The financial crisis sweeping through the United States has caused a 20% drop in donations to Israel so far, Becky Caspi, senior vice-president of operations at the UJC, said Wednesday.
Caspi spoke at a conference focusing on resource development methods in a financial crisis ad the Lev Institute in Jerusalem; attended by graduates of the Pratt Foundation Pradler NGO Empowerment Project.
The American donors, she said, have begun funneling their resources to the local Jewish communities and Israel is no longer the focus of their attention.
Furthermore, philanthropists are less keen on donating money for purposes other than daily sustenance. One of the areas immediately hurt by this, she said, was the ability of academic institutions to offer students grants and scholarships.
According to Caspi's presentation, some of the most prominent charities in the US have "pulled the plug," while others have considerably reduced their donations. "The world of federations has seen people who have been donors in the past, turn into those needing donations practically overnight," she said.
"Some donors said they would make good on their commitments but asked for a deferral; some of the federations have had to cut back on staff or have been deeping into their financial reserves, which was practically unheard of before."