In Israel, there is an intense public debate surrounding the New Israel Fund (NIF) and its role and influence on government policy. The activities and campaigns of NIF-funded NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on the Arab-Israeli conflict and immigration issues, in particular, have been met with harsh responses from the political realm, including calls for an official investigation.

NGO Monitor has analyzed the NIF’s 2016 financial reports (latest available), detailing grants to a wide variety of Israeli NGOs. Our analysis focuses on the 20% of NIF funding that is distributed to 29 advocacy NGOs active in political campaigns that involve – to different degrees – demonization of Israel. In addition to funding through the NIF, many of the grantees receive substantial budgets annually from European government sources, often exceeding their NIF allocations (for details, see NGO Monitor funding summaries for each NGO).

NIF financial documents also show:

  • Expenses in 2016 were $31 million, approximately the same as in 2015. Total revenue was $28 million, a 14% decrease from 2015 ($33 million).
  • Total authorized grants to all NGOs was approximately $13.5 million in 2016, approximately the same as in 2015. (See Table 1.)
  • It is unclear if changes in annual grants to NGOs reflect policy change, or a pattern of bi-annual and multi-annual grants.
  • The amounts listed in the annual financial statements comprise both “core grants” made directly by the NIF and “donor advised” grants. NIF details the division between these two funding formats in a separate online report.

Table 1: Overview of NIF Finances 2013-2015

Total Expenses*30,785,90830,976,64031,057,804
Total Revenue*28,139,39733,062,78329,773,903
Grants Authorized*13,541,42713,851,61414,714,216
Grants Paid*13,582,49214,519,75914,334,677
Grants transferred from donors to organizations (out of grants paid) **9,255,344 10,763,89810,370,982

*Data from NIF 2016 Financial Report
**Donor advised grants are a subset listed on the NIF website under “Grants of 2016,” in which individual donors, with the approval of the NIF, designate the grantees.

Key Findings

  • A number of NGOs involved in political activities related to the demonization of Israel continue to be funded by the NIF, as documented by NGO Monitor.
  • In 2016, the NIF authorized $2.3 million in grants to 25 political advocacy groups analyzed in 2015 by NGO Monitor, representing a 6% decrease. (See Table 2) In addition, the NIF began new funding for 4 organizations. Therefore, the overall authorized grants for these 29 NGOs is $2.8 million.
  • Many of the advocacy groups receive more “donor advised” funds than NIF core grants (see Table 3), suggesting that these donors have a major role in setting the NIF agenda. This also suggests the need for a discussion of the relationship of these donors and their preferred grantees within the NIF network.
  • As of 2015, it appears that NIF no longer funds Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement and Baladna.
  • NIF increased its grants to Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Yesh Din, and Ir Amim.

Table 2: Multiyear Review of Authorized Grants to Political NGOs (2011 – 2016, USD)

Bimkom: Planners for Planning Rights338,340168,500248,000177,000295,000340,500
Breaking the Silence120,94785,11583,993138,882104,304438,766
Combatants for Peace---5,00020,24322,862
Emek Shaveh---40040,35020,350
Gisha: Legal Center for the Protection of Freedom of Movement56,16530,80822,77144,49129,1506,687
HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual101,481175,25014,80031,40037,4501,300
Haqel: Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights-----78,375
Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF)224,34032,36575,92091,300199,00021,7695
Ir Amim89,058279,23595,131146,978105,587180,498
Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Democracy-435,000736,00061,6000417,694101,196
Naboth's Vineyard-----40,902
Negev Coexistence Forum39,46645,53249,33969,86149,88861,672
Nine Seven Two: Advancement of Citizen Journalism10,00084,38931,37854,12038,11717,332
Parents' Circle: Bereaved Parents0014,2252,80716,9024,972
Physicians for Human Rights ג€“ Israel161,864166,46471,380185,26291,679102,906
Rabbis for Human Rights328,927271,14295,493243,464296,420107,648
Reut Sadaka Jewish-Arab Youth Movement24,2037,91013,69127,56438,4306,844
SISO - Save Israel. Stop the Occupation.-----120,100
Social TV37,40025,00039,0004,000-2,000
Solidarity Sheikh Jarah-7,91013,961-15,000--
Terrestrial Jerusalem---20,00010,000-
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel28,00066,5821,6705,01541,64336,000
Women's Fund for Human Rights (Machsom Watch)28,78132,270118,78869,968243,53587,077
Yesh Din49,55036,37150,06351,23674,740121,871
Zazim - Community Action-----182,013

Table 3: Division between core and donor advised grants (USD)

NGOCoreDonor AdvisedTotal (Paid)
Bimkom: Planners for Planning Rights112,500190,500303,000
Breaking the Silence137,500331,553469,053
Combatants for Peace20,3009,41229,712
Emek Shaveh40,000-40,000
Gisha: Legal Center for the Protection of Freedom of Movement-15,68715,687
HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual-37,75037,750
Haqel: Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights-5,8005,800
Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF)168,50079,195247,695
Ir Amim75,00010,04985,049
Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Democracy750,00182,889257,889
Naboth’s Vineyard-40,90340,903
Negev Coexistence Forum53,0008,17261,172
Nine Seven Two: Advancement of Citizen Journalism-34,84734,847
Parents’ Circle: Bereaved Parents7,0004,92711,927
Physicians for Human Rights – Israel10,000117,271127271
Rabbis for Human Rights27,500170,523198023
Reut Sadaka Jewish-Arab Youth Movement6,00013,07319,073
SISO – Save Israel. Stop the Occupation.50,00060,100110,100
Social TV-2,0002,000
Solidarity Sheikh Jarah---
Terrestrial Jerusalem-20,00020,000
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel35,000-35,000
Women’s Fund for Human Rights (Machsom Watch)25,00084,925109,925
Yesh Din27,50087,464114,964
Zazim – Community Action100,00019,512119,512