Meet the New Israeli Donors

What motivates the new Israeli donor to donate? How much and how frequently do they donate? Is there really a direct connection between salary level and donations given? Find out all the details below.

Israel’s philanthropy culture has undergone many changes and innovations in recent years, against the backdrop of social and technological changes taking place in Israel and the world. 

Whereas several years ago Israeli donors were mainly influenced by ideologies and vague collective slogans, today’s donors aspire to show real engagement in an organization’s activities and pursue deeper social impact. Research we conducted recently revealed interesting findings about the new Israeli donors, addressing in depth a variety of socio-demographic and economic components. 

Here are the numbers you need to know about Israeli donors

It appears that Israeli donors have become more suspicious over the years, so that whereas in the past many would donate to people who knocked on their doors without asking too many questions, today people don’t hesitate to express doubt and demonstrate greater judgment before they decide to donate to an organization. However, there has been an apparent increase in the number of donors and the amounts of donations in Israel over the past decade. Likewise, different data shows that Israelis donate a greater percentage of their total available income relative to certain countries in Europe with identical income rates. Despite the fact that Israeli donors are considered less wealthy than donors from Switzerland or Germany, for example, they still show greater generosity relative to their income levels. This reinforces Israel’s status as a country with a highly developed philanthropic awareness.  

The percentage of donors in Israel varies between 61% and 87%, whether formally by direct donations to recognized organizations, or informally. Most Israeli donors state that they donate at least once a year, while many donate regularly to a particular organization or nonprofit over several consecutive years, testifying to the strong connection between the donor and the organization’s values. Likewise, various data show that the donation sum is likely to increase in cases where there is a long-term relationship between the donor and the organization. 

Motivations and preferred donation goals

Contemporary multi-channel communications and the extensive activity on social networks have deepened awareness of various social injustices and even impacted the donation goals of the new Israeli donors, such that today more and more donors are turning to aid, welfare, health, religious and education organizations out of an authentic desire to make change and have influence. These areas align with the image of the new Israeli donors, who are characterized by greater engagement, altruistic motives, and a desire to have influence and create immediate change. If in the past many nonprofits used marketing slogans with a goal of creating a sense of guilt and compassion among donors, today the focus is on a sense of mission and the capacity to make change. 

However, along with activism and a sense of mission that motivate many donors, quite a few donors in Israel act out of a communal motivation, expressed mainly in donations to religious and ultra-Orthodox organizations. In these cases, donations are not necessarily given out of deep recognition of the organization’s values, but rather out of a religious commandment or ethical obligation toward the community to which the donors belong. 

Although there are more and more nonprofit organizations working in a wide range of areas, it seems that about half of Israelis donate passively and not proactively. However, donor-initiated contributions are usually in greater amounts, because many donors prefer to donate a large sum to a specific organization, rather than spreading small amounts among many different organizations. The spontaneity that characterizes giving among many Israelis is also reflected in the donation methods and donor characteristics, so that young people are more likely to donate via the internet or at their workplace, while older adults still prefer to donate via phone or mail. Although the contemporary digital culture has led to a significant increase in the number of donations made online and with credit cards, most Israelis still donate offline – at the supermarket, in stores, at their door or on the street. 

Do people in the high-tech sector donate more? 

A great deal of data collected over the years show a positive correlation between certain socio-demographic data and amounts donated annually. People with high incomes and education, married and religious people indeed are more giving and donate higher sums relative to their income. There is not always a linear connection between the amount donated and the donor’s income level. Thus, for example, people who belong to the Haredi and religious communities tend to donate at a higher frequency and more regularly, mainly to welfare organizations and donations for the needy, even though much of this sector is characterized by low income levels. 

These figures in some way explain the occupational segmentation of donors; a large portion of them belong to the nonprofit sector. Surprisingly, only 3% of all donors belong to the high-tech sector and only 2% work in the fields of banking and finance. However, employees who belong to these latter two categories usually donate higher sums on average than other donors. 

Another figure relates to the quantity and amounts of donations according to donor age. Segmentation between different age groups raises quite a few thoughts regarding how the field of philanthropy is perceived among different age groups. For example, members of Generation X, up to age 56, tend to donate higher sums, while members of the War Generation and Generations Y and Z have been in the workforce are characterized by lower levels of donations. However, this can be connected to the variable of income, since members of Generations Y and Z have been in the workforce less time than Generation X, so their income levels are likely to be lower. 

What have we learned? 

Philanthropy in Israel has come a long way over the years. Israeli donors today are much more involved and aware of the activities of the organizations they donate to than in the past. Moreover, data collected over the years regarding socio-demographic characteristics of donors in Israel can assist nonprofit organizations to develop more precise work plans, with the goal of targeting relevant potential donors and improving the way the organizations are seen and perceived by the public.




The JGive Team