Charity Transparency improved in Israel With Launch Of GuideStar Israel - search in 3 languages

January 05, 2011 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: News, Global Giving, Ethics and Canadian Charities

GuideStar Israel is being beta tested.  It will provide a combination of government and NPO information on non-profits in Israel.  It is only a beta test but it is an important step forward for donors and those interested in the non-profit sector in Israel.  There are obviously gaps that hopefully will be filled by the organizations themselves.

Here is a link to the Hebrew home page: http://www.guidestar.org.il/Default.aspx?c=1&l=he-il

Here is a link to the Arabic home page: http://www.guidestar.org.il/Default.aspx?c=1&l2=he-il&c=1&l=ar-jo

Here is a link to the English home page:  http://www.guidestar.org.il/Default.aspx?c=1&l=en

Here is a blurb from their website:


“The GuideStar Israel website provides the most complete information available on all non-profit organizations (NPOs) in Israel. It features official information, as listed in the Registrar of Non-Profit Organizations’ databases for all NPOs in Israel, and is supplemented by additional, more detailed and substantive information supplied by the NPOs themselves. This combination creates the most comprehensive and valuable database of civil social organizations in Israel and at the same time, provides an internet presence for all NPOs operating in Israel – from the largest, most established to thousands of smaller organizations that have not yet been able to create an online presence.

The goal in building the GuideStar Israel database is first and foremost to promote transparency with respect to the conduct of non-profit organizations in Israel. Anyone interested in non-profit organizations – donors, volunteers, suppliers and clients – may browse the site and find the relevant information regarding the management of each non-profit organization operating in Israel, as reported to the Registrar of NPOs. Just as important is the online exposure given to non-profit organizations – small and large alike. Exposure is intended to encourage donors and volunteers, as well as inter-organizational cooperation with a view to strengthening the third sector in Israel, and to making it more accessible.

GuideStar is a non-profit project developed by philanthropic organizations in conjunction with the Israeli government, and as such, operates from within the third sector and on its behalf, guided by the belief that transparency is an important vehicle that will help to develop this sector. We see great importance in presenting the information “as is,” without commentary. This approach enables us to focus on providing interested parties with the most updated information, in a digitally accessible format convenient for searching for information about active NPOs in Israel.

Inclusion in the website, as well as access to its information, is free of charge and available to all. Moreover, GuideStar serves as an important tool for helping foundations and donors, gather information about non-profit organi4zations and make decisions regarding donations and grants, and is thus designed to assist NPOs in raising funds and other resources.

GuideStar Israel was established with the full cooperation of GuideStar International which seeks to highlight the activities of non-profit organizations around the world, to facilitate better communication between the organizations, donors, volunteers and other stakeholders as well as among the various organizations themselves.

GuideStar Israel is a joint project of the Ministry of Justice, Yad Hanadiv and JDC Israel and is operated by NPTech – Technologies for Nonprofit Organizations Ltd. (CPB).”

I also received this update from GuideStar Israel:

“GuideStar Israel went live in the beginning of August this year. Currently we present profiles of all 32,138 registered Amutot in Israel. 700 of these organizations have already registered to the website and are proactively adding data to their profile.

Our aims are similar to the already existing GuideStar projects in the US and the UK: to illuminate the work of nonprofits in our country and to strength the transparency of nonprofits in Israel. We believe that transparency can and should serve the organization and we want to help them be more accountable as well as attract more donors, volunteers, beneficiaries and publicity.

The website itself is built on the platform developed by GuideStar International. The same platform (called CTP) is also in use for GuideStar UK, Belgium and India. This platform is multi-lingual and it allows us to enable the usage of the 3 main languages relevant to Israeli nonprofits Hebrew, Arabic and English.

At this point an organization enters its data once, and it is displayed in it’s profile, independently of the interface language chosen by the user. In a few weeks we will have a new version of the site where voluntary fields, that the organizations fills, are language dependent, which means they can write texts for each field in these 3 languages and the user will see the text written in the same language as the interface he choose. Still, the governmental data will be in it’s original language which is usually Hebrew and in some cases Arabic (nonprofits in Israel report in one of these 2 languages).

In this new version we also revise our homepage and add some functionality to the search engine.

I hope that after this new version is live more data will be entered in English by the organizations themselves and the site will be more relevant to North American audiences.”

 

 

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Charity Lawyer Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.

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