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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Israeli Tech To Charities: A New Way To Raise Funds

(Image: Children from the Yuvalim project, which received funds from Tmura. Credit: Israel 21st Century)

Although many nations have various types of charitable organizations, most (if not many) of these not-for-profit businesses raise most of their funds by asking generous people to donate.

Well it seems as if one Israeli organization has decided to expand those options by having tech companies pledge a percentage of their equity to help the needy.

(Israel 21st Century) The concept is simple, elegant and unique - high-tech start-ups make pledges to Tmura to help the causes of youth and education in Israel. Early-stage startups usually donate 0.5% of their equity, while more developed companies contribute 0.1-0.5%. If the company succeeds, Tmura sells its share allocation and donates the proceeds to approved charities.

According to Lipner, although the organization's immediate goal is to encourage Israeli philanthropy, its long-term aim is to generate a ripple effect of social improvement. So, far the results have been more like a tidal wave. In its first five years, Tmura has donated a total of nearly $2 million to 18 non-profit organizations (NPOs).

That's fairly impressive, not to mention a smart way for corporations to give back to their communities. Hopefully this kind of spirit will spread beyond the hi-tech arena's and inspire businesses in other industries to do the same.

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