Can one reduce his monetary tzedoko by work that he donates to a charity?

For example, someone was employed (for payment) by a charitable organisation. Then the organisation could no longer afford to pay his wages. He then volunteered to give his work for no payment.

Can he reduce the amount of monetary tzedoko that he gives by the wages he used to get?

(If it helps answer the question, we could assume that he will not reduce his monetary tzedoko below 10%.)

Obviously a practical case requires CYLOR but what sources can be applied to the question?

  • I've read (in a magazine, I think) of some day schools who give some needy parents a cut in tuition in exchange for some work they pledge to do for the school. Maybe someone knows the name of the school(s)?
    – Eliyahu
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz discussed this in a tzedaka lecture; it's considered giving to charity, but at 90% the rate.

If my legal work goes for $100/hr, and I did an extra hour of work, I'd make $100 of which I'd keep $90 and give $10 to tzedaka. So if instead I donate an hour of my legal work to charity, it's only $90 I'd be seeing in my wallet, hence if otherwise I owed $200 to tzedaka, now I only owe $110.

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