ISRAELI social entrepreneur Seth Davis is offering a new lease on life to the Jewish world’s major donor community through Giving Group Community (GGC).
The founder and CEO, visiting Australia next month to speak to donors of scale who think outside the square, described his platform for Israeli causes as “next-generation … seamless, fast … the reverse of crowdfunding”.
GGC, registered as a charity in the US, with fiscal sponsorship status in Australia, Canada and Israel, essentially has adapted the concept of investment platform Our Crowd to the not-for-profit space, said Davis.
In 18 months of operation, GGC has built a global network of 115 philanthropists, which it aims to grow to 450, with a five-year goal of $US40 million in donations to Israeli projects. The target group are philanthropists seeking projects from $US50,000 to $10 million, said Davis.
Initial contact is often online, but far from being a Tinder for philanthropic projects, potential donors soon find themselves in a bespoke, relational environment in which their specific aims are facilitated. “We’re about philanthropy, not just charity,” Davis told The AJN.
There are technology flourishes such as a “virtual wallet” facility through which philanthropists can introduce their children and grandchildren to targeted giving for Israel.
Asked about how GGC fits with conventional Jewish communal-based fundraising, Davis said they serve different purposes but can be complementary.
Projects on GGC’s books are as diverse as aiding marginalised Israelis, particularly Holocaust survivors, mental health, suicide prevention, lowering carbon emissions and plastics waste, gene therapy research, even contemporary Israeli art. Projects can be adapted to local donor requirements.
GGC has a growing team of salaried professionals, funded from donations through an advisory board.
All projects on offer are rigorously vetted on 42 criteria. “When people give and it’s not even in their backyard, they’re not really sure if the program was fulfilled … a lack of transparency, where the money was ‘fudgeted’,” said Davis, referring to well intended but unauthorised reallocations of donations to another similar project.
Born in New York, raised in Ashkelon and based in Tel Aviv – after a period back in the US – Davis has helped raise more than $US100 million during a 15-year social entrepreneurship career in which he has been CEO at IsraAID US, and has held senior roles at foundations.
Seth Davis will be in Sydney, August 7-12, and in Melbourne, August 12-16, for meetings with interested philanthropists. For more information: +972-54-806-3637; email@example.com