Survey of Welfare Organizations that Granted Monetary and Material Aid in 2005
Assaf Nagar and Noam Zussman
The Research Department of the Bank of Israel conducted a nationwide survey at the end of 2005 of welfare organizations that grant monetary or material assistance, to which 343 organizations responded. The aim of the survey was to examine various quantitative aspects of their activities and the changes over time.
About three quarters of the organizations surveyed reported that their main activity in 2005 was food distribution. The financial scope of the organizations' activities (excluding loan provisions) totaled some NIS 360 million, 80 percent of which was for transfers in kind. Compared to 2004 this was an increase of about a fifth. The major source of funding was from private contributions (as two thirds reported) while secondary sources included donations from companies, public bodies etc.
The main criterion for receiving assistance from the organizations surveyed--practiced by two fifths of the organizations--was a referral from a public body (such as the welfare office), while one quarter helped every body. The organizations came to the aid of 123,000 people and 48,000 families on average each month, an increase of one fifth on the previous year. Those receiving aid totaled about one fifth of the poor.
About one fifth of all those that applied for aid to the charities surveyed were not granted assistance, and two thirds of the organizations noted that this was due to lack of resources. The vast majority of those using the services of these charities turned to them at least once a month, and were helped for long periods (some 80 percent of them for more than six months). Large families were highly represented among those that were granted assistance.
Those organizations surveyed were assisted by some 35,000 volunteers each month (almost one third of the charities had up to five volunteers), and each volunteer contributed on average 15 hours a month, such that in total this was equivalent to 2,800 full-time jobs a month. Only about 30 percent of the organizations surveyed employed salaried staff, and the numbers employed stood at 1,700.

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