Global Jewish Service by the Numbers

OLAM's 2016 Field Snapshot Survey


This survey — the first of its kind — takes an in-depth look at the field of global Jewish service, its funding and the current state of overseas volunteers.

The survey was distributed in March 2017 to all of OLAM‘s coalition partners: Jewish and Israeli organizations, headquartered in 8 countries, which serve the world’s most vulnerable through international development, global volunteerism and social justice advocacy. The coalition consisted of 47 organizations at the time, and the overall survey response rate was 66%.

As OLAM’s coalition includes a broad range of organizations, not every question was relevant to every organization. Organizations that do not send volunteers to the field, for example, did not respond to questions relevant to volunteer programs. The percentages cited below indicate a percentage of the total number of respondents to a given question, rather than a percentage of the total number of overall survey respondents.

The data featured here focuses on 2016.  We hope to conduct a similar survey bi-annually to track and communicate field-wide trends; inform OLAM’s strategy; and galvanize key stakeholders to build this field together.

The survey results tell a powerful story of Jewish individuals and organizations crossing borders to serve those in need. It is a story of successes, challenges and tremendous potential.



Watch OLAM Executive Director, Dyonna Ginsburg, give a webinar on the Field Snapshot Survey!


OLAM extends our gratitude to Noa Zehavi Raz, who translated our survey to Hebrew; to Susan Hiller Troen for technical support; to Rella Kaplowitz for serving as an invaluable resource and advisor on the process of collecting and interpreting data; and, of course, to our coalition partners, who generously entrusted us with their individual data so that we could provide a broad snapshot representing the full diversity of this field.


For questions about the survey methodology or results, email [email protected].

OLAM is generously supported by Adnim Foundation, Anne Heyman and Seth Merrin Family Fund, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Pears Foundation, and Toleo Foundation.