In December of 2021, Forbes released their annual list of America's Top 100 Charities, which ranks the 100 largest tax-exempt nonprofits in the United States. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) made its debut on the list at #100, with $167 million in private donations.
This ranking is based on the fiscal year ending December 31, 2020, for which the IFCJ saw a significant increase in assets over the 2019 fiscal year. Forbes reported that giving in 2020 was up by 10% among its Top 100 charities, despite the financial woes faced by many during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The private support that counts towards the rankings includes gifts from individuals, their estates, corporations, other nonprofits, and federated campaigns, as well as fundraising special events. Donations can be given in cash, securities, goods, real estate, and even labor if the charity can quantify that in its reports, although many do not try to quantify labor donations. What isn't included are government grants (public, not private), revenue from sales or services (business transactions), and investment returns.
In addition to reporting private donations and total revenue, Forbes calculates Fundraising Efficiency and Charitable Commitment ratios in an effort to evaluate how effectively the charities use the money donated to them.
Per Forbes, Charitable Commitment, for which IFCJ came in at 74%, shows how much of a "charity's total expense went directly to its charitable purpose (also known as program support or program expense), as opposed to management, certain overhead expenses, and fundraising. The math is simple: program support expense divided by total expense." Charity watchdogs say that charitable commitment should be no lower than 65%, although construction expenses can adversely affect that ratio.
Fundraising Efficiency "calculates the percent of private donations remaining after deducting the costs of getting them. Here in words is the formula: private donations minus fundraising expenses, with this result divided by private donations. The average for all 100 charities is 91%, 1 point higher than last year, meaning that it cost 9 cents to raise $1." IFCJ shows an 89% fundraising efficiency, a very high level of efficiency and performance.
Yael Eckstein, IFCJPresident and CEO, resides in Israel. She serves as the international spokesperson for the IFCJ.
"The best and most meaningful part about being included on this list is that we've been able to help so many people in need," said Eckstein. "That's how we measure our success. Even during 2020, a year of unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, we were able to help 2 million people, and we celebrated another banner year in 2021 when we helped even more. This represents the fulfillment of our mission to be the leading nonprofit building bridges between Christians and Jews and blessing Israel and the Jewish people around the world with humanitarian care and lifesaving aid."
The IFCJ has continued to grow and gain recognition, including several other honors in 2021. It was named one of 2021's "Best Nonprofits to Work For" by the NonProfit Times and was selected as "Organization of the Year" by the ANA Nonprofit Federation. In addition, Yael Eckstein was named to the Jerusalem Post's "50 Most Influential Jews of 2021".
The IFCJ was founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews and build broad support for Israel. Today it is one of the leading forces helping Israel and Jews in need worldwide, and is the largest channel of Christians support for Israel. The majority of donations are from Christians, to assist Israel and the Jewish people. Since its founding, the IFCJ has raised more than $1.8 billion for this work. The organization has offices in Jerusalem, Chicago, Toronto, and Seoul.
For more information about the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, as well as how to donate, you can visit https://www.ifcj.org.