Inc. Creates Facebook Group To Help Select Effective Jewish
Israel News Agency
--- February 6, 2013
.. Tzedakah is a Hebrew word literally
meaning righteousness. But the Jewish community commonly uses
the word Tzedakah today to mean charity. And there are many Jewish
charities out there. From UJA, AMIT, AIPAC, Magen David Adom and
the ADL to Hadassah, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee,
HIAS, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces and the The Jewish
Federations of North America (JFNA).
list of Jewish charities transcents into the hundreds. So how
can one determine which is the best charity for them?
Which Jewish charity truly gets the money to where it's needed
Inc. was founded by Ira Kaminow. Kaminow wants donors to go beyond
selecting charities based purely on the organization's marketing
and PR fundraising skills or popularity. Instead, he encourages
donors to establish their own giving criteria and then to find
Jewish charities that best meet their giving objectives.
Inc. has published educational materials that inform donors about
ways to evaluate Jewish charities and charities to be more transparent,"
says Kaminow. " We prepare detailed reports on the activities
of select Jewish charities that are willing to describe their
activities and operations in some detail and will award those
charities its Highest Rating for Transparency. These profiles
will shortly be published on the Web in Tzedakah, Inc.s
new Website which is under development."
discourages excessive focus on charities financial data,
which is the first place many look to learn about charities.
first question I am often asked is what percentage of my donation
is spent on programming as opposed to overhead?," says Kaminow.
"After years of examining hundreds of charitable financial
statements, I have concluded that the numbers provided are too
soft and ill defined to be of much help in evaluating charities
in almost all cases. Evaluations of charities should include consideration
of such key non-financial factors as the quality of programs,
whether and how the charity evaluates and learns from its successes
and failures, the effectiveness of the stewardship of resources,
and the ethical behavior of management."
that the strategic objective of Tzedakah, Inc. is to encourage
donors to learn more about ways to evaluate Jewish charities and
to reward those that are effective, well managed, and honest.
Kaminow says he is often frustrated by donors who ask him what
he thinks about this charity or that. Ninety-nine percent of the
time, he fears he has no good answer.
are just too many charities for one person to monitor," says
Kaminow. "Donors interested in particular Jewish charities
need to call them up or email them with specific questions and
if good answers are not forthcoming, move on to other Jewish charities."
that charities will start putting more information about themselves
and their operations on their Websites.
giving decisions, Kaminow advises donors to look at the organizations
activities and accomplishments, how it evaluates the quality of
its program outcomes, the degree of board involvement in oversight
and planning, and endorsements by experts. He hopes that in the
near future, Jewish charities will be posting this sort of information
on their Internet Websites to help donors make more informed giving
Inc. has just created a Facebook page called "Tzedakah
- A Guide to Jewish Charities."
social media page is designed to host a conversation about how
best to give to Jewish charities and meet the needs of the disadvantaged
and to encourage Jewish charities to be more transparent. The
Facebook group, which just a few days old, already provides a
great deal of information for donors. It includes articles on
educating children about money and charity, ways to choose charities,
charity in Jewish tradition, and American giving to Israel.
- A Guide to Jewish Charities will have information about
charities that are especially transparent and those that are less
will be encouraged to provide relevant information about themselves
and their operations that transcend PR and marketing soundbytes,"
Consumer Reports which helps educate consumers about the
best products, Tzedakah, Inc. wants to help educate donors about
the best charities. Educated donors is an important Jewish ideal.
Jewish law states that a person should not contribute to a tzedakah
(charity) fund unless he knows that its management is reliable
and knows how to conduct the fund properly. However, unlike Consumer
Reports, which can buy and then test individual products,
donors can only evaluate charities that are transparent. Therefore
Tzedakah, Inc. wants donors to insist that charities provide information
necessary to make informed giving decisions before they contribute."
Canada An Example To Global Democracy In Cutting Diplomatic Ties
journalist, media consultant, social media and SEO pioneer
working with both the Israel Defense Forces and the US Army in
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