HaOlam Monthly: T.O. Allocations

Editor’s Note: Hey Hey! It’s been a minute Achshav! Amelia and I are back from our summer slumber to bring you some awesome articles for the MYUSYfi Fall term (Sign up in Regpacks today!). First things first, we need to give a little #throwback to Allocations from August 30th! Let’s give a massive Yasher Koach to Nava Wolfish and Michael Pincus for leading the meeting, and a huuuuuge yasher koach to Jeremy and Anna for this month’s HaOlam Monthly! Enjoy!

It’s time for allocations 2020!

The International Allocations Meeting takes place on the last day of Fall Board Weekend each year. Regional Social Action/Tikkun Olam (SA/TO)  Vice Presidents, Regional Presidents, the International President, the International SA/TO Vice President, and the SA/TO International General Board come together to decide how much money is donated to organizations that the group extensively researches beforehand. These donations are also made up of money preallocated by regions at the beginning of the summer. This year specifically, we also had a pre-allocations meeting in June to donate institutions supporting racial justice work, and that amount donated also will go into the overall money that is donated (this money was independently raised).

The majority (40%) of what we donate to goes to 30 organizations approved by the International Allocations Committee. Another 40% of donations goes to scholarships. These scholarships make USY Summer Programs and Nativ, USY’s Gap Year in Israel, more accessible to all participants. 15% goes to operations including costs for the meeting to take place. This year, since allocations are online, the 15% that normally goes into operations would be added on to the 40% going toward organizations, increasing the amount that is being donated to 55%. Lastly, 5% goes to miscellaneous funds such as the Hannah Weiss Hasviva Shelanu Fund.

This year, Nava Wolfish, the Allocations Chairperson, and Michael Pincus, International SA/TO Vice President, did an AMAZING job leading the allocations meeting. The meeting lasted a little over 6 hours and was a huge success! The Allocations Committee considered over 30 organizations that had applied for grants and donations, and everyone was given time to discuss how much to give to each organization. Many of the organizations requested a certain amount to fund special programs, and the Allocations Committee did their best to fill those requests whenever possible. The total amount of money donated was $16,307.17.

This is what some of the participants had to say about the meeting:

“Allocations was a very meaningful experience to partake in. I am so happy we are able to give Israel Elwyn $2,051 to purchase software for their Early Intervention Center which is now online due to COVID-19. This software will allow these students, who are less than 3 years old and have communication disabilities, to participate in this education program tailored for them. It was heartbreaking to think that these kids cannot learn online without a software to help them talk to their teachers, peers, and parents. We are giving them the ability not just to learn, but to communicate. It is beyond amazing that we can give funds to such a worthy cause as this one.” Sara Klemow, Seaboard USY SA/TO Vice President

“Allocations was an experience I will never forget. It felt amazing to be able to make such a strong difference in an organization’s success.  I learned a great deal on making important – and sometimes difficult – decisions, actively listening to others, and the wonderful process of philanthropy. I am so happy I got to experience and add my input into the future of our Tikkun Olam fund.” -Ayden Kligfeld, Far West SA/TO Vice President, SA/TO International General Board

Allocations ran very smoothly! I am grateful to all the Regional SA/TO VPs and Presidents for participating in the conversations and voting process, as well as to the IGB for helping put it together. We made a big impact during that meeting and hopefully we will see some tangible results soon!” -Michael Pincus, International SA/TO Vice President

“This year, the allocations meeting took on a different form than we’ve ever seen before. On top of running it virtually, we cut the list of organizations to which we donate by nearly half. This was done to maximize our impact and to ensure all our Tikkun Olam money was directed towards causes that USYers care about now. Through a long evening of discussion and debate, I am proud of how this meeting played out and the contributions of everyone present. We fulfilled many important requests and I left the meeting knowing that people’s lives would be changed by the work we had done.” Nava Wolfish, ECRUSY President, SA/TO International General Board