Competencies and Areas of Practice
Jumpstart focuses on providing the concepts, connections, and context for leaders and projects doing social benefit work to achieve their missions and deepen their impact. We do this through collaborative partnerships by providing the data, design, and strategy necessary to make smart decisions and effective plans. Our services include original research, crafted convenings, strategic consulting, and fiscal sponsorship.
Research Design, Implementation, & Analysis
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Connected to Give
Faced with a dearth of data about charitable giving that was crippling the ability for funders and charities alike to act strategically, Jumpstart designed and managed the Connected to Give study and publication series. By building partnerships with a broad consortium of 18 leading foundations, philanthropists, and organizational funders. Jumpstart undertook the first ever comprehensive study of religious and Jewish giving by individuals in the U.S. Working with the renwoned Lily School of Philanthropy at Indiana Unisversity and noted pollsters GBA Strategies, Jumpstart surveyed 999 households across the country, conducted focus groups, and performed ethnographic observation. The result was a series of six full-length reports on topics from innovation, to giving circles, to planned giving, and beyond.
Connected to Give was the first complete, demographically representative examination of household giving at every income level and background. The reports were featured in Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and was widely hailed as an important inquiry that challenged assumptions about where religious donors make charitable contributions and offered comprehensive information about behaviors and motivations among religious and non-religious Americans.
Research Reports & Publications
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Jumpstart’s series of reports on innovation have launched and informed cross-communal conversations for almost a decade. Jumpstart Reports are based on original research, expert observation, critical discussion, and reportage of important convenings and conversations. Short and incisive, Jumpstart Reports provide context, data, and recommendations that are actionable and relevant.
Planning & Facilitation
view the innovation to transformation case study
The Innovation to Transformation summit was born from a realization that despite the fact that Los Angeles is a dynamic center for Jewish philanthropy, there were few opportunities to share knowledge, strengthen relationships, and explore potential for collective action and impact. Amidst the creative output of individuals and institutions, even with the emergence of innovative Jewish projects native to Los Angeles, there was widespread agreement that LA is missing—both within and beyond the Jewish philanthropic world—the kind of strategic information-sharing, let alone coordination and collaboration, which provide for truly fertile ground for experimentation and risk-taking. Jewish philanthropy is a pillar of the civic fabric in L.A., both in terms of how the Jewish community has built institutions that serve the public, and how Jewish philanthropists have been critical to funding the city’s arts, education, and social sector more broadly. Innovation to Transformation attempted to connect the dots.
To catalyze the kinds of conversations that lead to action and new relationships, Jumpstart designed a highly participatory day of high level discussion and learning at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica working with our partners at The Jewish Funders Network (JFN). The one-day summit convened nearly eighty select leaders in Los Angeles philanthropy committed to making Los Angeles a global center for Jewish creativity and community in the 21st century. Participants represented various populations and interests present in Jewish LA. The summit included a varying mix of brief, provocative expert presentations, small group discussions, participant-generated conversations, and facilitated action planning over the course of an evening and a day. The interplay of differing perspectives, seasoned with input from local philanthropic peers with experience and expertise, catalyzed conversations that deepened understanding and have led to documented interest in collaborative action.
Program Design & Execution
Strategy, Planning, & Project Management
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Child Safety Initiative
Working with a creative emerging LA-based philanthropist, Jumpstart was tasked with designing a philanthropic strategy to help prevent and respond to child sexual abuse in organizational settings. Despite increasing awareness of the problem, and ongoing media coverage of new incidents, nothing is being done at a systemic level to reduce the risk of sexual abuse of minors or to assure organizations deal with the issue appropriately when it does happen.
Knowing the difficulty and time it would take to improve hundreds of institutions, Jumpstart created a strategy that focused on funding as the lever to get widespread change. The goal was to support the widespread adoption of stronger anti-child sexual abuse programs by organizations that work with children. By recruiting a group of leading philanthropists and foundations concerned about the topic, Jumpstart launched a Child Safety Initiative focused on funders. Combining original research (a study of schools and overnight camps), institutional organizing (organizing a group of early adopters), and public and private advocacy (via an education and awareness campaign), Jumpstart was able to put in motion a Child Safety Pledge. This Pledge asks funders – foundations and individual philanthropists alike – to pledge that they only support organizations that have adopted and implemented comprehensive policies and procedures to prevent and address the sexual abuse of children. By raising awareness of the need for such policies and procedures, and making them a minimal requirement for organizations to receive funding, we hope to transform the Jewish communal system to take the steps necessary to tackle this issue.
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Safety Respect Equity coalition
When the #MeToo movement hit in fall 2017, a few forward-thinking leaders in the Jewish community realized there would need to be a large-scale coordinated response. Jumpstart was tapped to initiate a design process to create a cross-communal solution that would bring together philanthropies and charities to address #MeToo issues in Jewish workspaces and communal spaces. Our approach was to recommend a Collective Impact project that would be able to span the diversity of Jewish organizations, bringing together key stakeholders and providing tangible responses to the issues raised. The result was the Safety Respect Equity coalition, a partnership now involving dozens of organizations and individuals dedicated to shaping a Jewish community that proactively deals with bias, harassment and issues of gender equality. Using a combination of research, crafted gatherings and expert consultation, Jumpstart helped coordinate the creation of a vision statement, program plan and governance process that would be inclusive and scalable as the movement grew. By shaping the container in which strong leaders could come together to tackle this difficult issue, Jumpstart helped build a framework for sustained and lasting change.
Leadership Training, Mentoring, & Coaching for individuals, teams, & organizations
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Paideia Project Incubator Faculty
Paideia – The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden educates leaders for Europe – academicians, artists and community activists. For two weeks each summer, Paideia offers a bootcamp in social change project leadership: The Paideia Project Incubator. Jumpstart was tapped to provide instruction on a variety of subjects, and to mentor and coach emerging leaders starting new grassroots initiatives. Over three years serving on faculty Jumpstart’s founders worked with dozens of young leaders from all over Europe, giving them the basic skills to make their projects professional and successful. By designing a curriculum that covered both the theoretical and the practical, Jumpstart was able to provide Paideia participants with brass tacks skills rooted in a mission-driven philosophy. In addition to the hands-on support, Jumpstart extended its research on new social change initiatives, resulting in Jumpstart Report Issue Three: The 2010 Survey of New Jewish Initiatives in Europe: Key Findings.
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Model C Fiscal Sponsorship
Jumpstart’s fiscal sponsorship program is designed to provide a simple solution to forming a new charitable project. The idea is to lower the cost of market entry, speed time to action, and provide basic management skills to project leaders who hope to grow their initiative into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Sponsored projects operate under Jumpstart’s supervision and tax-exempt status, allowing them to take charitable donations and receive grants from foundations. Jumpstart’s compliance regime assures those funds are managed in accordance with IRS guidelines, and use for IRS-approved charitable purposes. Funds for sponsored projects appear on Jumpstart’s federal tax-filing, and may request funds from their sequestered account at Jumpstart by providing documentation of their use for charitable purposes. This type of fiscal sponsorship, sometimes called “re-granting” or “Model C” allows project leaders to focus on building their program and acquiring resources necessary for their success.