At Just 29, JNFuture San Diego President is Leading the Next Generation
By JD Krebs
Allie Donahoo has always valued connecting with younger audiences. “I had been working at a Jewish summer camp for over 13 years and loved who I was there the most, and it dawned on me – why not be a part of that world all the time,” she said.
Allie Donahoo, President of JNFuture San Diego
As President of JNFuture San Diego, Jewish National Fund-USA’s (JNF-USA) affinity group for young professionals, Donahoo’s ability to bring people together is perhaps one of the reasons why donors aged 22-40 are the organization’s fastest-growing demographic.
“JNFuture is special because it gives a platform for people in my generation,” she said. “It’s a great stepping stone to becoming involved in philanthropy while having a cause they’re passionate about.”
Through JNFuture, San Diegan young professionals support Israel’s Negev and Galilee through their philanthropic investments in agriculture R&D, water sustainability, job creation, medical centers, helping people with disabilities and so much more.
At only 29 years old, Allie already has considerable experience with Jewish community outreach. A Jewish Studies Major at American Jewish University (where she also received her master’s in education), she worked at the San Diego Jewish Teen initiative for 11 months before being promoted to Executive Director.
“When the pandemic hit, we pivoted our priorities and doubled down on mental health and wellness,” she said.
She is now transitioning to the Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla as Director of Strategic Outreach and Partnerships.
Allie Donahoo pictured at JNF-USA's Western Galilee Visitor Center in Akko
“I’m really excited for this opportunity,” she said. “I feel like I can use all of the knowledge and skills that I’ve learned at JNF-USA to continue building relationships in the community, while improving my outreach, and helping more people.”
Her involvement with JNF-USA began in earnest when she went on a JNFuture Jewish Leadership Institute Mission to Israel, where she learned more about the organization’s philanthropic investments in the Negev and Galilee.
“I returned with even more knowledge,” she said. “I knew I couldn’t stay on the sidelines.”
With JNF-USA’s Women’s Month taking place in May, Donahoo believes seeing more women in philanthropy will inspire the next generation of female philanthropists.
“To see women be major donors is special, and it impacts my generation,” she said. “Looking at both my mother and grandmother as serious donors inspires me to want to one day be able to give at that level and to continue being philanthropic.”
Donahoo believes that part of JNF-USA’s appeal comes from the fact that it supports so many different initiatives in Israel. And for her, as the San Diego Chair of JNF-USA’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel, her passion is education.
“For me, JNF-USA’s High School in Israel is an incredible project,” she said, referring to the organization’s flagship study abroad program in Israel. “Teens spending any time in Israel, whether it be a semester, a mini-semester, a spring break, or a summer experience, will deepen their engagement and involvement in Jewish culture and society.”
She also appreciates how JNF-USA supports groups like JNFuture in giving people her age a voice in Israel.
“No matter what dollar amount you are able to contribute, JNFuture makes any giving level feel impactful. JNF-USA gives each of us a seat at the table, and it encourages us to become more involved as we get older.”
And Donohoo knows that now is the time for her generation to get involved.
“Our parents and grandparents have always been the ones who give, but now it’s our time to step up and do our part,” she said. “We can’t sit back and wait, and the fact that JNF-USA highlights this is all the more special.”
In honor of Women’s Month, thanks to the generosity of Jayne Klein and Paula Gottesman, all donations will be matched up to $1 million through May 31, 2021. Go to jnf.org/womensmonth to donate.
To learn more about JNF-USA’s Women for Israel, click here.