet with Committed to Give's targets to encourage strategic individual philanthropy among this population. Committed to Give believes that changing the culture of philanthropy will allow further growth in individual philanthropy over time to NGOs, which fulfill an important role in Israeli society."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 4, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014

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