There are myriad charities out there.

If a community has multiple Shuls, schools, Mikvaoth, food pantries, and גמ"חs, and new entities open up fulfilling the same role(s), and the new entities' existence challenges the viability of other organizations, even if the new ones purport to target an underserved segment of the community, is there any problem in supporting the new entities? Is there any problem in specifically not supporting the new entities?

  • Sha'arei Teshuva 3:15 writes that the destruction of the people of Sdom was because of the sin of בטול־הצדקות - because they stopped tzedoko. So you need Daas Torah, CYLOR and to be careful. – Avrohom Yitzchok Aug 7 '12 at 21:18
  • 1
    @AvrohomYitzchok, maybe בטול־הצדקות means they watered down the Tzedakoth by having too many competing organizations to serve the same need (increasing overhead expenditures with redundancy in salaries, not to mention increased spending on marketing because of competition)? – Seth J Sep 11 '12 at 20:23
  • 1
    Has anyone been successful in countering the trends that you mention? – Avrohom Yitzchok Sep 11 '12 at 20:42

You can only support, halachically, those that use your sacred tzedakah shekels with utmost care and efficiency and effectiveness. Otherwise, YOU are 'oveir' on stealing from the poor person ("al tigzol dal kee dal hu" - Mishlei 22:22 and the various commentaries on it).

As for new vs. old — you need a federated model, but better than the current federation model in existence (since they mostly use your tzedakah for keeping their own organization alive...). A true federated model allows for a better community overview as to the needs and who is fulfilling them. If a small organization that works with 80 people in need can't/won't afford a fundraiser, then how can they compete with some large place that wastes your tzedakah money but has more public recognition, etc.? Tough call.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .