Monday, October 27, 2008

Who Are We Sending Our Dollars To?

ProfK has written a very insightful post entitled "Are There Too Many Tzedakah Organizations?" She discusses the excessive proliferation of tzedakah pleas that we are all subject to, and questions if our dollars are being used correctly. It's an important topic and one that should be discussed.


rickismom said...

The most important thing is to check that you are giving to whom you think you are:
1-that the org. exists
2send straight to them, so 100% goes to the org.

arnie draiman said...

it is a very very very important topic that must be discussed on every blog and in every forum.

i have been preaching for over 15 years that you MUST check out the place you give to.

i will even say that while rickismom is right about seeing if they are real, and sending directly to them, those are NOT the MOST important (though important they are!).

the most important is that the organization you have chosen for your sacred tzedakah shekels must use the money wisely, efficiently, and effectively. otherwise, you have wasted your tzedakah shekels, and maybe (just, maybe) actually done damage and not good.

two quick examples:

a) if you give $100 to the american friends of israeli purple chairs and they have an overhead of 19%, then they will send $81 over to the israeli purple chairs association. but, the IPC has their own overhead of 22%, so that only $64 of your original $100 is actually being used for what you thought.....

b) when you are not giving properly, judaism is clear: you are stealing from the poor person, since tzedakah money was never yours to begin with! (al tigzol dal, ki dal hu - (al tigzol dal kee dal hu - mishlei/proverbs 22:22 and the various comments on it, particularly bamidbar rabba 5:2)

happy to discuss this with anyone and everyone. i make a living by doing due diligence on tzedakah organizations (i represent about 15 foundations, philanthropists and tzedakah funds....)

arnie draiman