The Jewish philanthropic community is engaged in significant discussions about the health of the innovation ecosystem and funders' ability to grow and support creative enterprise. These discussions are important in a time where resources are scarce and creative enterprise seems to be at an all-time high. Looking over a longer period, the Jewish funder community seems to be more adept at identifying promising early-stage ventures. Yet, as many entrepreneurs toiling in early-stage nonprofit ventures will tell you, funder interest in promising innovations rarely translates into predictable, long-term sources of capital support. Many of the organizations that have come into existence in the last 10 years are currently engaged in a fight for subsistence, not growth.
It is time for funders to reflect on the impact that their specific contributions have on the uneasy state of the innovation ecosystem. Largely, the broad community of funders has not developed a longitudinal view of organizational growth that can reliably foster entrepreneurs and organizations through the realities of the organizational life-cycle.