HOW THE MONEY ADDS UP
of the Jewish Leadership Council. The JLC, he said, would continue to work on “how to broaden and deepen the communal funding base, how to make it easier and more attractive for the community to give to Jewish communal causes and how to ensure that all charities are operationally as efficient as they can be.”
He believed there was scope for new fundraising ventures, including encouraging “giving circles” — American-style informal fundraising groups — and women’s philanthropy.
Steven Lewis, chairman of the largest fundraising organisation, Jewish Care — which enjoyed a two per cent rise in voluntary income from 2015 to 2016 — said: “In comparison to other social care providers outside the community, because of the communal support we receive, we are bucking the trend.”
But he highlighted recent media coverage of the strain to provide social care nationally.
“We are no exception to this,” Mr Lewis said. “Budget freezes from local authorities, increased costs such the national living wage, an older than average population and an everincreasing demand for services, all contribute to difficult times ahead.”
He added that he had to remain positive “if I am to get any sleep at night but even in my most positive moments, I would struggle to say things are rosy.”
Anna Josse, founder of the Prism Fund, which supports grant-making charities, observed: “If we were in a buoyant economy, you would expect to see bigger increases. I would say, talking to some of the bigger charities, they have suffered since 2008 because of the financial downturn. Overall, it is tougher and harder.”
She believes it is a priority for Jewish organisations to attract a newer generation of donors, reaching out to younger people who may be unaffiliated with the organised community.
She also thinks the community faces “a question of whether to start amalgamating some of the smaller charities” — those raising £1 million or less annually — in order to cut overheads.
According to the Charities Aid Foundation database, there are at least 1,998 charities in the Jewish sector with an overall income of £949 million a year. But the growth of the Charedi community is apparent in organisations serving it, such as Achisomoch, which increased its voluntary income from £15.2 million in 2015 to £17 million last year and Society of Friends of the Torah, whose take went up from £12.3 million in 2014 to £14.9 million in 2015.
I would struggle to say things are rosy’
CHARITY income can fluctuate from year to year for different reasons. For example, JNF UK more than doubled its take from 2014 to 2015 because of legacies worth more than £4 million, while Weizmann UK enjoyed legacies of nearly £3 million in 2014 but little from that source the following year. Camp Simcha holds a gala dinner every second year, so its income was significantly up in 2015. The United Synagogue’s voluntary income last year included nearly £4 million from the acquisition of synagogue buildings — some organisations would list such capital transfers separately from donations.
Wizo UK excludes money raised through appeals and campaigns from voluntary income but many other charities do include such income.