The Accelerator/Incubator Model

The two biggest stumbling blocks for the establishment of new NGOs, philanthropies, and charities are funding and sustainability. Forces beyond the control of the nonprofit organizations are largely responsible for these stumbling blocks.

Firstly, governments have scaled back spending on socio-economic issues, leaving the nonprofits without an ally they had come to rely on. This is particularly problematic in Israel, where nonprofits are expected to fill the gaps in the country’s socio-economic safety net and meet the needs of the 2.54 million Israelis living in poverty.[1]

Secondly, there is a limited pool of philanthropic resources available to new nonprofit startups. Currently, it takes a minimum of $100,000 per year to fully launch a nonprofit start-up with high growth potential and that number is projected to increase in the future.[2] Lack of funding forces compromises in areas like staffing, workspace, program development and delivery. At the same time very few federations, foundations, or major individual Jewish donors, however, are willing or equipped to substantially support new, small organizations for the long haul; the traditional, ossified Jewish philanthropic bureaucracy remains geared towards funding existing and well-known projects. For example, the Federation of New York allocates less than 1% of its donations to charities. Furthermore, the recent forced merger of the Jewish charity incubators established by the federations of San Francisco, LA, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago into UpStart is the most painful example of philanthropic models incapable of supporting nonprofits addressing new needs of Jewish communities around the world. As a result, many nonprofits that are better equipped to deal with the rapidly changing social and religious needs of the Jewish community in Israel and the Diaspora never take off or have limited social impact.

To guide nonprofits through the early stages of organizational development and enhance the impact of every donated dollar, HaYoreh employs the hi-tech accelerator/incubator model and techniques pioneered by venture capitalist firms. The groundbreaking book High Performance Nonprofit Organizations: Managing Upstream for Greater Impact (1997) by Christine W. LettsWilliam P. Ryan and Allen Grossman was a major inspiration for HaYoreh in adopting this model. HaYoreh itself was conceived and developed in Letts' Harvard Seminar.

The accelerator/incubator model allows HaYoreh to make more effective use of scarce resources and economies of scale than either individual donors or the government. It also explores new solutions to social problems with an independence that government can never have. We estimate an average 42% in savings for nascent charities joining HaYoreh. Compared with individual charities, HaYoreh also provides the scale, time, and the professional management to magnify social impact.

[1] Latet report, 2014

[2] Bikkurim, From First Fruits to Abundant Harvest: Maximizing the Potential of
Innovative Jewish Start-Ups, 2012.