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A Quick Guide to Hekdesh Evaluative Criteria

Basic Eligibility

Budget: if more than $10M, do not continueIs it a national effort? We support organizations in the US, Israel, and anywhere else in the world. In the US we support organizations operating on a national level only, unless there is a specific issue that makes a regional focus relevant (e.g., Katrina recovery). If the nomination organization does not fit, do not continue.


Core Criterion

–       Core Criterion: Supporting vulnerable populations. HEKDESH seeks to better the lives of poor, disenfranchised, under-resourced, disadvantaged and/or marginalized individuals, groups, and communities. Assess how the nominated organization supports vulnerable, disadvantaged, and/or marginalized populations to accomplish its mission and/or activities.

Secondary Criteria

  1. The basics – needs and appropriate responses: Firstly, organizations must address a demonstrated need. There should be a well-articulated program model, with a description of the organization’s goals and strategies for achieving them. We also try to understand why the organization thinks that these strategies will succeed. Basically, this should pass the common-sense test.
  2. Commitment to continuous improvement and actual impact – that the organization integrates evaluation tools to measure impact, to learn and grow, to improve their work. Some indicators are:
  3. Partnerships – To leverage knowledge and resources, we aim to support organizations that collaborate and partner with others, that partner with the local community, and that are representative of their constituents in their board, professional and leadership positions.
  4. Financial health, transparency, and integrity – We require evidence that the organization has sufficient financial stability to successfully perform its program(s) AND has the financial capacity to achieve its goals. It is important to us that organizations steward their financial resources responsibly, transparently.
  5. The Paradox of Pluralism – Crafting Community out of Diversity: The Grantmaking Committee aims to generate a diverse pool of semi-finalists that reflects the wide range of our membership in terms of geographic diversity (North America, Israel, global), diversity in approach (direct service, advocacy, activist/community based, integrated approaches), and diversity in content area and causes (Jewish and universal causes).

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