The Maximum Impact research program

The Maximum Impact research program is pioneering work in Israel guiding organizations through conducting cost-effectiveness evaluations of their work. Through our pilot, 21 organizations published in-depth studies out of over 160 applicants. After 9 month process and careful screening, we created research reports cooperatively and submitted them to an experienced expert judges panel, both local and global. 

The judges selected top-performing charities based on demonstrated effectiveness and research quality. All of our findings are published on our website to help donors and increase public information on outcomes from Israel’s nonprofit sector.

Our Purpose

Our program aims to establish impact measurement as a standard practice and cultivate an impactful and effective social sector in Israel. We seek to shift the nonprofit donations culture in Israel by influencing both donors and organizations. Our goal is to change mindsets both on the part of donors and within the organizations themselves:

  • Changing the organizations’ mindset – our aim is to shift the measurement culture in Israel’s social sector by integrating principles of research, especially cost-effectiveness analysis, as inherent responsibilities for member organizations. Through organizations’ hands-on research experience under our guidance, our goal is to reach a point where each participating organization routinely measures its impact once every one to two years using our cost-effectiveness framework. Not only does this benefit donors, but it also helps nonprofits learn what works best and least effectively to boost the social value they create significantly.
  • Changing the donors’ point of view – Israel’s annual nonprofit donation market is approximately 21 billion NIS. We aim to significantly shift how these funds are allocated towards priorities of effectiveness and social benefit. We believe we shall direct fundings to nonprofits that prove to have the most positive impact on society (in regard to its costs) , rather than other considerations. Currently, in Israel, there is a lack of concrete data on the actual change nonprofits produce, limiting donors’ ability to make informed funding decisions. Our program provides a framework for nonprofits to conduct professional research with close oversight. Ultimately, we hope donors will have the sufficient information needed to direct donations toward the most impactful organizations in any field they wish to support.

Program stages

1. Application submission

In this first stage, we recruit organizations to participate via a nationwide call for applications. In the future, we may directly contact top prospects to investigate those with the highest potential effectiveness initially.

2. Building a research proposal

The next two months focus on training, allowing nonprofits to become familiar with cost-effectiveness report requirements and plan their research with expert guidance and input from our team and external researchers.

3. Data collection

Organizations then have approximately 5 months to gather all necessary data, whether recently collected or previously obtained. This includes both beneficiary details and full accounting of all resources consumed by the program.

4. Data Analysis and report preparation

After finishing planning and data collection, nonprofits perform statistical (and preferably causal) analysis of their outcomes variables and costs to produce standardized cost-effectiveness reports aligned with global methodology. Experts closely advise throughout this stage to help verify the high quality of final submissions.

5. Judges Panel’s selection of effectiveness prize winners

A group of local and international experts judges the reports according to set criteria. They identify top organizations demonstrating strong evidence of cost-effective impact.

Judgment process

The judgment process of Maximum Impact begins with a thorough examination of the final research reports submitted after completing the data collection and writing phases. The reports are forwarded to our team of judges. The judging team consists of six members, each reviewing approximately 6-7 reports in depth according to pre-established criteria. Their numerical rankings and comments then inform our selection of the top organizations among the candidates. In 2023, three associations were recognized as outstanding based on the examination.


We chose independent judges to impartially select Excellence Award winners and lend their expertise and experience from research and the nonprofit world. Our close involvement with participating organizations also helps avoid potential bias.


Our decision process involves three major criteria:


  1. Cost-effectiveness ratio – How does impact compare to invested resources?
  2. Evidence quality – What is the level of research and data collected?
  3. Room for more funding – Can effectiveness be maintained with increased funding? Is there a clear resource utilization plan?

How can I participate in the next research program?

Organizations interested in participating in the research program, as well as foundations and donors seeking to finance research within the program, are invited to provide their relevant information to express interest.

The next round of the program is anticipated to launch in the spring of 2024; we will reach out to all interested parties when registration opens a few months prior to the program to continue the selection process.

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