More Support, More Capacity = More Positive Community Impact for the Bay Area Jewish Community

SF-Based Federation Meets Goals with End of Fiscal Year, Generates $88 Million for New Grants Serving Thousands

SAN FRANCISCO – This month, the SF-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund (the Federation) officially concluded its successful 2012-2013 fiscal year, having raised a total of $17.6 million for its Annual Campaign and $18.8 million in total funds.  Funds came from a broader and more diverse swathe of the Bay Area Jewish community than ever before.
And, as of this week, the Federation has granted $83.7 million to more than 8,000 life-enriching organizations – through the combined resources of more than 600 Donor Advised Fund holders’ recommendations and fundraising – serving hundreds of thousands of people.  These critical dollars give Jewish experiences and education to thousands of children, care for our most vulnerable seniors, allow for exploration of innovative new ventures, and provide life-changing support for families in the Bay Area and globally. 
In the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the Federation:

  • Raised $17.6 million toward its Annual Campaign.
  • Connected with 6,298 unique donors – a net 3% increase over last year – which represents not just a stemming of multiple years of donor loss, but also a turnaround.
  • Raised $230,000 in special emergency campaigns, including those for Hurricane Sandy, Oklahoma Tornado Relief, Israel Terror Relief, and the Ethiopian Jewish Rescue.
  • Created 41 new Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) for a grand total of 972 DAFs under the Federation’s management.
  • Granted $69.1 million to 7,920 grantees through the DAF recommendations.

Last week, the Federation’s Board of Directors specifically approved $14.6 million in grants to 125 organizations in the Bay Area and abroad through its Four Funds – the Federation’s principle conduits of program and operating support to nonprofits and social ventures.

Included in those grants is nearly $1 million from the Endowment Fund for the Federation’s Innovation Fund, a pioneering means of exploring brand new areas of investment, including: greater inclusion of the Jewish LGBT community here and in Israel; building a Jewish Memory Garden for parents grieving from neo-natal loss; and, supporting sustainable Jewish agriculture in the Bay Area.
“With a strong, diverse base of support, the Federation will continue to reach thousands and thousands of Jewish children, seniors, immigrants, and families with vital programs and services locally, in Israel, and beyond,” said Marsha Hurwitz, COO of the Federation.  “I am thrilled that our community is growing in variety and scope, and that we are creating more meaningful engagement with a broader range of people than ever before.”

One of the primary goals of the Federation’s new strategic plan, first introduced two years ago, is to expand and diversify its community, and to engage that broad community to make positive impact through the work of the Federation.  Among the many ways this has been successful:

  • The launch of the Impact Grants Initiative (IGI) in 2011 has engaged community leaders in the grant-making process, funding outstanding nonprofits and social venture programs based on peer-reviewed needs.
  • IGIs range from young leadership, Russian initiatives, Israeli programs, North and South Peninsula programs, Marin programs, and, next year, a Global initiative.
  • The Federation sponsored a community trip to the Baltic region this spring, meeting with Baltic Jewish leaders to help rejuvenate dwindling Jewish life and culture in the region.
  • Through One Happy Camper, the Federation helped provide need-blind grants of up to $1,000 to any first-time attendee of children’s Jewish overnight camp, encouraging families to engage in a wide spectrum of Jewish childhood education programs.
  • Through launching Innovation Alley at this June’s Israel in the Gardens festival, and co-hosting a hack-a-thon between San Francisco and Tel Aviv in July, the Federation is harnessing the talent and energy of the growing tech industry to make positive social change and connect tech-focused networks of Jews.

As a 103 year-old organization built to support the Jewish community in the wake of the Great Earthquake of 1906, the Federation is deeply invested in its rich history.  But, while staying firmly rooted in the past, it is constantly striving to move forward with an eye on the future.

“Every generation is equally vital to our success,” added Hurwitz.  “It is our desire to reach as many people as possible and provide a variety of meaningful opportunities for our donors – both traditional and innovative – to contribute to an ever-changing Bay Area Jewish community.  I think the success of this year’s campaign indicates that we are doing just that.  I am so pleased to continue to work collaboratively with our partners, including private foundations, community members, and national cutting edge organizations, to strengthen Jewish peoplehood in a lasting way.”


The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund connects people of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives to the power of the Jewish community to improve the world. We partner with donors, organizations, and foundations to address pressing issues facing our community, and develop innovative strategies that result in deep and lasting impact locally, in Israel, and around the world. Find out more at

For immediate release

July 31, 2013


Ilan Kayatsky