Saturday, May 28, 2011

Community giving in Israel

Just before Passover, I was walking past Rabin Square, where all major Tel Aviv city events have their epicenter.  This was the display - hundreds of empty shopping carts lined up on the square, under a billboard which encouraged Israeli's to donate food so that no family would go without meals during the eight day holiday. 

I have learned a little about local attitudes toward giving and fundraising engagement.  It exists.  But it doesn't sound like the runs/walks/drives are common here.  I'm not certain, but it doesn't sound like corporate fundraising teams exist here.  While a little can be fun and build a sense of community and shared purpose, it can also become so pervasive that people get sick of the "cause of the week" in the U.S. 

The non-profits I've met here struggle to find funding like everywhere else though, and the trend toward unchecked capitalism is invading non-profits just as it is in the U.S., so it will be interesting to see how the culture of giving progresses - will non-profits copy the U.S. model, or find their own path?

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