Top 4 Things to Know about the Jewish Communal Fund

Although the Jewish Communal Fund isn’t an accessible grantmaker for nonprofits looking to apply for funding, it is an important philanthropic force in New York City that grantseekers should be familiar with. These are the top things nonprofits should know about the Jewish Communal Fund.

Funding is Centered on New York City

Some of JCF’s funding goes international, especially to Israel. However, the bulk of JCF funds stay in New York City. Take a look at JCF’s list of recent grants to get a sense of where these funds have been going lately. The most recent grantee list posted is for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. In a recent year, the foundation made a total of about $286 million in grants over $10,000, and $11 million total under $10,000--nearly $300 million, all told.

Education is the Top Funded Cause

General education has been JCF’s most supported cause lately, beating out Jewish-specific education by quite a bit. In 2015, $57.2 million went towards general education, followed by $42.3 million to international and Israel causes, and $37.9 million for community organizations.

Unsolicited Applications Aren’t Accepted

Grantseekers may be disappointed to find out that JCF does not have a grant application or a means of sending in unsolicited letters of inquiry. But on the local level, JCF has a community gift program that involves a $2 million donation to the UJA Federation of New York’s Annual Campaign and grants from the JCF Special Gifts Fund. This fund has seen more than $10 million in grants distributed since 1999.

This year, JCF gave a $100,000 through the Special Gifts Fund to Olim Beyahad, which helps Ethiopian-Israelis find employment and self-sufficiency. Last year, the group’s Special Gifts Fund grants went to the Mid-Island Y Jewish Community Center, Educational Alliance, Ramaz School and Camp Oakhurst.

Funding is on the Rise

This is a philanthropic fund that’s only growing stronger with age. For example, the fund gave 11 percent more in 2015 than it did in 2014. 

This is the largest and most active Jewish donor advised fund in America with over $1.4 billion in assets under management. Last year, JCF distributed 21 percent of its assets, which is well above the industry average.

To learn more about this funder, check out these recent blog posts:

And don’t miss IP’s full profile of the Jewish Communal Fund to get the inside scoop of how this group operates.