Mission: The mission of the Israel Scholarship Education Foundation is to empower extraordinary young Israelis of top academic merit from underserved backgrounds to reach their highest leadership potential, igniting positive change in Israeli society.

ISEF believes investing in human capital development and expanding access to higher education are vital for Israel's security and prosperity.

ISEF adopts a transformative, holistic approach that nurtures each student's potential and produces the highest return on investment for Israeli society.

Over 400 students are pursuing degrees from BA to PhD at 19 Israeli universities and colleges, and over 20 ISEF International Fellows are performing cutting-edge PhD and postdoctoral research at top international research universities.

ISEF's 400 scholars are role models and mentors for over 3,000 at-risk Israeli youngsters, whom they mentor and tutor for four hours a week - even during COVID-19.

Israel Scholarship Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1978, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.isef.org

  520 Eighth Avenue
4th floor
New York NY 10018 

  212-683-7772


 Important note on the timeliness of ratings

The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for Israel Scholarship Education Foundation is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations. Please check with the charity directly for any questions you may have.

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Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Good

This charity's score is 86.29, earning it a 3-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS. 

View this organization’s historical ratings.


Back to Overall

Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

69.7%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

13.9%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

16.2%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

7.3%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.13


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

0.60 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

14.18%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors can be reluctant to contribute to a charity when their name, address, or other basic information may become part of donor lists that are exchanged or sold, resulting in an influx of charitable solicitations from other organizations. Our analysts check the charity's website to see if the organization has a donor privacy policy in place and what it does and does not cover. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Dmitry Shimelfarb, Executive Director

$139,850 (7.25% of Total Expenses)


Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Scholarships (other) (BMF activity code: 040)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Israel Scholarship Education Foundation reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

Revenues in FY2020 declined by 37%: contributions and grants declined by 57% compared to FY2019, but this decline was partially offset by a rise in investment income and securing a modest PPP loan to help pay staff salaries. For 43 years, ISEF's single greatest source of revenue has been the Annual Benefit Dinner and Auction. This event would usually draw 300-400 individual and corporate supporters. Forced to cancel this in Spring 2020, and again in Spring 2021, ISEF held modest virtual events, with lower attendance and more modest net revenues. Staff were unable to conduct face to face meetings to cultivate and steward major gifts. Virtual parlor meetings and webinars, however well received by dozens of supporters, cannot equal the return on in-person major gift solicitations. And, as the months passed, online 'Zoom fatigue' set in even among our most loyal donors.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

In lockdown, ISEF quickly transitioned its main programs to Zoom--biweekly leadership development sessions, and students' weekly commitment mentoring 3,000+ vulnerable teens. Of 413 scholarship students, 66% were laid off from PT jobs; 53% had one or both parents laid off; 25% reported severe financial distress. ISEF distributed $53,000 in emergency aid. Trapped in cramped apartments, the 3,000+ teens in ISEF's programs craved contact with their ISEF mentors, who texted and Zoomed at all hours and devised group activities. Students also taught seniors in nursing homes how to use Zoom, and distributed food to the homebound. All in-person events were canceled, including the National ISEF Student Convention and a dozen campus tours for project teens. This led to cuts in allocations from three major Israeli funding partners. ISEF's successful alumni delivered virtual lectures for students, who also attended career and job-hunting skills training sessions online.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

All programming in Israel was necessarily shifted onto virtual platforms. Even end-of-year graduation and awards ceremonies were held on Zoom. A positive outcome of this is that, for the first time in 43 years, ISEF supporters outside Israel were able to share in these milestone events. All staff, in USA and Israel, worked remotely, and staff meetings were held on Zoom. Again, a positive emerged in increased information sharing and coordination between USA and Israel staffs, thanks to the timely arrival of Zoom technology. Likewise, ISEF board meetings moved to Zoom, and again, this enabled broader participation by board members in the USA, Europe, and Israel, as meetings were scheduled to accommodate time zone differences. We organized a series of webinars featuring outstanding graduates of ISEF's programs, who gave presentations on COVID-19 therapeutics, Persian Jewish culture, and other hot topics. These were extremely well received.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We definitely plan to continue regular USA-Israel staff meetings. We likewise plan to continue enabling supporters in the USA and Europe to 'attend' major ISEF events in Israel using a hybrid model (live/virtual). ISEF students continue to mix face-to-face mentoring of 3000+ at-risk teens in ISEF projects with texting and Zooming in between meetings. And ISEF board meetings will likewise continue using a hybrid in-person/virtual platform to enable broader participation by board members outside the USA.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
3/1/20212019 86.29
9/1/20202018 82.31
3/1/20202018 79.57

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to its Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

2/1/20192017 76.50
4/1/20182016 81.92
3/1/20172015 80.76
6/1/20162014 80.80
Rating Version: 2.0
12/22/20152014 80.40
6/1/20152013 83.79
3/1/20142012 85.08
12/1/20122011 87.23
11/6/20122011 85.31
2/1/20122010 85.45
9/20/20112009 92.53
Rating Version: 1.0
12/1/20102009 80.17
2/1/20102008 95.46
11/1/20082007 75.74
9/1/20072006 81.28
7/1/20062005 79.82
8/1/20052004 77.60
10/1/20042003 92.55
9/1/20032002 95.32
10/15/20022001 91.19

Previous: Finance & Accountability  / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Israel Scholarship Education Foundation cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

Do you work at Israel Scholarship Education Foundation? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Israel Scholarship Education Foundation reported its largest program on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$1,419,779

Spent in most recent FY

100%

Percent of program expenses


Scholarship Grants


Previous: Impact & Results  / Next: Culture & Community

...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Israel Scholarship Education Foundation is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


Israel Scholarship Education Foundation's mission is to create a more equal, diverse, and broadly prosperous society in Israel by expanding access to higher education for the country's brightest young minds from immigrant and marginalized populations. ISEF's unique, time-tested methodology combines generous scholarship stipends for first-generation students from underserved communities with individualized support systems and holistic personal development programs: group leadership training, weekly community service mentoring vulnerable teens, and social conscience-building, cultivating lifetime civic activists.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


A society in which every young person, no matter their background, can get a good education, fulfill their inborn potential, and make positive contributions to their nation and the world.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Narrow the socio-economic gap in Israeli society

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.


Goal Two: Increase enrollment of target population (1st gen students) in STEM degree programs to fill high-tech workforce pipeline

Goal Type: New program(s) based on observed changes in needs among our constituencies/communities served.


Goal Three: Expand access to graduate-level training and degree programs, to enable diversification of top echelons in economy and society

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

ISEF holds intensive training sessions for its unit managers and campus program leaders at the start of the academic year, and holds continuing education sessions at regular intervals throughout the year.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

ISEF maintains multiple partnerships with government bodies--from the Prime Minister's Office to the Ministry of Education to multiple municipalities--to advance higher education for marginalized populations. ISEF likewise partners with major NGOs in Israel to operate scholarship programs and youth mentoring projects in underserved communities.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


ISEF has adapted to the massive disruption of the pandemic by moving swiftly to transition nearly all programming to virtual platforms. ISEF adapted to the challenge of reduced revenues while maintaining its same level of investment in its human capital development programs (400+ scholarships BA to PhD, biweekly leadership training, weekly community service mentoring projects impacting 3000+teens, ISEF alumni organization, International Fellows Program) by drawing on reserves and reducing administrative costs by over 10%.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Dmitry Shimelfarb

Executive Director

Carlos Benaim

President

Previous: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves. Learn more about how and why we rate Culture & Community.


Culture & Community Score

100

out of 100

Israel Scholarship Education Foundation has earned a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating. The organization provided data about how it listens to constituents (Constituent Feedback) (see report below).

The Culture & Community Beacon is comprised of the following metrics:

  • Constituent Feedback: 100/100 (100% of beacon score)

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Not Scored


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

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Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion


This organization has not provided information regarding the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices it is presently implementing. As such, the organization has not earned a score on this metric. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


Methodology


We are utilizing data collected by Candid to document and assess the DEI practices implemented by the organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies section of their Candid profiles to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective.



Methodology


We've partnered with Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Below you can find more information about the metrics we currently evaluate in this beacon and their relevance to nonprofit performance.


Constituent Feedback


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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