The SHELI FUND assists grassroots groups with funding as they begin to mobilize. Support from the Fund has made the critical difference for these organizations between effective response and continued environmental damage.
Since 1997 the SHELI FUND has annually awarded modest yet significant grants to volunteer-based environmental organizations. The Fund holds semi-annual cycles providing approximately 20 grants of up to $4,500 per cycle out of a pool of approximately 150 requests. Grantees represent the length and breadth of Israel's geographic and socio-economic map. Since the joint establishment of the Fund by ACBP (the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies), and the Dorot and Nathan Cummings Foundations, the Fund has provided over 450 grants to over 300 grassroots volunteer-based organizations totaling $2,000,000 for education campaigns and activism to combat local development plans that threaten the environment.
Additionally, Sheli creates partnerships: in 2002, the SHELI FUND created a special track for funding the Local Agenda 21 project in cooperation with the Goldman Foundation, The Ministry of Environment and the Israel Association of Community Centers, and since 2003 the Sheli Fund and the Ford Environmental grants created a joint grant cycle focused mainly on proposals from schools and youth groups.
In Addition to the financial grant, GEF offeres the Sheli Fund grantees several practical assisting tools;
After each grant cycle, each grantee will be invited to meet the Sheli Fund staff in a local orientation designed jointly with SHATIL. The Fund hopes that the orientation will help grantees to maximize use of the grants. Orientation will focus on providing grantees with a full range of services including: SHATIL, IUED-legal assistance, creating connections with the Green Network, forming local coalitions, joining the umbrella organization "Life and Environment", meeting with other local activists and learning from former SHELI grantees.
The SHELI Fund operates an internet site in which new SHELI grantees each year are added to, including a description of their project as well as contact information. In this way we hope to help local activists learn and benefit from each other, as well as have accesses to a window presenting much of thelocal environmental activism accruing all over Israel.