At a time when many foundations are scaling back giving due to poor market returns, The Hadassah Foundation, the largest Jewish women’s foundation in the world, announced today that it plans to give away more money. The Foundation is also revamping its grant structure, enabling it to diversify its grantmaking and be a more flexible and responsive funder. The Foundation issued a request for proposals (RFP) for its new “core” category of grants, for which applications are due February 7.
The Foundation, which has allocated more than $11 million since its founding in 1998, plans to increase its annual giving to more than $720,000 by 2025 and ultimately to $1 million. Previously, it awarded grants of $70,000 over two years, through separate processes for Israeli and U.S. organizations. Moving forward, the Foundation will consider Israeli and U.S. organizations together and will award different types and sizes of grants, depending on an organization’s size, maturity, and track record.
The Foundation will focus its grantmaking around specific themes related to gender equity, changing them on a rotating basis and maintaining flexibility in how long it funds certain themes to ensure it meets the needs of the field. In 2023 the focus will be on addressing biases in hiring and advancement and increasing the number and influence of women and girls in leadership. (More details can be found in the RFP, and applications can be submitted here.)
The expanded giving and changes to the grant structure are among the new policies emerging from a comprehensive strategic planning process designed to increase the Foundation’s impact on the field of women and girls.
Recognizing the importance of introducing innovation and new ideas by funding early-stage nonprofits, as well as the need to continue investing in long-standing mission-aligned organizations that provide leadership and advocacy, the Foundation will award grants in the following categories: (More details here.)
- Core: These continue the Foundation’s strong grantmaking practices of supporting leading organizations and programs that promote gender equity in Israel and the U.S. Each grant will be $80,000 awarded over three years. The Foundation expects to award five Core grants in 2023. An RFP was issued January 5, 2023, and the application deadline is February 7, 2023.
- Spark: These allow for increased risk-taking and appropriately sized support for newer organizations that are meeting pressing and emergent issues. The Foundation will work to increase the exposure of these organizations and provide capacity-building where possible. Each grant is $20,000 awarded over 18 months. The Foundation expects to award two Spark grants in 2023 and will issue an RFP this spring.
- Visionary Partners: These exemplify the Foundation’s values of building partnerships and embodying trust-based philanthropy by offering longer-term funding. Each grant is $130,000 awarded over five years. The first two recipients, announced last month, are Jewish Women International (JWI) in the U.S. and WePower in Israel. (Learn more here). There is no application process for Visionary Partner grants; instead, the Foundation reviews previous grantees and makes decisions based on the organization’s track record and mission. The Foundation expects to name one new Visionary Partner in 2023.
- Discretionary: These enable the Foundation to quickly provide funds to address timely activities and needs that arise. Each grant is up to $5,000 awarded in one payment. These grants are distributed throughout the year in response to time-sensitive activities and urgent needs. There is no formal application process, and decisions are made by the Foundation director and chair. The Foundation expects to award up to four Discretionary grants in 2023.
“Only 2 percent of all philanthropic giving goes to organizations focusing on the needs of women and girls, and in Israel the number is even lower,” said Foundation Chair Audrey Weiner “As the largest Jewish women’s foundation, The Hadassah Foundation fills a critical need. We are committed to increasing the quality and quantity of our grantmaking and to growing and strengthening the field of Jewish philanthropy to support gender equity.”
Established by Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America in 1998, the Hadassah Foundation is the largest Jewish women’s foundation in the world. It has invested more than $11 million in social change organizations serving women and girls in the United States and Israel, bringing needed attention to pressing issues that impact gender equality. For additional information, visit hadassahfoundation.org.
View the RFP and more details about grant categories at hadassahfoundation.org/grantmaking/our-approach.