It’s no secret that many people in Israel today find it hard to make ends meet. According to Israel’s National Insurance Poverty Report (December 2015), the percentage of working families in Israel who live below the poverty line has risen to 13.1% in 2014. That’s hundreds of thousands of working poor families in Israel, many of whom forego medical treatments and other crucial expenditures, because they lack the cash flow.
To ease the situation for many of these people, the Israel Free Loan Association (IFLA) offers interest-free loans, providing borrowers with financial breathing room and dignity. Established in 1990 by Eliezer Jaffe, professor of social work at Hebrew University and a co-chair of the University’s Center for the Study of Philanthropy, IFLA has provided over 54,000 interest-free loans over the last 25 years.
The beauty of establishing an interest-free loan fund at IFLA is how it multi-tasks and renews itself. The Fund, established in the name of the donor’s choice, honors or memorializes a loved one or a special event, while it also provides interest-free loans to low-income earning Israelis in need. Loans from the fund are distributed, repaid back to the fund, and loaned out to others, creating a perpetual helping resource. Hence donation monies are recycled and are never “used up,” only increasing in impact.
Assisting Small Business to Secure Self-Sufficiency
Small businesses comprise 65% of all businesses in Israel, yet they have access to only 13% of the credit available to businesses, and it is small businesses which are often the best option for ensuring a livelihood for their owners, their families, and the businesses’ employees. Because IFLA loans are repaid in manageable amounts, it takes time to replenish the funds. Therefore infusions of additional donations enable the provision of more loans simultaneously to people in need, exactly when they need it.
“I wish I saw that kind of return on my other investments,” is what more than one IFLA supporter has said, upon learning of IFLA’s loan repayment rate and increasing helping value of loan funds.
Donations to IFLA have been recycled on average 4.6 times over the years and continue to provide a source of assistance with dignity.
Spread the Word
You can “go green,” too. Donations of any size make a difference and continue to help people in need. Donate to IFLA Love the model? Let people know about it. Share this on Facebook, LinkedIn and via email and spread the word. Give others the opportunity to exercise their social responsibility and join the recycling efforts.