Philanthropy Spotlight: Jewish Funders Network | Allan Gindi

The world is lucky to have so many organizations out there fighting to make it a more incredible and supportive place. Given the sheer number of networks, charities, and philanthropic organizations out there, sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the special ones.

Certain organizations will always deserve to have the spotlight shining on them. One such organization is the Jewish Funders Network. The Jewish Funders Network is an international community full of philanthropists that care about the Jewish world.

 Who They Are

The Jewish Funders Network (JFN) has over 2,500 philanthropists and private foundations working together for a single goal. They operate from eleven countries and were established back in 1990. The organization’s ultimate goal is to work together to create positive change and expand their giving by working together.

Initiatives

What makes JFN truly stand out among the rest are the initiatives they have created and still support to this day. The first initiative is known as GrantED. GrantED is a joint project sponsored by both JFN and UpStart, with the goal to connect philanthropists with nonprofits and other grant seekers within the Jewish community.

The second initiative is called Honeycomb – originally known as the Jewish Teen Funders Network. Honeycomb was established back in 2006 and since then has had a strong focus on the younger Jewish population. Their philanthropic investments help provide the tools to success to future generations through training, education, and access to resources.

Other Services

Those two initiatives alone are enough to earn praise for JFN. However, it seems as if this organization never truly rests, as they are constantly striving to do more. They help philanthropists (new and old) donate overseas, help form grant matches, and work to create discounts for those that need it.

Furthermore, JFN is one of many philanthropic organizations that held firm during the pandemic. They created a detailed COVID-19 response, which can be easily found and read on their website. The level of transparency is refreshing and helps to showcase one of the many ways JFN fights to do right with the money available to them. 

Article originally published on AllanGindi.net

Becoming an Advocate for Foster Children | Allan Gindi

Part of being a responsible adult – and human being – is speaking up for those that can’t. Children, especially those in foster care or other difficult situations, need adults that will care for their needs – and advocate for them.

When most people imagine helping foster children, they’re probably picturing foster parents. However, that is just one of the many essential roles in the process. What is just as needed are CASA – Court-Appointed Special Advocates.

What Does CASA Mean?

CASA stands for court-appointed special advocates, and what it means is that volunteers can get approval, through legal means, to advocate for children in foster care. In essence, they become the child’s legal advocate.

The best part about the CASA role is that it does not require any sort of legal background – you don’t have to be a lawyer or have experience in social work to be helpful in this role.

All you need is the willingness to help. The CASA program includes all of the training (about thirty hours worth). Those considering becoming a CASA should be aware of two requirements (other than their willingness to help). First, they must pass a background check. And second, they must be willing to stay with a job until the end, with the average being around a year and a half.

How to Get Started

The first step in any process is to gain a better understanding of what will be required. Take the time to research CASA roles and responsibilities. Once this preliminary step has been completed, the next thing is to attend a volunteer informational session. The information here is vital and will help potential volunteers understand what will be expected and what the next steps will ensue.

After you’ve conducted your research, attended the info session, and have considered if this is right for you, it is now time to apply. The application process is relatively straightforward and will take up to an hour to complete.

One of the reasons the application asks so many questions is to help better understand potential volunteers. Not only will this help in coaching, but it will help the organization find the best match between children and volunteers. After all, the whole goal is to find an advocate that genuinely cares and understands the child they’re speaking for.

Once your application is submitted, the program will help guide you through the following steps. These steps will include an interview (again, be prepared for questions of a personal nature), training, and more. Each step will bring you closer to helping a child find their voice. 

Article originally published on AllanGindi.com

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