Most Israeli Donations Come from Middle Class, Study Shows

YERUSHALAYIM -
Piles of carrots are seen at a Yerushalayim chessed food distribution center before Pesach. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90, File)

Who donates what to whom in Israel? According to the Committed to Give organization, 50 percent of donations to Israeli nonprofit institutions and organizations come from abroad – but of the rest, 71 percent came from middle-class and upper middle-class Israelis in recent years. The money comes in the form of donations and inheritances, from families that report income of less than a million shekels a year.

In the United States, multibillionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have donated much or most of their fortune to charity, but the trend has not hit Israel yet. In Israel there are 400 individuals considered “super-rich,” whose incomes are 290 times that of the average Israeli. These people donated about a billion shekels to nonprofits. 24 percent of all donations came from corporations and businesses, the report said.

The Committed to Give organization was founded for and works toward the encouragement of significant private philanthropy among affluent Israelis, according to the organization. “Israel is a country of innovation. Each year we see many new additions to the list of the prosperous, yet few become recognized as philanthropists. We would rejoice in seeing new people engage in giving throughout the community in Israel. We believe that wealth derives responsibility and commitment from each and every one of us to act in the social arena,” according to the organization.