BALTIMORE, Oct. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, today announced a new matching grant initiative intended to energize the philanthropic community in the area of workforce development. Specifically, this initiative seeks to encourage support of service providers, primarily in the United States and Israel, who focus on career training and advancement.

The goal of the 1:1 match program is to increase the number of funders, as well as the amount of grant dollars, supporting organizations and projects that address unemployment and underemployment for both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities. The program will be administered by Jewish Funders Network (JFN). The Weinberg Foundation is providing up to $3 million to be matched.

"The Weinberg Foundation believes that employment is the key to reducing generational poverty in our communities," said Donn Weinberg, Trustee and Executive Vice President of the Weinberg Foundation. "We want to expand support for organizations that provide those in the greatest need in our communities with the life tools to help themselves by obtaining and keeping employment. By leveraging our matching funds, we hope to inspire more donors to prioritize workforce development as part of their grantmaking agenda for many years to come."

Qualifying grants in the U.S. of $25,000 to $100,000 will be matched at a rate of 1:1. In Israel, the minimum is 75,000 NIS (New Israeli Shekel). Grant commitments may be up to three years in length, but the total maximum match, even for grants exceeding $100,000, will be $100,000. An organization whose primary mission is to support workforce development as defined by this initiative may receive grants for general operating or capital support. Organizations with a broader mission may receive program or capital support.

"In these times of economic uncertainty and stubborn unemployment, it's critical that the field of workforce development receives new impetus," said Andres Spokoiny, President and CEO of JFN. "At JFN we believe that funders can have a systemic impact when they work together and leverage their funding. Matching grants are a great tool to increase the breadth of Jewish philanthropy. In ten years, matching grants have brought over $80 million new dollars to the Jewish community and the community as a whole. The Weinberg Foundation was an early leader in initiating this great philanthropic tool."

Funders eligible to apply for matching funds must be members in good standing of the Jewish Funders Network. Applications and more detailed information about eligibility as well as the submission process will be available through the following website, www.workforce-match.org.

About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, provides approximately $100 million in annual grants to nonprofits that provide direct services to low-income and vulnerable individuals and families, primarily in the U.S. and Israel. Grants are focused on meeting basic needs and enhancing an individual's ability to meet those needs with emphasis on older adults, the Jewish community, and our hometown communities of Maryland, northeastern Pennsylvania, and Hawaii. The trustees, some of whom also serve as executive officers of the Foundation, are Donn Weinberg, Barry I. Schloss, Robert T. Kelly, Jr., Alvin Awaya, and Chair Ellen M. Heller. Rachel Garbow Monroe serves as the Weinberg Foundation's President. For more information please go to www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.

About The Jewish Funders Network (JFN)

JFN is an international organization dedicated to maximizing the quality and impact of Jewish philanthropy. Our members include independent philanthropists, foundation trustees and foundation professionals. JFN leverages the power and the creativity of networks to produce change in the world. The Matching Grants Initiatives of JFN are part of an innovative strategy to increase the base contributions of donors for a given field of Jewish philanthropy. Since their inception in 2004, matching grants have generated nearly $80 million in new funding for Jewish causes. For more information please go to www.jfunders.org.

CONTACT: Craig Demchak 443-738-1159 cdemchak@hjweinberg.orgSource:The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation