In its pilot year, the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund (Fund) invited proposals for projects that use new media tools—including video, digital communications, social networks, and more—to empower Jews to interact with, share, build, and explore Jewish life. The Fund seeks to better understand how digital media can help preserve Jewish history, renew Jewish traditions, and revitalize Jewish institutions while promoting more vibrant and meaningful Jewish life in the 21st century.
Download the RFP (Please remember the deadline for proposals has passed.)
In its pilot year, the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund offered a total of $500,000 in grant money. Funding was available to individuals, non-profits, social enterprises, and for-profit groups, as well as for both start-ups and established projects, where the grant would ensure the launch of an existing concept or take an established project to the next level.
As this is our pilot year, we are interested in critically evaluating the program’s impact. We want to understand what worked, what did not, and why, so that we can share what we’ve learned with the Jewish funding community, new media experts, and the broader universe of those working to engage others in Jewish life, learning, community, and culture. We will measure our success with several criteria:
- Project-level success—including the extent to which grantees’ projects advance the mission of engaging young people in Jewish life and community. Our hope is that 20 to 30 percent of our grantees create projects of significant impact and real innovation that become exemplary, well-known models in the Jewish funding world and the larger the Jewish community.
- Collective-project success—including the number of people who are impacted by, engaged in, and interacting with grantees’ innovations (e.g. how many people participate in an activity, view and share content, etc.) and the extent to which we expand the network of innovators contributing to engagement in Jewish life, learning, culture, and community. We hope to broaden the network of known innovators to include many more new contributors.
- Lessons learned—including the extent to which we learn about what kinds of ideas are out there, which ones succeed and why, and how to best nurture and advance them. We hope that we can widely share what we learn with the Jewish funding community, new media experts, and the broader universe of those working to engage others in Jewish life.
We’ve deliberately launched the Fund as a collaborative effort among three different foundations so we can better share what we learn with the broader Jewish community and philanthropic world.
The Fund presents an exciting opportunity for all those working to foster Jewish life, learning, and community to help discover how best to leverage digital technologies in their endeavors.
We are committed to learning and sharing our discoveries about funding in this space and how it can advance Jewish philanthropy and efforts to promote more meaningful and vibrant Jewish life in the 21st century.