Where Does $100 to United Israel Appeal Go?
United Israel Appeal (UIA) – a 501 (c) 3 based in New York (and an affiliate of the Jewish Federations of North America) is responsible for the allocation and oversight of funds raised by the Jewish Federations of North America and expended in Israeli by its operating agent, The Jewish Agency for Israel (a 501 (c) (3) based in Jerusalem.
According to the IRS Form 990 (2016 for the year ending June 30, 2017), UIA reported $167 million in revenue, $161 million of which came from related organizations ($155 million from the Jewish Federations of North America) and nearly $5 million from government grants. The remaining $1 million came from rental income and net gains on the sale of assets.
UIA reported $174 million in expenses (not including nearly $7 million in depreciation), of which $1 million were expenses for compensation (although most of the staff compensation is paid by the Jewish Federations of North America), interest, travel and conferences, office expenses, legal fees, etc. Virtually all the revenue collected by UIA went towards grants.
UIA awarded $173 million in grants (399 of which were over $5,000) with the funds allocated to UIA’s overseas operating agent, the Jewish Agency for Israel.
That UIA could award more in grants than revenue taken in is because of the organization’s net fund assets (they had the reserves to cover excess expenses). At year-end, UIA had $171 million in net fund assets.
Based on the above information, $100 in revenue was basically spent on grants at UIA. However, it is important to remember that the revenue to UIA came primarily from related organizations, and specifically the Jewish Federations of North America who spent $18 out of every $100 on functional expenses while $82 was spent on grants (most of which were awarded to UIA).
So, if you gave $100 to the Jewish Federations of North America, then $82 went towards grants, primarily to the UIA. Since, UIA had virtually no functional expenses (about $1 million), then most of the grant money awarded from the Jewish Federations of North America to UIA was spent on grants to the Jewish Agency for Israel.
The Jewish Agency for Israel reported total revenue of $384 million in 2017, which they used primarily for 6 purposes:
- to compensate 1,131 employees $94 million (24% of revenue)
- to pay $75 million (20% of revenue) on other expenses
- to pay $70 million (18% of revenue) on “allocation and social”
- to pay $44 million (11% of revenue) on “other functions”
- to pay $41 million (11% of revenue) on the “Israel Experience
- to pay $40 million (10% of revenue) on Immigration and Absorption
In summary, it is important to understand the 3 major entities:
- Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA)
- United Israel Appeal (UIA)
- Jewish Agency for Israel
The JFNA raises funds and grants significant sums to UIA who in turn grants funds to the Jewish Agency for Israel who uses the funds primarily for 6 purposes:
- to pay their employees
- to pay other expenses
- to pay for “allocation and social” expenses
- to pay for “other functions”
- to pay for the Israel Experience
- to pay for Immigration and Absorption program expenses
In summary, if you want your donation dollars to go furthest, make a donation directly to the Jewish Agency for Israel (you will avoid the $18 out of every $100 used by the Federations to cover operating expenses).
To read the IRS Form 990 for UIA (2016) for the year ending June 30, 2017, click here.
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