"Philanthropy in Israel
is still based on a lot of foreign funding and the relative increase in Israeli donations doesn't reflect the wealth is Israeli society," claims Professor Hillel Shmidt, a senior faculty member at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and director of the Center for the Study of Philanthropy.
According to new data set to be published by the center, Israeli philanthropy makes up only 0.7% of the Gross Domestic Product compared with 2.1% in the US and 0.73% GDP in England.
The extent of Israeli philanthropy in donations given in Israel was up from 33% in 2006 to 38% in 2009, while philanthropy from abroad, mainly the United States, was down by 67% from 2006 to 62% in 2009.
And yet according to data published by Johns Hopkins University, the volume of donations in Israel, together with the volume of donations from abroad brings the extent of donations in Israel to 1.3% of the GDP – in second place after the US.
Data from the Hebrew University reveal that the part philanthropy plays in finding non-profit organizations stood at NIS 16 billion ($4.66 billion).
Israeli Tax Authority data on donations from individuals and businesses show an increase in the size of the donation and the number of donators, 66.5% of the population. Yet the size of the average donation in Israel is relatively lower in size than in other western countries.
As for volunteering, according to the Center for the Study of Philanthropy, only 15% of Israeli citizens take part in some form of volunteer program and only 9% of corporations donate to the community.
This data is very low indeed when compared with the volunteer rate in England and Canada – 50% or Australia, Holland and Germany where the volunteer rate is 30% of the population.
"In spite of a relative growth in Israeli donations, the situation today doesn't reflect the potential for monetary donations and civic volunteering which exists in Israeli society," says Professor Shmidt. According to him, "we still haven't fulfilled our potential philanthropically."
The full report will be published at the Center for the Study of Philanthropy's assembly which will be held at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.