For many non-profits, June 30 represents the moment of truth — the final day of the fiscal year. When I awoke yesterday morning I had a vague idea what that “moment” would be for us but until I “ran the numbers” I could not be certain. According to our QuickBooks file we have raised $1,297,451.00 this (fiscal) year—more than what we budgeted for and nearly a 10% increase over last year (and nearly 45% over two years ago.) With this number the total raised since our inception six years ago is more than $6,000,000. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I expect us to achieve this number as quickly as we did. Certainly the economy would not have predicted such an impressive gain.
As exciting as these numbers are—they are, in the end, just numbers. What is more significant is what the numbers represent and that became crystal clear in an email received early yesterday morning. The brief report was from Laurie Groner who runs Inbar, an Israeli program we began to fund this winter. Inbar was started by Rabbi Shaul Inbari, profoundly disabled, and unwilling to live his life alone and devoid of love. Inbar (not named for Rabbi Inbari but rather derived from the Hebrew word for “amber”) offers social events, courses in relationships and social integration to people with disabilities…as well as matchmaking services. After meeting with Laurie in February we offered a grant to cover part of the cost of a social worker who would be instrumental in carrying out the group’s mission. Laurie now wrote that the social worker was actually fulfilling even more than what was originally imagined. She added, “I can honestly tell you, and please tell the rest of your board members and donors, that the Good People Fund’s donation to Inbar has increased our productivity exponentially.” Words like these are music to the ears of any non-profit.
As I pondered how best to share all of this good news, word arrived from Israel — three young men whose kidnapping had galvanized the Jewish world, were found brutally murdered not far from where they were taken. In an instant, all of the exciting events of the day seemed insignificant and I could not continue to write …until now.
In the light of a new day I have come to realize that despite the evil in our world, what we do — discovering and supporting those among us who are inspired to change the world and bring goodness to the fore — is actually the antidote to that darkness.
So today, July 1, as we start off a new year we wish to share two thoughts. As we remember Gil’ad, Eyal and Naftali we hope that in their names we will find even more goodness around us and make that goodness possible. And, to everyone who has been a part of our work and made the Good People Fund possible we say thank you for believing that tzedakah can indeed bring about a more just world.
We are grateful.