Everyone Loves a Match

by Josh Kerr | Sep 15, 2021

Jewish organizations benefit from the stability of organizational endowment funds

It is no secret among Jewish organizations that having an organizational endowment fund housed at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba positively affects their ability to serve the community.

To reinforce this, the JFM developed the FundMatch and BERVIN incentives, in 2012 and 2014, respectively, two dollar-matching initiatives to encourage organizational endowment building. The fifteen participating organizations currently involved in our matching programs have successfully seen their endowments grow, raising their annual distributions to over $700,000 collectively since inception.

The larger endowment funds promote stable operating resources for organizations, which can free up the JFM granting process for other organizations with more significant needs. It creates flexibility in the granting process.

These initiatives also allow the JFM to offer business value when organizations compare us to financial institutions and other foundations, which has encouraged the creation of new Jewish organizational funds.

"We believe that organizations that have healthy, growing endowments are more sustainable," says Stephanie Casar, JFM's Director of Development & Gift Planning. "Their funds provide them with long-term security and reliable funding."

In FundMatch and BERVIN, when an endowment reaches specific benchmarks, the initiatives contribute to the organizational endowment fund, generating even more income for that organization. A gift to an organizational endowment fund will be matched in specific ratios depending on the endowment fund's size.

For organizations involved in BERVIN, an added incentive comes when the fund initially reaches the $1 million threshold. They earn the right to withdraw capital from their endowment fund in the event of special projects or "rainy day" necessities. Participating organizations are also required to take steps to strengthen their relationship with the State of Israel.

One participating organization, Rady JCC, is nearing that threshold. Their Executive Director, Rob Berkowits, explains their decision to become involved with the BERVIN program as a no-brainer. The matching dollars create a considerable benefit for the Rady, their members, and their programs.

"Everybody loves a match," explains Berkowits. "When our donors know they can donate to something they believe in, and that for each dollar they give, a portion is matched, there is even more encouragement to do so."

The recent pandemic also reiterated the benefits of having a strong and active endowment fund. During COVID-19, organizations with endowment funds at the JFM received both the emergency grants we distributed, totalling over $1 million, as well as their endowment distributions. They reported that the income stability from their endowments, added with the relief funds from grants, allowed them to make the best use of resources.

"At the pandemic's height, our programming came to a screeching halt, and much of our impact on the community was just lost," says Berkowits.

Despite that uncertainty, the Rady JCC knew they could rely on their endowment's distribution to assist them in their efforts to regroup and prepare to become fully operational once again. 

FundMatch and BERVIN  continue to inspire Jewish organizations to excel.  We thank the donors who have partnered with the JFM to provide these matching dollars, the organizations participating in building their endowment funds, and the donors who have provided gifts to their favourite organizations.  Together, we are helping our community realize its full potential.  

A full list of organizations participating in FundMatch and BERVIN can be found in our 2020 Annual report which can be viewed at