Samis Foundation Using Data-Driven Insights to Plan Future Philanthropy
SEATTLE, March 11, 2021 – The largest Jewish philanthropy in Washington State has announced a bold new five-year Strategic Plan for Philanthropy. The Samis Foundation’s new strategic plan sets forth the organization’s strategic priorities and defines a clear path for fulfilling its longstanding mission supporting high-quality intensive and immersive Jewish educational experiences in Washington State and vital initiatives in the State of Israel.
In a recent conversation, with Samis Foundation leadership, Board Chair David D. Azose explained the motivation and approach behind the plan. “The strategic planning process gave us a critical opportunity to reflect on our impact to date, craft a vision for the future and acknowledge the essential role of partnerships in achieving our goals. Engaging communal partners will be key to our success” said Azose explaining that transparency is also a key priority going forward. Connie Kanter, Samis Chief Executive Officer emphasized, “we are investing in and capitalizing on research, data and analytics that have emerged in recent years as program assessment expanded across the world of Jewish education and philanthropy. These powerful new insights deeply informed our strategic planning, and the community can expect to see an ongoing emphasis on data-driven decision-making in our philanthropic giving in the future.”
The Strategic Plan for Philanthropy lays out the Foundation’s four key giving priorities and associated goals through 2025:
In addition to clarifying and articulating priorities, goals and objectives, the new plan marks a transition in the Foundation’s role to be a more active, strategic leader in Jewish philanthropy. The plan shifts towards data-driven decision making and will include investments in research to identify and increase opportunities for Jewish youth to engage in Jewish education. Of note, the Foundation expanded its demographic reach from Kindergarten through 12th grade, to birth through college, although grants in the expanded age groups are unlikely to commence in the next few years.
“Throughout its existence, the Samis Foundation has supported intensive, immersive Jewish education in Washington State, with significant investments made in Jewish day schools.” said Melissa Rivkin, Director of Day School Strategy at the Samis Foundation. “Our new strategic plan gives us the opportunity to lead on critical issues facing Jewish day school education in the 21st century, and address long-term growth, vitality and sustainability with the objective of strengthening the fabric of our Jewish community and ensuring a vibrant future.”
In 2020, the Samis Foundation reached a milestone of $100 million in philanthropy, supporting more than 150 programs, organizations, and initiatives since its inception. This includes grants to Seattle-area Jewish day schools; Jewish overnight camps in Washington State; youth enrichment and engagement programs in the Seattle area; and teen Israel experiences, among others. Initiatives in Israel have been focused on improving the lives of at-risk populations on the peripheries of Israeli society including support for immigrants, higher education and technical training, domestic violence programs, the poor and widows and orphans, and on preserving and developing Israel’s wildlife and archaeological riches.
The Samis Foundation’s grant history is detailed on www.samisfoundation.org
To learn more about the Samis Foundation’s Strategic Plan for Philanthropy, visit https://samisfoundation.org/vision-and-mission/.
Click here to view the Samis Foundation Strategic Plan for Philanthropy Booklet
Click here to view the Five-Year Samis Foundation Strategic Plan for Philanthropy
Contact: Ariel Lapson, Program Officer for Experiential Jewish Education at email@example.com
About the Samis Foundation
Founded in 1994 to fulfill the charitable mission and vision of Samuel Israel, the Samis Foundation is Washington State’s largest Jewish philanthropic organization. The Foundation supports intensive, immersive Jewish education in Washington State, and strategic initiatives in the State of Israel. Key funding priorities in Washington include Jewish day schools, overnight Jewish summer camps, teen Israel experiences, and youth enrichment and engagement programs. Priority program areas in Israel include support for people on the peripheries of Israeli society and investments in archaeology and wildlife conservation.