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A charitable organisation wishes to employ a collector on commission.

Does the organisation have a duty to inform potential donors that (a) the collector is on commission and (b) the percentage involved?

Do we say that not informing the potential donor constitutes geneivas daas or do we assume that donors are aware of the principle of commission and factor that in when making their donation.

Does the size of the commission make a difference?

2 Answers 2


The answer would depend on what is considered acceptable in the community where you are collecting.

If the average collector got e.g. 25% than you would have to inform the giver if you were to take more. If the prevailing attitude is that any percentage is OK as long as it meets the requirements described in the link you provided than that would be OK too.

For any deviation from accepted practices you would need to inform the person giving.

If you collected from someone who was totally unaware that collectors receive any commission there would be no need to inform the giver that you are indeed taking a cut.

Again this all assumes the collector is acting within accepted norms of the community where he is currently collecting.

Shulchan Aruch rules (Choshen Mishpat 228), it is forbidden to give others a wrong impression, the more so where there is a monetary ramification. This falls under the prohibition of geneivas daas, “stealing another’s heart.”

The Shulchan Aruch rules that where a person acts in a normal way, yet somebody else receives a wrong impression, there is no obligation to correct the wrong impression. Only where a person actually creates the wrong impression does he trangress the prohibition.

Source: http://www.dinonline.org/2012/02/23/working-for-marketing-company/


There is a famous story in which R' Chaim Volozhener had his collector purchase a new, more high-class carriage for his collection rounds, in order to increase the image of the Yeshiva and encourage higher donations. A certain donor said he could not donate. When R' Chaim heard of it, he went to the man's home and asked him why he didn't donate. The man said that he saw the carriage and did not want to donate to an institution that was spending its money on other things than the needs of the learning in the Yeshiva. R' Chaim assured the man that if he is giving with the highest intentions, Hashem would ensure that the money of his donation would go to the "nobler" purposes of the Yeshiva, at which point the man consented to give.

Seemingly, R' Chaim Volozhener held that the Yeshiva could spend money to help the fundraising effort, and the money of the donors would all end up where it was meant to end up.

  • Yes a lovely story! Btw it doesn't answer the questions. Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 19:23
  • @AvrohomYitzchok it certainly does. R' Chaim did not inform any donors about his investments, as the donor in question only knew about it from seeing the carriage. And R' Chaim's reasoning for not telling would apply to all of your questions - the institution has the privilege of spending money for the purpose of collecting, and the accounting of the donors' money will be taken care of by Hashem. Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 19:29
  • I see now, thank you. The reasonable assumption is that the collector is working on commission. I've voted the answer up. Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 19:52

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