Sep 18, 2007 — It began with contributions as small as $180, and has grown into a sum of more than $100,000 in just one year. The YC100 Fund, established by Shai Barnea ’03Y and Josh Goldman ’04SB in September 2006, recently highlighted its exponential growth at a shareholder’s meeting celebrating its first anniversary. The fund is focused on long-term asset appreciation, with the goal of turning over a sizable contribution to the college at full maturity.
Barnea, an energy trader at Sempra, and Goldman, who works at Kraft Foods, decided the college needed a fund to which alumni could contribute as much or as little seed money as they were able in the short term, invest it for a number of years, then give that compounded donation to the college in the long term.
“A lot of people want to give back to the school, but not everyone can make a massive donation,” Barnea said. “This enables people to invest in the future of Yeshiva College and Yeshiva University, to be long-term partners, and to effect change.”
Goldman added, “The YC100 Fund brings philanthropy down to a grass-roots level. It’s an opportunity for people to say, ‘My little piece will mean something.’”
Barnea and Goldman, co-chairmen of the fund, are in the midst of forming a board of directors who will help determine how the monies are dispersed. While the future needs of the university will ultimately determine the specific projects the fund assists, they have found a high level of interest among alumni and friends of the university who desire to play a greater role in making great things happen on campus.
Barnea got the idea for YC100 from the Yale University class of ’54, which contributed the largest class gift in history to its alma mater by pooling their resources and gathering over the next couple of years about $370,000 in seed money, which they entrusted to a professional money manager. Twenty-five years later, at the class’s 50th reunion, they turned it all over to Yale—more than $110 million.
Goldman jumped on board. “We had just graduated, and it was the perfect way to flip the switch from being active in the short term to the long term,” he said. “It struck us as a way to look toward the next generation of students.”
The two approached Yeshiva College board members, who were equally enthusiastic.
“While many of us are not able to make a donation that can have an immediate and lasting impact on the university, many of us have the desire to give back to our alma mater,” Goldman said. “The hope is that YC100 will turn a small amount into a large one, and deliver a bigger gift to YU than would have ever been possible the old-fashioned way.”