What is Shatil?
Its name – meaning “seedling” – reflects Shatil’s role: to nourish new organisations, nurturing them until their roots are strong and they can stand on their own.
Initially, NIF was set up purely as a funding organisation, raising money for civil society organisations. However, its executive soon realised that it was not enough simply to fund civil society groups – new organisations needed training in specific skills or to forge connections with groups with similar aims.
So it set up Shatil in 1982, to work on the ground with the organisations funded by NIF, helping them to identify their weaknesses, build on their strengths and work together.
Training and advice
Shatil has a library of ready-made resources – if an organisation is struggling in a certain area, it has information to help.
It provides 22,500 hours of training and advice per year to 300 organisations across Israel. This training covers everything from leadership to strategy, policy promotion, marketing and communications.
But it also has an overview of the work being done by civil society groups across Israel. So it can connect an organisation with a weakness in one area with a like-minded organisation that happens to be particularly strong in that same area.
It can also connect organisations with a common goal, enabling them to pool resources. For example, NIF works with a number of communities advocating on behalf of asylum seekers. By joining together, six groups were able to recruit an NIF-funded lawyer to advocate for improvements in the system – something they would not have been able to do individually.
Its broad overview also means that Shatil can forge connections on a larger scale, training groups with similar goals or in the same geographical area to amplify their influence by working together.
For example, several groups are working towards the development of the Negev. While they may represent very different stakeholders, their goals are often the same. Campaigning together, therefore, they can achieve much more than they could on their own.
Embedded in communities
Shatil’s team members are embedded in the communities they represent. This means that Shatil’s leaders understand from within the concerns and challenges facing these communities.
By working on the ground in this way, Shatil’s team are also able to pick up on new trends and areas of need – which then informs the funding decisions made by NIF.