OpinionU.S. News

Jewish nonprofits must embrace unity

These organizations can become a powerful force for advocacy and social change if they collaborate with one another.

“March for Israel” rally in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14, 2023. Credit: Tedeytan via Wikimedia Commons.
“March for Israel” rally in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14, 2023. Credit: Tedeytan via Wikimedia Commons.
Steve Rosenberg
Steve Rosenberg
Steve Rosenberg is principal of the GSD Group and board chair of the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He is the author of Make Bold Things Happen: Inspirational Stories From Sports, Business and Life.

In the realm of Jewish nonprofits, unity and collaboration are the sources of transformative change. Accordingly, they must shift from solitary endeavors to a collective spirit. Nonprofits must not rely solely on their individual capacities but on their ability to interlace with and amplify one another.

In recent years, many Jewish nonprofit organizations have arisen, particularly in relation to fighting antisemitism and anti-Israel bias. While these organizations are important, much of their work is duplicative in nature. Thus, in addition to draining resources in order to get similar results, the proliferation of such groups has increased confusion and donor fatigue.

The importance of collaboration between nonprofits lies in the use of shared resources and expertise. For example, a nonprofit with a robust social media presence can join forces with another possessing specialized knowledge. This exponentially expands the reach and impact of both organizations while reducing inefficiency and redundancy.

Moreover, when organizations with similar goals but different approaches come together, innovation is enhanced. For example, a group dedicated to education can combine with a group concentrating on the media in order to create awareness campaigns that transcend conventional boundaries and make use of multiple forms of communication.

In our digital age, visibility is tantamount to influence. Collaborative cross-promotion across nonprofits elevates not just individual campaigns but also introduces supporters to important issues, thus fostering a more engaged and active community.

Since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre, many groups have been attempting to expose Jew-haters who tear down signs of kidnapped Israeli children, attend pro-Hamas rallies or spew hatred at the Jewish community. Several of these organizations have been successful, but their success proves that there is no need for creating new organizations to address the same issue. Instead, we should concentration on expanding the successful groups that already exist.

A coalition of nonprofits speaking in one voice has a better chance of achieving systemic change. The recent March for Israel in Washington, D.C. exemplified this approach. Disparate organizations came together in a common cause and exponentially magnified their impact. Their solidarity showcased the power of collective strength to effectuate real change. However, the rally was only one significant day. What is the next step and how will these groups coordinate their efforts in the future?

Incentivizing joint endeavors is also important. Nonprofits can establish initiatives like recognition awards or shared fundraising ventures that nurture an ecosystem in which collaborative efforts are acknowledged and rewarded. Such endeavors not only foster camaraderie but fuel enthusiasm for joint action and encourage a continuous cycle of impactful partnerships. They make donors feel better about their philanthropy and keep fundraising more focused.

As torchbearers in the nonprofit realm, it’s our collective responsibility to champion collaboration. Together, we possess the means to amplify our voices, share our strengths and create a formidable bloc that transcends the limits of individual effort.

The future of philanthropy and social change isn’t solitary. It’s a tapestry of shared vision, mutual support and collaborative action. United we stand, divided we fail.

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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