Canadian oleh sets up Internet portal for Israeli charities
After Yonatan Ben-Dor, who immigrated to Israel from Canada six years ago, helped create Table to Table Israel, which collects surplus food from various sources and distributes it to the needy, he built an Internet site to join Israeli nonprofit organizations to those who want to help out.
The site helps groups and individuals to obtain information, make donations and even sign up to volunteer for Israel's 26,000 registered charities. The English version of the site, www.israelgives.org, was officially launched in July 2009, while the Hebrew site, www.israeltoremet.org, was formally introduced just two weeks ago. So far it raised more than NIS 1.6 million.
"In creating the organization I found very high success rates in raising donations from ordinary people," explained Ben-Dor, who is 29. "At the same time I was exposed to many NGOs that were searching for resources to hold activities. I realized that what was missing was the link between the organizations and small donors in Israel and abroad, and that such a connection could contribute to both sides," he said.
The Web site enables NGOs to share information about their projects and activities in the form of papers and other documents, photos and video clips in their profiles. The site encourages transparency by rewarding those organizations that reveal more information about themselves with a higher ranking in the site's search engine.
The site's profits are derived from the 2.5 percent commission fee it takes on every donation made through it.
"The site enables anyone, in Israel or abroad, to play a part in the development of the state and to contribute to changing the lives of millions of Israelis," says Ben-Dor. "The change will come the same way that Obama's contributors created the revolution that got him elected, through small donations that added up into large ones."