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Letters

Giving Back

For nearly 40 years, the Jewish Communal Fund has been helping our donors achieve their philanthropic goals simply and efficiently. While our assets have grown to more than $1 billion, we take great pride in the fact that we distribute between 24% and 36% of our assets annually to thousands of qualified public charities at the recommendation of our donors. Although the Forward’s February 10 article, “Fast-Growing Charity Funds Raise Issues,” asserts that donors hold assets in their donor-advised funds “for decades,” on average 17% of total assets are distributed from donor-advised funds (Jewish and secular combined) annually, far exceeding the 5% required distribution from private foundations. Over the past decade alone, JCF has distributed over $2 billion in charitable grants. In 2009, at the height of the recession, JCF issued more than 29,000 grants totaling $275 million, addressing the many pressing needs of recipient organizations. This past year, we exceeded that accomplishment by granting a total of $294 million to charities in every sector.

As the donor-advised fund of the Jewish community of greater New York, JCF’s constituency is an extraordinarily diverse one. The interests and passions of our donors and the organizations they support are a reflection of that diversity. As part of our mission to facilitate philanthropy, JCF provides valuable resources and tools to help our donors approach their giving efficiently and strategically, and engage their children and grandchildren in philanthropy.

Value judgments about where our donors choose to give have never been, nor can they ever be, part of the vital role JCF plays in serving our donors and the community.

Susan F. Dickman
Executive Vice President
Jewish Communal Fund
New York, N.Y.

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