Plan To Change The Way We Give Tzedaka

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    In order to facilitate this each potential Collector will complete a lifestyle questionnaire that will include in detail issues that may play a role in a donor determining if they want to give to someone and how much.

    Items such as whether they are employed or not, are actively seeking a job or not, how much they earn a year, what their expenses are, if they own a house or apartment (and how much its worth) own a car (and how much its worth) whether they smoke or not, what luxuries they have, are they looking to buy an apartment for their son/daughter (if so for how much), what type of wedding, how many people, etc.

    Additionally, if they are in need of money for a specific purpose, how much are they looking to collect in total and are they being helped by other organizations, and to what extent?

    This information, together with which country and city they live in will become part of their profile, which will not include their name or picture.

    A donor will be able to create a custom profile based on filters and rating whereby he would determine as to which Collectors he would like to outright disqualify, which to give a token donation to or a percentage of the average donation based upon each Collectors score based on the donors pre-set criteria and filters.

    Examples of a filter and rating someone could set up:

    Options for each item are on a scale of 1-10, 10 being highest donation, 1 being lowest donation. Two options are available to (a) disqualify such a Collector regardless of other criteria and (b) skip and do not score


    Profile of Chaim Appelbuam.

    Average Donation: $50.00


    Smoking: Disqualify

    Own apartment/ house worth over $300,000: Token donation at 1% of average donation

    Own apartment or house under $300,000: Score 4

    Rent apartment under $1,000 per month: Score 10

    Full time occupation: Score 10

    Working but making under minimum wage: Score 3

    Working but making under minimum wage: if disabled skip and do not score

    Unemployed: If widow or single parent: skip and do not score

    Buying apartment for daughter: Disqualify

    Insufficient income for basic needs: Score 10

    Widowed or single parent: Score 7

    Medical Need: Score 9

    Own a car over $15,000: Disqualify

    Unemployed seeking a job: Score 10

    Convicted of a crime: 3

    Marrying of child: 5

    Very basic wedding:10

    The system would locate anyone that fits the criteria set out above and would score them accordingly.


    Collector profiles and scores:

    Collector A:

    Recently widowed (score 7) with no job (skip and do not score- because widowed), does not smoke (qualified), rents a small apartment for $800 p/month (Score 10) owns an old car (score 10) and has no money for basic needs (score 10).

    Total points: 37/40

    Score: 92.5

    Donation: $46.25

    Collector B:

    Man learns in kollel for $500 per month (Score 3), does not smoke (qualified), owns apartment worth $500,000 (score 4), looking to marry off his daughter (score 5) at a small inexpensive wedding (score 10), not buying an apartment for her (qualified).

    Total points: 22/40

    Score: 55

    Donation: $27.50

    Collector C

    Recently widowed (score 7) with no job (skip and do not score- because widowed), smokes (disqualified), rents a small apartment for $800 p/month (Score 10) owns an old car (score 10) and has no money for basic needs (score 10).

    Total points: 37/40

    Score: 92.5

    Donation: $0 because disqualified for smoking

    Collecting and giving tzedaka would move to a completely new platform where there would no longer be hassling with change, giving and getting change of bills, disturbing davening, and writing checks and guessing about legitimacy.

    How it works:

    At shul:

    At Home:

    Collectors can use the same reader for a quick contribution by scanning an optional sticker (containing an RFID antenna) placed on front door or mailbox.

    As a portfolio:

    A donor can create a portfolio based upon any number of filters and criteria and ask the system to allocate a percentage of his portfolio to Collectors that match his specific criteria.

    This method would enable donors to give to many more Collectors that just those that present themselves to him, as here he is able to find the ones that match what he want to give to regardless of where they live.


    While a lot of the Collectors will not appreciate such a system because it will expose issues that they may seek to mask or not disclose, those whose needs appeal to the donor will receive more.

    The control to force a system like this on all Collectors in the hands of the donors, by refusing to give anyone who is not registered.

    The verified charity system will be completely free to the donor and to the Collector.

    This gives the donor the comfort of refusing to give anyone who does not have a reader, knowing that they are a fraud.



    o Frequency of giving to same individuals can be controlled by maximum times a month and descending amounts (if so desired) each additional time per month.

    o Maximum caps each day and month

    o Collectors will no longer need to disturb people while davening to collect funds. Passing by a donor will automatically pick up donors info and preferences.

    o All information is verified, collectors who defraud system face severe sanctions.

    o Checks given to collectors have been altered causing aggravation and loss of time to the donor. As this system is cash and checkless, this issue has been negated.

    o Each day (or at whatever custom times selected) a donor will receive an itemized report detailing their contributions. If a donor suspects fraud they can cancel any transaction within 48 hours.

    o Fully customized reporting can be done on the website detailing contributions by type of need, location or any user defined view.


    o No reason to say over story to each person

    o Can have someone else collect for them

    o Donor never knows if person collecting is the Collector or someone collecting on their behalf.

    o Collectors can post a profile and receive money without ever attempting to collect as people will find them by their profile and criteria when using filters to search for opportunities to give tzedaka.

    o Collector does not need to pay 2-8% check cashing fees and spend time cashing checks or worry about lost or damaged checks.

    o Funds are available to be withdrawn via ATM card anywhere in the world 72 hours after submitting data from machine.


    The system will be completely free to all users, both Collectors and Donors. However, we will politely request, but not require the donors to contribute a recommended 2% (or any percentage they choose) of each transaction to help run the ongoing operational expenses, which will be approximately two million dollars per year. Donors who choose to pay their contributions by credit card will be charged a 2.5% transaction fee pass-through, direct debits from their checking or savings account will be free.

    Regardless, major sponsorships will be available on the Donor Cards, Collector Readers, Website, Name of Organization, Ads on websites, and ads in emails, and a fundraiser will be hired to garner major donations from individuals and corporations.


    Collectors who defraud the system will be broken into two categories:

    Fraudulent Purpose:

    Example: a person collects for a sick child when there is none.

    Resolution: (1) Person will be permanently blocked from collecting funds for any purpose. (2) Legal action will be taken against the fraudulent collector including possibly remanding to authorities for fraud (3) pictures with full name and address will be displayed on web site and sent to major communities to be posted, ads placed in major papers.

    This will serve a dual purpose (1) individuals will give a lot of consideration before defrauding system (2) will inhibit possible further fraud from individual.

    Fraudulent Betterment:

    Additionally, the collector will in the future, receive less funds because anyone who indicates on their profile to exclude an individual who previously deceived the system will automatically not give him anything when presented.


    YTG –

    It obvoius you spent a lot of time putting this togeterh, and it really well thought out (I did not read it entirley, but plan to on the way home) but unless you’re on the giving comittee of a multi-million $ charitable trust, I doubt any of us need such a complicated formula. Besides, I doubt I could pass such scrutiny when I ask for a heavenly handout (health, job success, kids not going off the deep end, ect) so why would I put someone else under such a severe microscope?

    baal kishron

    I definitely can see that you spent a whole lot of time in putting this concept together and it is extremely well thought out. However one of the major problems that i think the concept has is that it makes giving tzedaka impersonal.

    I once heard a question as to why Hashem allows for there to be poor people in the world, one of the answers i heard was that the reason that poverty exists is so that we can get a zchus by giving them tzedaka, and not only will we get the zchus but the fact that we encounter an opportunity and try to help the person has an impact on us as a person, which we cannot afford to give up and that is exactly what will happen if it gets wired to the person straight from our bank accounts.


    I doubt I could pass such scrutiny when I ask for a heavenly handout (health, job success, kids not going off the deep end, ect) so why would I put someone else under such a severe microscope?

    BP Totty – Well said.


    Thought out, but off the mark (I think). One has to see the Tzarah in the face of an Ani so he will want to give, as well as actively do the action of giving. Your method is better for a middleman (such as the Agudah) distributing its funds.


    g_a_w: Actually, the best form of Tzedaka is when the giver and the receiver do not see each other — or even know who the giver / receiver is.

    Be Happy

    I can’t believe this discussion is taking place. We need to give Tzedoko without any considerations. How we treat people Hashem treats us. We surely dont want Hashem to use a fine tooth comb on us to consider if we are worthy of His goodness.


    Volvie: exactly why a middleman is the best way to go (if you can trust them) as per BB 10B. None the less, there is still a concept of the Ani himself going from door to door (see there).

    estherh: That is 100% Shelo K’halacha, and I am surprised you did not learn so at some point in your education. There are specific examples when you give without asking (food), otherwise you are Mechuyav to ask and investigate, and then be makdim some before others (BB 9A, SA Yore Dayah 251 sk 10 & 11).

    Ask your Rav what you should do.


    They tried this it didn’t work, if i recall correctly it was in the times of Sodom, and Lot. They even had a system to make sure guest were comfortable at night if the feet were too long, they cut them to size, and if too short, they were just stretched a little. Now that i think of it that’s where takanos came from, they were all equal then lol


    its very sad that someone could even think this way.

    volvie keep it up your from the only ones tzum zach in the coffe room!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Is there a problem with how tzadaka is given today?

    d a

    chesedname: I am not agreeing or disagreeing to ytg’s idea, however, from the way he wrote it, it doesn’t sound like Sedom C”V. In Sedom, “They even had a system to make sure guest were comfortable at night if the feet were too long, they cut them to size, and if too short, they were just stretched a little.” was a rishus.


    not giving a guy money to buy food for his kids, because the father smokes is rishus too.

    he also writes if a guy owns an apartment he gets less then a renter, the halacha says clearly the opposite, we have to give so they can maintain their lifestyles.

    also the idea someone else should give it for us. is middos sodom.

    although I’m sure the writer did mean well.


    I am not endorsing this system I am just commenting on some aspects of it for those who might agree with it;

    Scoring in a numbers system would not be good because such scioring could allow for someone to get tzedokka when the giver specifically wanted to give to somneone who did not have that aspect that he wanted to exclude.

    If someone smoked for example but scored perfectly on all the other qualifications but the giver really hated the idea of smoking more then anything else his money might still go to that smoker.

    Also how about a qualification regarding how much they help others and how much or little, they say Loshon Hara?


    This scheme looks like one that would give a scammer a big payday.

    Phoney Collectors and RFID devices would proliferate.

    The Organization would not have the resources to check for phoney IDs from several countries.

    None of the phoney Collectors will smoke or own homes or cars.

    One guy with a bag full of RFID devices will pass thru a shul and clean out everyone’s bank account.


    if someone does not have enough funds to help ppl according to their means (which most people don’t) then it makes sense to look into the cases a little and see who needs it most.

    the tution commitees for schools do it.

    there are also organizations like kupat hair who do it for you.

    but some people go to too much of an extreme (like with everything else). it is not for me to judge that someone does not need tzedakah because they have an apt or something else like that. however, being that in E”Y probably almost every day there is so one who asks me for tzedkaah (either in geulah/kotel/door to door) and i can not give a sizeable donation to each one, then it is considered normal to give a shekel (or whatever minimal pocket change you have) to these people .


    OTOH There is a reason why chai lifeline and those type of amazing organizations treat the familys so well with luxuries that many others don’t get (i.e. trip to israel, fancy resorts, parties, etc..) It is because at that stage in their life, people going through illnessess need that type of thing to keep from getting depressed or to keep themselves motivated through everything. That doesn’t mean your money is not tzedakah if it pays for a ticket to six flags. It means you are helping a sibling going through a miserable time have a day to enjoy her self.

    Just like in the mishkan everyone donated and the funds were directd based on the person’s kavanah , so too if someone gives tzedakah the right way and with the right intentions it will go to the right ppl and be real tzedakah.


    The key question is, is do donors want a system like this?

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