Our New Strategy in Israel
In the 35 years since its founding, NIF has played a critical role in developing and seed-funding Israeli civil society organisations that have made a significant impact on the lives of all Israelis. From the first rape crisis centres to the groups that succeeded in banning torture in civilian interrogations, the NIF family has always worked on the cutting edge of social change.
The New Israel Fund’s initial strategy was grantmaking to what were then a small number of fledgling social change and civil rights organisations.
Now, more than £150 million has been granted to more than 850 organisations in 35 years. Ranging from large grants to organisations like the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, our flagship grantee, to small grants to community organizations working on social change at the local level, our grantmaking procedure is rigorous, transparent and based on collaborative partnerships with our grantees.
All grantees, whether they receive core grants from NIF or donor-assisted funding, are legally recognised and registered nonprofits in Israel. Additionally, every grantee must meet NIF’s Funding Guidelines and undergo regular evaluations for effectiveness and consistency with NIF’s overall strategic priorities.
We know that it takes more than money to make lasting change. That’s why we invest in people. We find and train people who can be leaders and activists in all sectors of Israeli society – among veteran Israelis and new immigrants; Palestinian Arabs and African asylum-seekers; women, the disabled and LGBT; ultra-Orthodox, traditional and secular.
SHATIL, NIF’s action arm, employs more than 100 Israeli professionals in our offices in Jerusalem, Haifa and Beer-Sheva. Through trainings, consulting and capacity-building, we empower social change agents: non-profit staff, social entrepreneurs, activists, students, public sector professionals and others. We also work with local authorities, academia, business representatives and others who share our commitment to create a more just and democratic society.
NIF funds, and SHATIL organises and provides professional services to, a broad range of coalitions and forums in Israel in a variety of issue areas including social justice, human rights, and religious pluralism.
Coalitions with a major impact include the Coalition Against Racism, The Forum for Public Housing, the Forum for a Social Budget and The Coalition Against the Exclusion of Women. The Tag Meir (Light Tag) coalition is the only group of organisations responding immediately to so-called “price-tag” vigilantism by radical settlers against Palestinians, Israeli Arab citizens, liberal activists and the IDF. Some coalitions unite nonprofits from different sectors, with different agendas, to work together on a broad issue that needs citizen involvement and attention.
As a proudly progressive organisation, the New Israel Fund advocates for a tolerant, democratic and inclusive Israel. From social media to the mainstream media to local municipalities to the halls of the Knesset, we speak out and empower others to speak so that the voices of marginalised Israelis are heard.
We speak out in favour of inclusive and free discourse in the Diaspora as well; we think Israel is a strong democracy capable of withstanding debate about its most serious and controversial issues.
Only the New Israel Fund brings the broad range of civil rights, social justice and religious tolerance issues to the attention of the most powerful people and institutions in Israel.