In the business world, there are metrics to measure a leader’s success. But what does good look like in the philanthropic world? Jake Hyman, in a recent Forbes article, outlined five habits of effective philanthropists. Applying this rubric to Adam Milstein’s philanthropic career shows that he is someone we can look to as a role model of effective philanthropy.
- Be an expert on a cause or a community. In his philanthropy, Milstein has focused on supporting the causes of Israeli-Americans, like himself, and become an expert on their needs.
- Use philanthropy to spread information and change the field. Some philanthropists speak of how much money they gave, Adam Milstein can say instead, that without a doubt, his philanthropy has dramatically altered the Israeli-American community. When Milstein first arrived in the United States, Israeli’s were not embraced by the American Jewish community as they were too identified with Israel. Because they lived outside of Israel, Israeli’s never fully accepted them. Israeli-Americans were isolated from their current country, from their homeland, and from each other. Milstein promoted the idea that “Israeli Americans are Americans and our home is in America while our Jewish homeland will always be Israel.” Through the Milstein Family Foundation, started with his wife, Milstein helped found the Israeli-America Council (IAC). From humble beginnings in 2007 the IAC is now a national organization, serving over 150,000 with 6 regional offices.
- Be a participating grant maker. In his work with the IAC and its designation of being the fastest growing Jewish organization in America, Adam Milstein showed the achievements that occur when philanthropists share power and resources.
- Play for the long term. Not content to fund immediate needs or small efforts, Adam Milstein’s vision was and is to strengthen the identity of Israeli-Americans and further their bonds with Americans and with their homeland.
- Understand the economics of grant-making. The Milstein Family Foundation disperses its funds strategically to support the AIC for the long-term while granting yearly funds and/or single grants to educational, medical and community programs in both Israel and America.
Named one of the world’s top 50 most influential Jews by the Jerusalem Post, Adam Milstein practices effective philanthropy every day. The next generation of philanthropists, by following the lessons learned from Milstein’s record, are positioned to write a whole new future for the charities they support.