Our Learnings

Learnings from our Donors

In 2019 and 2020 we surveyed new supporters of our organization and asked them why they were interested in our work and partnering with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews of Canada. Here is what we learned:

Learnings from our Beneficiaries

In 2020 we surveyed 500 people aged 65+ living in Israel. The survey was conducted by Geocartography Knowledge Group, one of the leading research institutes in Israel. The purpose of this study was to examine the level of need of elderly in Israel for essentials like food, medicine, and heat.

Changes Due to Learning

Of the utmost importance when we provide program supports is to ensure that our recipients are provided with their basic needs in a compassionate, caring, and dignified manner.

Homebound Elderly → Meal Deliveries

No one should have to go without food. For those seniors in Israel who are homebound without the ability to get up and leave their home or bed, we provide essential meal deliveries. Hot meals or food boxes are provided to these elderly giving them nutritious food and the opportunity for conversation and something to look forward to in their day. We have learned how important it is to not forget “the least of these” and we aim to care for all who are isolated and in need of our help.

Food Handouts → Grocery Cards

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews of Canada provides food to struggling families in Israel as part of our program delivery. What we have learned through this outreach, is that many of the families, though extremely appreciative of the essential food, felt a sense of shame or embarrassment at receiving a food “handout”. We learned that what most often these mothers and fathers want is the ability to shop in a grocery store for their families. To these family members we provide food cards so they could attend a store, choose their items, and carry their purchases home. This gift of dignity and nutritious food was life-changing for young parents who need our help in a time when it was hard to reach out for assistance. We help “fill the gap” and get them back on their feet and help them maintain a sense of pride.

Clothing Handouts → Shopping Cards

Our program providing clothing for school children was initially established to deliver new clothes to struggling families in Israel. What we discovered after implementing the program was that these children want very much to be able to pick out a new item of clothing themselves. By altering the goal of the program to now delivering clothing cards, these impoverished families are able to take a trip to a shopping centre and their children can choose items they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to purchase. Feedback from recipients has been positive in that the children tell their parents and Fellowship staff that they are so proud to be able to choose their own clothes and shoes for the first days of school. We don’t just provide the basic necessities for these families we also give them a feeling of belonging.

Elderly Without Warmth → Heating Assistance

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews of Canada (IFCJ Canada) provides heating assistance in many forms for our beneficiaries including delivery of warm, thick blankets, portable heaters for homes, as well as providing funds to pay heating bills in the frigid winter months. We understand that elderly people and families may have varying degrees of need and require flexible options on how they can stay warm in the colder months of the year. We also know that everyone’s needs change over time. By offering our beneficiaries different options for the provision of heat we are appealing to a varied group of individuals and able to serve their needs in a relevant and timely manner.

Isolated Elderly → Senior Clubs

Many Holocaust survivors are isolated and alone. And many have spent their entire lives this way. After the COVID-19 pandemic we know now, more than ever, how it feels to be isolated from our communities and how detrimental it can be to our mental and physical health when we are missing basic human connection. We implemented opportunities for elderly in Israel to socialize and communicate with other members of their community through senior clubs, excursions, and other drop-in programs. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the elderly attendees is confirmation that we are helping provide a community of friendship for those who are alone.

Continuous Improvement

As an organization we are devoted to continuous improvement and striving for excellence in everything we do. Here are our areas of focus for continuous improvement:

The Next Generation of Donors

Our donor base consists of caring Canadians who have faithfully supported our organization for many years. We are looking to expand our impact and secure the future of our charitable work by reaching out to new and younger donors who want to partner with our organization to support Israelis and Jews in need. Reaching the next generation of Canadians so that we may continue to rescue and care for even more suffering people is a key part of our strategic plan.

Canadian Charitable Laws

IFCJ Canada is a separately registered charity operating within a network of Fellowship offices around the world. As such, we do not fund all of the same programs that The Fellowship’s U.S. organization supports. Though we sometimes receive requests from Canadian supporters wishing to fund security-based programs, Canadian charity regulations prohibit our funding programs in this area. We do, however, offer humanitarian aid to those caught in the crossfire of unrest in Israel and the former Soviet Union, and provide essential food, medicine, and compassionate care for elderly, children, and families who have no one to turn to.

Charity Intelligence Rating

At IFCJ Canada, we focus on providing humanitarian aid and rescue for suffering Israelis and Jews around the world, and work to ensure that as many dollars as possible go directly to help those we serve. Because of this sharp focus on doing the most good for the greatest number of people, we missed the opportunity to highlight our effectiveness in these program commitments. This resulted in a score on Charity Intelligence (an independent research and analysis organization committed to helping Canadian donors make informed and intelligent giving decisions) that did not accurately reflect our success. We now understand the importance of documenting our impact and are committed to doing so in a way that will improve our transparency and charitable score with Charity Intelligence and continue to ensure our donors’ full trust and confidence.

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