LIFE & LEGACY ® is a results-oriented, four-year endowment-building initiative that promotes legacy gifts to benefit local organizations across the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community.  In partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Jewish organizations – such as day schools, synagogues, and social service organizations –  learn best practices to build an endowment for their organization.

The initiative motivates Jewish organizations to create and execute a plan to build endowments and integrate legacy giving into their philanthropic culture. Participants receive training, consulting and marketing assistance from Jewish Federation and Harold Grinspoon staff. 

Incentive grants are offered for meeting established goals. For example, organizations will receive a grant of $5,000 for securing 18 Letters of Intent. The grant increases to $7,500 for 25 + Letters of Intent.

Thank you for your interest in the LIFE & LEGACY program. Applications for this year have closed. 

want to learn more?

For information, please email Sonya Aronowitz, LIFE & LEGACY program coordinator at legacy@jewishphilly.org or call 215.832.0574.


What is the LIFE & LEGACY initiative?

LIFE & LEGACY is a proven initiative to build endowments for Jewish community organizations through legacy giving. Seventy three communities throughout North America have participated in this effort, securing more than $1.3 Billion in estimated future gifts to 750+ Jewish organizations of all kinds. The Harold Grinspoon Foundation supports this initiative through the LIFE & LEGACY effort, to strengthen our Jewish communities for a vibrant future.

What are the benefits of the initiative?
  • Provides training, coaching and consultations over four years to learn best practices to build endowed funds. 
  • Incentive grants of $5,000 and more are available when organizations reach their goals. 
  • Collaboration between participating organizations will be key to the community-wide success of the LIFE & LEGACY initiative. As a donor-centered effort, donors appreciate the community working together to give them the opportunity to identify all the organizations they want to support with one Letter of Intent. This will ultimately benefit the whole Jewish community now and in the future.
Does it cost to participate?

There is no cost to the organization to participate and unrestricted incentive grants can be earned by achieving set goals. Jewish Federation’s interest in helping organizations build endowments is to strengthen Jewish Philadelphia for generations to come.

How do we participate?

Each organization that is interested in participating in LIFE & LEGACY is invited to submit the online application by the deadline of April 30th. A committee comprising lay leaders from the community and Jewish Federation professional staff will review all applications and select participants for our first cohort of 12-15 organizations. We will inform applicants of our decision by May 18th.

What are the requirements to participate in LIFE & LEGACY?

The ability to put together a legacy team made up of senior professional(s) and lay leaders. The legacy team will be responsible for:

  • Attending all required trainings
  • Writing a legacy plan
  • Having legacy conversations to secure Letters of Intent
  • Submitting reports to Jewish Federation on a quarterly basis
  • Implementing a marketing plan and stewardship process for all legacy gift donors

In addition, each participating organization is required to establish an endowment account at Jewish Federation for gifts received through the LIFE & LEGACY initiative. The funds are held to benefit your organization.

What are the obligations of Jewish Federation?
  • Implement and fund LIFE & LEGACY, in partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation
  • Offer incentive grants to organizations that meet their goals through all four years.
  • Provide quality group training seminars, consulting, and coaching in conjunction with our LIFE & LEGACY consultant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation
  • Create a community-wide event to celebrate and honor all legacy gift donors
  • Create and offer marketing materials to support the community LIFE & LEGACY effort
  • Offer support and resources to participating organizations to ensure their success
Will we be able to access any of the LIFE & LEGACY resources if my organization is not selected to be part of the first cohort?

Although we will not be able to offer the grants, coaching or consulting services to organizations that are not in our first cohort, there will be opportunities for some organizations to attend the trainings. 

Year One Timeline

Wednesday, March 29 at 12:00 pm (Zoom) 
Session 1:  Why Legacy? Why Now?

Sunday, April 30
Application Due 

Thursday, May 18
Cohort Notified of Acceptance to Program

Wednesday, June 14 
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Zoom)
Session 2: Writing the Legacy Plan 

Monday, October 23 (in person, location TBD). 
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m
Session 3: The Legacy Conversation

Friday, November 1 
Program Launches 

February TBD
Session 4: Marketing Your Legacy Program

Session 5:  Effective Stewardship