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How one Jewish nonprofit’s role in ‘Giving Tuesday’ helps Israel

Nearly every area in Israel has been touched by JNF, and nothing shows that better than seeing and hearing about it from those directly impacted by its work.

Jewish National Fund
Jewish National Fund
Miriam Braun

What will you be doing the Tuesday after Thanksgiving? Many people will be taking advantage of residual Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, prepping their holiday vacation plans or beginning to wrap Hanukkah gifts. But the post-Thanksgiving Tuesday (this year falling on Nov. 27) has become known as “Giving Tuesday”—the global day of giving back—and has gained real traction and momentum in the nonprofit world.

“Giving Tuesday” began in 2012 as a way to encourage giving during the holiday season. After all, there are multiple days devoted to shopping, so why not have one to energize charitable work and kick off year-end donations? Since then, it has spread to more than 150 countries, raising nearly half a billion dollars annually for myriad causes. This year alone, some 50,000 organizations are expected to take part.

Jewish National Fund’s participation in “Giving Tuesday” has gained strength with each passing year, and motivated donors to do and give more annually.

“Without a doubt, ’Giving Tuesday’ has helped Jewish National Fund financially, but it has also challenged us to use digital marketing better every day,” says Vivian Grossman, JNF’s assistant vice president of marketing and social media.

A resident of Weston, Fla., and a lay leader with a passion for telling stories about the beneficiaries of JNF’s work, Grossman has seen how social media increases traffic to JNF’s site. “We have especially seen growth among millennials and JNFutures, the group of 22- to 40-year-old donors who are JNF’s fastest-growing demographic,” she says.

“Our donors are savvy and informed, and they want to see where their dollars are going,” she adds. “JNF allows them to do this. Young people are struck by the transparency of our organization and encouraged to make a difference in their ancestral homeland. ‘Giving Tuesday’ speaks to them personally and allows them to share their passion with friends and family across the globe on their many media platforms.”

Last year, JNF reached the $1.25 million mark in a single day from tens of thousands of donors, many of whom were new to our system. Their average gift was also well over the national average. Thanks to a generous matching gift of up to $1.15 million from JNF board chairman emeritus Ronald S. Lauder, the Gene and Marlene Epstein Charitable Foundation, and Bob Lembke, this year the goal is expected to increase.

On JNF’s national Facebook page, Humans of JNF Facebook page, Instagram and YouTube pages, viewers will find feature videos from the many partners on the ground in Israel. Nearly every area in Israel has been touched by JNF, and nothing shows that better than seeing and hearing about it from those directly impacted by its work.

From the Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center in the Central Arava along the Jordanian border to the renowned wineries of Northern Israel’s Western Galilee and Israel heritage sites, to Alexander Muss High School in Israel where American high-schoolers spend a semester experiencing Israel and growing employment in the Negev and Galilee, JNF makes life better for all Israelis.

In addition to online digital programming on “Giving Tuesday,” JNF is hosting six events around the United States to energize the community to come together and give back.

It’s also a time to mobilize small donations and personal fundraising. That’s why the use of peer-to-peer fundraising pages, and more recently, Facebook’s in-platform tools for personal fundraising has been encouraged and is set to continue to grow in popularity and profitability.

For more information visit, on “Giving Tuesday.”

Miriam Braun is the digital marketing manager of JNF-USA.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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