What does it look like to work with Shelanu?
We prefer to let results, clients, partners and grantees share their Shelanu experience
Client: Natan Fund
Partner: The Shahaf Foundation
Grantee: Keren Baktana
Why work with an Israel-based expert?
Israel offers excellent opportunities for meaningful philanthropic impact. It’s an innovative country that deals with a myriad of social challenges - yet is small enough for smart, strategic contributions to go a very long way. With us you can test drive your own philanthropic vision, be a thought leader, initiate and innovate.
NYC-based Natan Fund inspires philanthropists to become actively engaged in Jewish giving by funding innovative projects that are shaping the Jewish future. Natan members pool their funds and bear the risks involved with supporting new and/or undiscovered ideas. They engage in a group allocations process to fund innovative, creative, and socially meaningful projects, and they make all of Natan’s grant decisions collectively.
Since 2013 Alma Gadot Perez has been Natan's advisor and grant consultant in Israel. Alma is responsible for vetting Israeli grant applicants, developing partnerships and strategy, and providing Israeli grantees with strategic guidance. Alma also supports Amplifier’s partnerships in Israel.
Alma provides not just 'boots on the ground' in Israel to advise our giving - she is also a thought partner to us and to our Israeli grantees. Her network, creativity and experience have proven invaluable to Natan as our philanthropic strategy in Israel has evolved. And our grantees, most of which are young initiatives, rely on her wisdom and strategic thinking as they develop and expand their work.
The value of a partnership
Why should a funder seek local partnerships and what type of partnerships really work?
A good partnership aligns interests, resources and strengthens each party. At Shelanu we’ve crafted partnerships with foundations as well as with nonprofits. Each case is different, what’s common is that by having a clear strategy we can identify the opportunity, find and engage with partners, develop programs and grant opportunities that creates a multiplier effect on your investment.
As part of a Shelanu client (Natan Fund) strategy to support Israel’s emerging social capital market and social business in particular, Shelanu identified a rare opportunity for partnership with the Shahaf Foundation, a unique philanthropic umbrella of 20 Israeli and international donors who have joined together to promote young mission driven communities, a burgeoning social movement that spans across Israel with more than 10,000 members in more than 200 communities.
Shahaf’s communities represent all spectrum of Israeli society. Members live and operate at the nation’s socio-economic periphery with the goal of strengthening local communities and drive social change. Many of them are establishing new social businesses as a way to achieve financial sustainability and enhance their social impact.
Shelanu identified a funding gap just when these social businesses needed a focused investment– after the business kick-off and before a business qualifies for regular or impact investments, loans or became sustainable.
Together, Shelanu and Shahaf professionals designed a special opportunity that targets existing social businesses and provides them with growth focused resources – an unrestricted grant and tailored professional training by JAFI’s Ketzev team. We do this through a national competitive application process.
The partnership, entering its third year (2016-17) allows Shahaf and Natan to pool funding together, leverage extended professional networks, attract additional funding and gain first-hand knowledge and real-time insights of the field and its leaders. Following the success of the partnership, Shahaf has recently decided to make developing social businesses a core element of its 5 year strategy and Ketzev has expanded their funding to the project.
Philanthropic partnerships are the cornerstone of the Shahaf foundation. We believe that partners help leverage investments and create synergies, enable long term planning and broaden our perspective on social issues that Shahaf communities address. With Natan we’ve created a successful innovative program that leverages both funding and professional knowledge.
Every partnership is about people. The professionals driving this partnership – Alma for Natan and our team took this opportunity with both hands – constantly reviewing, improving and respecting each partner focus and expertise. Our success in the first year brought to an increase in resources over the second year and a review if the business training program that will be implemented in the 2016-17 cycle. The program is now part of the Shahaf’s foundation strategic plan for the next five years.
Why should funders consider grantee coaching and capacity building?
It allows grantees to gain access to a resource they wouldn’t normally afford or prioritize – helping them be more strategic and effective long term. It also builds a different type of relationship with your grantees – one that’s based on trust and knowledge.
Keren Baktana is nurturing a new culture of giving among young Israeli professionals through giving circles
On behalf of Natan Fund and Amplifier - the Jewish Giving Circle Movement platform, Shelanu worked with their Israeli grantee partner, Keren Baktana, to design smart, meaningful measurement and evaluation plan to support the organization as it enters an extensive growth period.
It’s not often that a funder offers a grantee access to premium consulting to complement its grant. That’s just what happened when Amplifier offered us the opportunity to enjoy Alma’s professional expertise as part of our grant benefits.
Keren Baktana is a young non profit and we were facing the task of creating our measurement and evaluation processes to make sure our growth will be focused and effective. We came to our first meeting with Alma with this challenge in mind.
Alma's extensive experience as well as the creative thinking and professional skills were a huge asset to us. She walked us through the process and helped us do it in a way that met our needs and constrains, but without compromising the quality of the process or the end result. She identified the critical points we had to solve, involved the right people in the process, connect to experts and helped us build a streamlined process. We simply couldn't have done it without her!
How can great become excellent?
Many organizations are doing a great job. Their programs and team built their reputation and fuel growth. How do you take existing teams and programs to the next level? How do you innovate and make changes that last? Our answer is by co-creating innovation.
itrek, a NYC based nonprofit, introduces tomorrow’s leaders in business, law and policy to Israel, helping them experience Israel firsthand through peer-led, week-long treks. Thousands of leaders from top international schools participate in their programming each year. Our work focused on reviewing existing processes, tools and methods throughout the annual cycle and working hand-in-hand with the team to enhance what works, standardize processes, surface tacit knowledge test new ideas and create new tools.
Chief Operating Officer
I’ve had a wonderful experience working with Alma. She consulted to our organization, itrek, over the course of intensive nine months, and added significant new components to our leader training program while helping us enhance and utilize existing knowledge and strengths. I really valued her insights on our work, creative ideas, ability to listen and to comfortably navigate between strategy and immediate needs. I was especially taken by her method of co-creating with my team. This unique approach expanded my team’s capacity and training, revealed and enhanced existing knowledge and facilitated our internal ability to implement and create future programs on our own. Alma’s extensive network proved useful in sourcing excellent providers of services during the project. The products we got were immediately useful, well-designed, and will be part of our core set of working tools for years to come. I highly recommend Alma as a thought-partner and implementing consultant!