Analysis of NIS 320 million in grants to Israeli NGOs, annual reports 2017-2019
Note: All grant details in this report are taken directly from publicly available annual report submissions to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits (a department of the Ministry of Justice). No changes were made to the sums. A number of NGOs use slightly different names for the same donors. In order to create an accessible and understandable database, NGO Monitor adjusted some of these entries to establish uniformity. For this reason, we have also corrected typos and other spelling mistakes.
Given the central role played by politicized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the public human rights discourse, transparency in NGO funding is required in order to support informed debate. The following analysis presents all grants reported by the 35 Israeli NGOs receiving foreign government funding and involved in political advocacy, according to their annual financial reports for 2017-2019 (latest available). The data is listed according to the amount of the grant, the identity of the donor, the source of the grant (private, governmental, or non-transparent/ unclear). (For the full list of grants see here.)
Due to accepted accounting practices (some involving multi-year grants), the amounts reported by the NGOs do not always match information gleaned from donors’ financial and other documents. The analysis below relates solely to the amounts reported as donations in a given year by the NGO recipients.
Summary of Findings:
- In 2017-2019, the 35 NGOs received a total of NIS 319,466,917 (~$100 million). Of this, 58% (NIS 185,387,008) came from governments (through direct and indirect funding), 42% (NIS 134,079,909) from private donors.
- Of the 35 NGOs, 22 reported receiving more than 50% of their funding from foreign governments. Akevot (100%), Human Rights Defenders Fund (96.7%), and Emek Shaveh (92%) reporting receiving the highest shares of donations from foreign governments.
- Twenty-two different governmental and intergovernmental entities (including the EU and the UN) fund these 35 Israeli NGOs.
- Germany is the largest donor, providing NIS 43,636,794, followed by the European Union and the Netherlands.
- Of the NIS 134,079,909 in private funding provided to NGOs, the New Israel Fund (NIF) provides 16%, Sigrid Rausing Trust 10%, Open Society Institute 7%, Rockefeller Brothers Foundation 3%, the Galilee Foundation 3%, and the Moriah Fund 2%.
- 16.2% of the total funding (NIS 51,811,990) is donated by Christian groups (churches and Christian humanitarian aid organizations). Most of these institutions receive large sums of government funding, and in most instances, funding for Israeli NGOs is considered indirect government funding.
- A large percentage of the government-funded church bodies that disburse grants to the Israeli NGOs are themselves involved in anti-Israeli campaigns – including BDS, lawfare, and other delegitimization campaigns against Israel – and some engage in antisemitic rhetoric.
- In January 2021, B’Tselem launched a campaign labeling Israel an “apartheid” state and using antisemitic tropes, augmenting their advocacy for international sanctions against Israel. Its funders include: European Union, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden (via NGO Development Center), Bread for the World (Germany), Christian Aid Ireland, DanChurchAid, Diakonia, Trocaire, and the United Nations. (See NGO Monitor’s “From the ‘River to the Sea’: B’Tselem’s Demonization Crosses the Line”)
- Israeli NGOs such as B’Tselem, Yesh Din, and Adalah have repeatedly made allegations and statements that support the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes. (See NGO Monitor’s “The Role of Israeli NGOs in Supporting the International Criminal Court (ICC) ‘Investigation’.”) In addition, New Israel Fund (NIF), which provided NIS 4,063,396 to these three NGOs in 2017-2019, stated in February 2021 that it no longer believed “with 100%” certainty, that Israel maintained “an independent judicial system.”
Two Primary Donor Types:
- Foreign governments: Many Western countries promote human rights and humanitarian aid as part of their foreign policy. Funding officially designated for these purposes is channeled through embassies, foreign ministries, departments and ministries of international aid and development, consulates, and aid agencies and programs.
- Regional/international bodies: The EU and UN are fully funded by governments and also provide major funding for human rights and humanitarian aid, including generous grants to Israeli NGOs.
- Indirect government funding: Many governments budget hundreds of millions of euros annually for external bodies, including aid organizations, Christian groups, and various funds and foundations in order to promote human rights and humanitarian aid. In some European countries, these frameworks are fully funded by out of the state budget.
- Private foundations: Some non-profits that provide funds to NGOs have endowments, from which they disburse funds according to the stated objectives; in many cases, the foundations also serve as a conduit (or pass-through) for donations from private individuals.
- Private donors: Private individuals in Israel and abroad (including bequests) also directly donate to Israeli NGOs.
The NGOs examined in this report are:
- Recipients, to varying degrees, of grants originating with foreign governments and/or foreign government entities.
- Politically active in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- Registered in Israel as a non-profit association (Amuta) or as a corporation for the public benefit, and therefore report their income annually.
- Conduct a considerable part of their activities abroad, including lobbying the ICC to prosecute Israeli officials and/or the State; lobbying the EU, US and UN (for example, involved in the Goldstone Report following the 2008-2009 Gaza war and/or the Schabas/Davis Report following the 2014 Gaza war); and participate and lead other delegitimization campaigns against Israel.
Table 1 – Annual Funding to Political Israeli NGOs, 2017-2019
Table 2 – Funding to Israeli NGOs, 2017-2019 (amounts in NIS)
|NGO||Government (NIS)||Percentage of Government Funding||Private (NIS)||Percentage of Private Funding||Total|
|Breaking the Silence||12,125,833||55.61%||9,680,067||44.39%||21,805,900|
|Coalition of Women for Peace **||1,189,270||72.41%||453,132||27.59%||1,642,402|
|Combatants for Peace||1,190,024||33.44$||2,369,085||66.56%||3,559,109|
|Human Rights Defenders Fund||1,362,462||95.73%||60,831||4.27%||1,423,293|
|Negev Coexistence Forum||1,721,808||54.93%||1,412,729||45.07%||3,134,537|
|Parents Circle Families Forum||6,098,374||45.18%||7,398,312||54.82%||13,496,686|
|Physicians for Human Rights - Israel||10,942,000||41.70%||15,300,000||58.30%||26,242,000|
|Public Committee against Torture in Israel||4,303,224||83.57%||846,170||16.43%||5,149,394|
|Rabbis for Human Rights||1,885,149||17.92%||8,635,175||82.08%||10,520,324|
|The Social TV||1,700,334||47.92%||1,848,185||52.08%||3,548,519|
*Data only includes annual reporting from 2017-2018
** Data only includes annual reporting from 2017-2018. In December 2020, Coalition of Women for Peace announced it was shutting down.
Table 3 – Donation to NGOs: Government and Private Funding, 2017-2019
Table 4 – Government Funding to Israeli NGOs
Table 5– Government Funding to Israeli NGOs, 2017-2019 (amounts in NIS)
|Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark||7,476,796|
Table 6- Private Funding to Israeli NGOs, 2017-2019
Table 7- Private Funding to Israeli NGOs, 2017-2019
|הקרן החדשה לישראל||21,595,868|
|מכון החברה הפתוחה||9,169,414|
Table 8 – Church Affiliated Donors – Government and Private, 2017-2019
Table 9 – Government Funded Church Aid Societies that Fund Politicized Israeli NGOs, 2017-2019
|Church Aid Society||Government Donor||Total (NIS)|
|Bread for the World/EED||Germany||16,856,585|
|Christian Aid||United Kingdom||2,239,473|
|Catholic Relief Services||United States||1,640,061|
|Kerk in Actie||Netherlands||980,467|
|Church of Sweden||Sweden||897,698|
|Christian Aid Ireland||Ireland||890,301|
|Finn Church Aid||Finland||520,700|
|Stichting Het Solidariets Fonds||Netherlands||275,909|
|Church of Scotland||Scotland||242,474|
|The United Church of Canada||Canada||192,380|
|World Vision||United States||106,890|
|Det Norske Menneskeretting Hetspond||Norway||92,055|