Money (illustration)
Money (illustration)Israel news photo: Flash 90

For the first time in Israel, fundraising – a skill that secured weaponry and resources for the nascent State – is being taught at an academy. The Israel Academy of Philanthropy, is opening branches in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and in Tefen Park in the Galilee, with registration currently underway. A fourth branch in Be'er Sheva to serve the Negev is being considered, according to the institution's founders, two seasoned professionals who spent decades in the field. 

The two entrepreneurs, Natan Golan and Jeff Kaye, say they are determined to provide professional accreditation in resource development in Israel – the new buzzword for the skill used ruthlessly by former Prime Minister Golda Meir to obtain enough money to buy weapons to keep the budding State of Israel alive amidst constant Arab attacks from all sides. It already exists in international venues.

Graduates of the approved courses who have attained the required standards will receive credit towards the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential diploma for initial certification or recertification. CFRE International is the global provider of certification in professional fundraising, and the primary practice-based credential for career fundraisers. 

Non-profit organizations (NGOs, non-governmental organizations, as they are called in Israel) rely on executive directors with such skills to supply their budgets. So do hospitals, universities, museums and numerous other cultural, medical and scientific research centers. Even at the governmental level, “resource development” is considered an essential skill. But few, if any, actually learn the basics that go into creating a successful career in the field unless they've been forced by necessity to do so – and even then, it is usually “on the trot.”

The new academy will offer courses in donor research and psychology, ethics of philanthropy, fundraising vehicles, resource development, gift types, donor involvement and cultivation, and more. The curriculum will include four exclusively-designed courses targeting various groups of students – from beginners to advanced, from those active in the Israeli nonprofit world to senior staff at local municipalities and regional authorities.