Philanthropy for Kavod

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  • This topic has 29 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks ago by ujm.
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  • #2111460
    torahlife
    Participant

    I get turned off when a wealthy fellow seems to be donating big money to a yeshiva/tzidaka/organization in a very public way.

    They might make a big announcement or enjoy their name plastered all over the new whatever.

    Don’t get me wrong. The donor must be appreciated. But I’m discussing the perspective of the giver, not the perspective of the taker.

    Frum Jews know we ought to do mitzvos lsheim shamayim if possible rather than for money or honor. Personally I respect most anonymous or low key giving.

    Do you think there is anything wrong to give for recognition or fame rather than shtil aheit?

    #2111472
    ujm
    Participant

    I have the same feeling everytime I see a plaque with a name of a donor on the wall. Or outside on the building.

    #2111477

    If you really hate it, ask how much they paid, and pay double to take the plaque off.

    #2111476

    I would read this criticism with more attention if it were to say: “I personally do not publicize every time I drop a million dollars”.

    #2111490
    ujm
    Participant

    I always donate anonymously. If any organization publicized a contribution I made, I’d be very upset.

    I don’t even like those online GoFundMe type sites that try to get you to have your name displayed online, with the amount you gave.

    #2111491
    Menachem Shmei
    Participant

    The Rashba writes (שו”ת ח”א סתקפ”א):
    מצוה לפרסם עושי מצוה

    Unfortunately, nowadays, people’s decisions are largely affected by how the rich people behave. Just look at the power that Elon Musk and Bill Gates wield on matters like Covid and free speech. People respect their opinions.

    When people see rich people give tzedaka, it inspires them to follow suit.

    המעשה הוא העיקר – What will cause more people to give tzedaka? A plaque? Then make a plaque.

    [This is similar to the idea of making a big deal out of Torah learning, with siyumim etc., because this shows that we value Torah. קנאת סופרים תרבה חכמה, people get inspired when we show the great value of learning. So it is with all mitzvos, including tzedaka]

    מנחם שמו

    #2111498
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Unless we know that the funds were obtained through illict means, we should give kovod to anyone who is a big ball tzadakah whether they seek it or not.

    #2111500
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    By tzadakah the intention does not matter as the mitzva is to make sure the other has and not the giving. When one gives that his son should live long is considered a tzadik gamur, a true pious person.

    #2111501
    ujm
    Participant

    Organizations promote to potential charitable donations that they’ll put the donors name on the building or wall. So, clearly, donors are happy and looking to see themselves promoted in return for their donation.

    #2111540
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    we just had a whole thread on this subject recently

    #2111566
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    I prefer NOT to have my name, family name or business name attached to donations via signs, dedication pamphlets, etc.
    That said, I am often asked to permit it, because the organization needs to show ‘prominent names’ in order to successfully solicit other donations. In our local hospital the CTL Law Firm Name is on an exam room in the ER. This was used to solicit other similar donations from area law firms. Our competitors did not want to look bad in the eyes of the general public (potential clients). Now, every single exam room has been dedicated/paid for by a local law firm. That is not a bad thing.

    There are tax caps on charitable giving (in the USA), so many businesses insist on the signs for major gifts and instead of take charitable donation deductions, expense this money as advertising.

    None of my personal donations have signage saying donated by CTL, but there are signs (for example) saying donated in the memory of ‘CTL’s Father’ without identifying the donor.

    #2111573
    ujm
    Participant

    On a slightly related note, is a Hatzalah member (or any Chesed service volunteer) selling their Mitzvah by accepting retail discounts offered to members?

    #2111681
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    The core issue is that our mosdos are chronically underfunded so that we are not in a position to analyze whether a potential donor is seeking recognition for his/her donation beyond the basic diligence to assure the source of the funds is legit and the donation doesn’t violate any applicable laws. Of course, there are obvious red flags where using the name of a certain donor may not be entirely compatible with the mission of a particular organization (e.g. a bit of cognitive dissonance to reading about the great work being undertaken by the “UJM Institute for the Promotion of Professional Opportunities for Bnos Yisroel” or a Brass Plaque acknowledging the Generosity of R’ Yosef for funding the new Varbeshe Kiddush Club that will be meeting in the small closet in the basement previously used by the shamas for cleaning supplies).

    #2111685
    Yserbius123
    Participant

    From behind the scenes I’ve heard that in many tzedaka campaigns, there are generally several big anonymous donors and one or two big named contributors. The anonymous askanim only gave because they see someone they trust putting a lot of money into it.

    #2111720
    crazy horse
    Participant

    This is the opposite of the torah perspective. givers should give how ever they’re motivated to give someone who makes fun of someone who supports torah is very wrong.

    #2111765
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    My the mishkan the willingness of the heart was a concern as Hashem has everything, so the only thing one gives is the heart. I heard once that Betzalel had to be lachashov machashovos, think thoughts. Why? To know where to place one’s contribution depending of the willingness of the heart. The RMA paskens that by Mishloach Manos, even though one does not want to accept it, is still yotzei. The Chasam Sofer explains that there the importance is the giving to show peace and unity by sharing one’s meal.

    #2111823
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    I think if a rich Baal tzedakah publicizes his donation it shows that the mosad is worth giving to, just because baalei tzedah are rich doesn’t mean that they give money to any and every thing so those people are showing that it’s worth it to donate to this cause

    #2111843
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    coffee addict, you just explained the Rashba above that we should publicize mitzva doers as people will learn from it. He brings proof from the Torah publicizing how Ruvain saved Yosef by throwing him into the pit. So even though it could be misinterpreted, the intention is honorable.

    #2111847
    smerel
    Participant

    >>>I get turned off when a wealthy fellow seems to be donating big money to a yeshiva/tzidaka/organization in a very public way.

    Even assuming you would be correct I much prefer people give Tzedoka and get kovod than they don’t give as much. It is safe to assume that the anonymous baaley tzedoka don’t give as much. When was the last time you heard of a Yeshiva building or any other massive tzedoka donation that was made by an anonymous donor?

    Moreover a guy who has his name on a building or some other kovod is announcing that he is a baal Tzedoka, come and solicit by me. An anonymous donor is avoiding the solicitors.

    #2111849
    yaakov doe
    Participant

    I donate anonymously.
    It upsets me when I see the names of donors in larger lettering than the name of the institution. There’s one yeshiva in Far Rockaway that I don’t see a name for, only the donors names. I still don’t know which yeshiva it is.

    #2111851
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “Even assuming you would be correct I much prefer people give Tzedoka and get kovod than they don’t give as much. It is safe to assume that the anonymous baaley tzedoka don’t give as much. When was the last time you heard of a Yeshiva building or any other massive tzedoka donation that was made by an anonymous donor?”

    Based on experience I can tell you this is not a true generality. And if you say it based on personal speculation, it might be motzei shem rah

    #2111863
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    As it encourages giving, who cares what one’s intentions are as the gemora above about tzadaka.

    #2111875

    I have an idea that when donating funds sufficient to get physical confirmation – plague, wall, etc, insist on a record “in honor of Anonymous” so that people internalize the idea that it is possible not to show off. You can add something like “anonymous lawyer”, or “in honor of Hungarian Jews” if you want.

    Note also that we have yakum purkan for people who give wine for kiddush and not those who put names on the walls, as the latter already got their reward and do not need more encouragement. Nowadays, I hear same that upkeep funds are harder to find than new buildings.

    #2111883
    smerel
    Participant

    >>>Based on experience I can tell you this is not a true generality. And if you say it based on personal speculation, it might be motzei shem rah

    How much experience do you have with anonymous donors?

    How is it possible to speak motzei shem rah on a unknown antonymous group?

    #2112205
    HowieL
    Participant

    And what about organizations that advertise a donor will double, triple all donations until,,???
    Are these real ?

    #2112537
    interjection
    Participant

    “It upsets me when I see the names of donors in larger lettering than the name of the institution.”

    Obviously it’s good for marketing.

    “Do you think there is anything wrong to give for recognition or fame rather than shtil aheit?”

    It is impossible to know how you would feel if you were in that position.

    As someone who has not given millions in order to have my name on a building, it irks me when I see a name on a building with large letters “donated by xx” and in smaller letters “in memory of yy”. But if people are willing to pay thousands to have someone else’s name on their watch, or hundreds to have someone else’s name on your bag, then it makes sense to want to pay millions to have your own name on a building.

    #2112584
    ujm
    Participant

    Interjection: Paying those bucks for that designer’s name on your bag, or a fancy name on your watch, is also irrational. Most people don’t do it.

    #2112604
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Naming buildings after individual donors carries some risks. We all know of several recent cases where years AFTER the donation, there are negative developments with regard to that individual or new information becomes available that requires distancing. Do we really want to have a Madoff’s or Epstein’s name on the facilities used by yiddeshe mosdos??

    #2112619
    Menachem Shmei
    Participant

    I await the day when it will become acceptable to write the following hakdosha:

    הוקדש על ידי הגאון הצדיק הבעל חסד עוסק בצ”צ
    ר’ ראובן פלוני שליט”א
    לעילוי נשמת הרוצה בעילום שמו ע”ה

    😊

    (after all, we all know who really wants his name up. The niftar couldn’t care less!)

    #2112627
    ujm
    Participant

    You can make a donation on behalf of a niftar without putting the niftar’s name anywhere. This is no less a zchus for the niftar than if the niftar’s name is displayed.

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