Jewish organizations do great work for our community. They help people in need. Educate children. Teach Jewish values. Hold community Shabbat and holiday celebrations. Bring people together for cultural and learning opportunities. They make an impact now.
But what about tomorrow? Making sure that the organizations doing good work have the financial security to continue doing that work for decades to come is critical for keeping Jewish Puget Sound connected and passing on our Jewish values.
That is why the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle is helping local Jewish organizations build endowments through legacy giving, ensuring long-term security that benefits the entire community.
The Federation has launched the LIFE & LEGACY™ program in partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. The Federation is working with an initial cohort of 10 organizations to begin legacy giving conversations built around critical messages: legacy giving is about ensuring Jewish values are passed down and keeping Jewish Puget Sound vital for future generations.
As Senior Rabbi David Lipper at Temple B’nai Torah, one of the participating agencies, says, “Endowment funds will enable us to have visionary dollars for future ideas.”
The Federation brought LIFE & LEGACY to Seattle and committed significant resources to running the program locally for at least four years, because the program has a proven track record in helping organizations build endowments. Nationally, 289 participating organizations have secured more than 8,000 legacy commitments with a total value of over $329 million during the program’s first four years.
“The LIFE & LEGACY program has successfully proven to grow endowments to help fund the future,” Federation LIFE & LEGACY Associate Rachel Rosenman says.
A key benefit of endowments is that they create perpetual income streams that take some of the edge off year-to-year fund-raising pressures that all nonprofit organizations face.
By working together, the organizations in the cohort will create synergy that will benefit the community as a whole, as well as secure their own futures, because a legacy commitment from an individual can result in endowment gifts to multiple organizations.
Together, the participating organizations will learn best practices for executing legacy plans that make compelling cases for legacy gifts by communicating the organizations’ raisons d’être, their values, and the concrete impacts they have.
Through LIFE & LEGACY, the Federation is working with organizations to pay it forward and leave a legacy for Jews in the future. As Rabbi Lipper puts it, “Legacy giving is not focusing on what you’re leaving for today. It’s what we’re creating for a generation of Jewish people who aren’t even born yet. I believe that we all have a responsibility to think of those times.”
“It’s like a one-stop program for us where we can learn, and then we can do by engaging our members of the community,” says Maura Roberts, board president of the Hebrew Free Loan Association, another cohort participant.
Top Reasons for Legacy Giving
Passing on Jewish Values
To live up to Jewish values learned from parents and grandparents, and pass them on to the next generation
Making a Difference
To support the organizations that do the good work you care about most
To ensure the strength and continuity of Jewish programs for years to come
To build a perpetual income stream that will take the edge off annual fund-raising pressures