Much has been written in recent years about philanthropy among upwardly mobile professionals in Israel’s dynamic, growing economy. The limitations and inefficiencies of traditional giving methods have spurred the start-up nation to apply its out-of-the-box problem solving strength to charitable giving as well. Only one solution, new to Israel but popular for decades in the United States, has emerged to meet the complex needs of the hi-tech and financial sectors, as well as those of veteran philanthropists. Through a winning combination of timing, simplicity, and a unique platform with professional, personalized service, Keshet Donor-Advised Fund has emerged as the leading model for Israeli charitable giving.
For decades, donor-advised funds (DAF), have been growing in popularity as a powerful philanthropic tool in the United States.
Now, for the first time ever, this innovative philanthropic tool is available to Israeli and American donors and grant makers.
Keshet Donor-Advised Fund, established at the end of 2019, now has over ₪200 million under management from 100 donors and has granted over ₪70 million to 500 charitable organizations in Israel.
Becoming a National Asset to Israel
Many of us place the highest value on charity and social engagement, but timing our giving to maximize positive impact and tax advantages is challenging, especially at key turning points in our capital status. Raising capital, selling a company (exit, IPO), and estate planning often require quick decision-making and demand much of our time and energy, especially for Israeli entrepreneurs. We can all understand why it’s difficult to prioritize charitable giving at these critical junctures, but they happen to be the optimal times to maximize the tax-advantages and impact potential of our donations for years to come.
Keshet DAF was established as a solution to this problem, enabling donors to optimize the timing of their decision-making and their giving potential. It enables contributions to be invested so they grow over time, increasing the size of grants to meaningful causes over many years, and thus becoming a real national asset to Israel.
Elie Wurtman, the Israeli-American founder and co-director of the Pico venture capital fund, is a veteran donor with years of experience in Israeli philanthropy. He immediately recognized the advantages of the DAF model and was one of the first to open an account at Keshet. “Keshet takes the difficulty out of the giving equation and connects entrepreneurs with change-makers from all sectors to a growing source of funds, from which it is possible to contribute and exert a positive influence on Israeli society for the long term.”
Abbi Adest, another Israeli-American originally from Stamford Connecticut who made Aliyah in 2000, also joined Keshet with her husband Meir, the founder of Solar Edge.
“From the moment that we opened a Keshet account, our giving has been more calm. We allocate resources for social causes, and now we have time to consider which organizations to donate to, at our own convenience. Keshet’s professional team is available and supportive at every step of the process. Keshet makes the process of checking the credibility of nonprofits simple and organized. It gives us peace of mind when donating large sums.” – Abbi Adest
Your DAF in Israel: How it works
Keshet is a nonprofit public-benefit corporation with Section 46A approval from the Israeli Tax Authority, enabling tax benefits for its donors.
Like DAFs in the United States, Keshet’s model separates the allocation of the donation from the time when it is actually transferred to the beneficiary, keeping this decision in the hands of the donors themselves.
With Keshet, you can donate a variety of assets, such as appreciated stocks, cash, real estate holdings, and even works of art. The assets are transferred to Keshet and an immediate tax receipt is received by the donor.
Keshet’s team is available to guide the donor in choosing a strategy for philanthropic giving, and doing all due diligence to ensure that the funds go to the right place. “A donation should be treated as a strategic action,” says Maya Natan Mozer, CEO of Keshet. Mozer sees philanthropy as a holistic business decision and recommends that entrepreneurs, investors, and financiers see the donation as a key part of their financial planning. “Ours is a new financial tool in Israel that allows for strategic and smart donations and easy, sophisticated management of your philanthropy.”
Fiscal Management for Overseas Foundations
Keshet also developed a service designed specifically to help overseas foundations reduce the bureaucratic and logistical aspects of grants made to Israeli NGOs. Several leading US-based foundations use Keshet as their fiscal sponsor in Israel, enabling faster and more efficient grant making in Israel. Keshet – recognized as a 501(c)3 organization – provides operational support, tailor-made to the needs of each foundation.
Creating a Fund that Meets Your Needs
Keshet offers a wide range of services to facilitate strategic giving in Israel, so whether you’re looking to open a personal fund or a corporate account – or if you are ready to think about your family giving and the next generation – Keshet can help you achieve your philanthropic goals.
Five Reasons to Give with Keshet DAF:
- Operational Accessibility and Taxation – the transfer of donations from the US is made easy and accessible through an efficient operational mechanism that allows you, the donor, to contribute in Israel and qualify for tax advantages in the US.
- Personalization – Keshet’s dynamic model is there to suit your needs at any stage of life, no need to wait. You can start with relatively small contributions and strategically develop your giving plan over time, so that it matches your growing needs and goals.
- Donate a Variety of Assets – Keshet’s model allows for donations of various assets besides cash – appreciated stocks, shares in secondary transactions, real estate holdings, and even works of art, can be included in your strategic giving plan.
- Efficiency – Keshet makes giving to non-profit organizations in Israel easier, dramatically lowers operating costs, and streamlines complex processes.
- Professionalism, Personalized Attention, and Discretion – Keshet’s donor portal makes it possible to manage all of your philanthropic activities in one place. Keshet provides guidance in optimizing the timing of your contributions, and handles the bureaucratic headaches associated with philanthropic regulations. It’s all done in one place, easily and efficiently. And for donors who prefer to avoid disclosure to grantees, complete discretion is maintained.
A Revolution in Giving
Keshet’s board includes several leaders of the Israeli financial world. Its founders, members of its board of directors, and professional committees, have extensive experience in major philanthropy.
“The establishment of Keshet is an important milestone for charitable giving in Israel,” says attorney Maya Liquornik, Chair of Keshet. “It is already revolutionizing Israeli philanthropy. The combination of optimized timing of donations and giving, the option of donating a variety of assets, and the long term management of deposits will lead to a significant increase in the resources available to civil society and the creation of an active and involved philanthropic community. It is, if you will, a revolution in giving.”