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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘donation’

The Best Way to Use Your Money to Help Others

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

When you make a charitable donation, do you just mail a check and forget about it, or do you care how the organization uses your donation?

How can you best ensure your hard-earned funds are being properly used by a charitable organization? While it seems to make sense that organizations use their money wisely, how can the donor be sure the organization is putting donations to the best possible use?

Rabbi Uziel Admoni of Charity Safebox spoke with me on the Goldstein on Gelt show about some of the challenges donors face when they wish to help a specific organization.

First of all, it’s always a good idea to check the credentials of a charity before you give and make sure it is really genuine.  Is it important to you if the organization has a tax-deductible status?

However, even when the charitable cause is genuine, the money that you are donating may still not necessarily go to the right place due to downright inefficiency. Charities are run by idealistic people, but are they also business-minded?  Even though the directors may be honest and hardworking, they may still not be putting the donations to the best use. They may be doing great work – but with a little business or financial guidance they could be doing even better.

I was once involved with a donor who sponsored the purchase of several hundred library books for a school in Israel.  Months later, the donor arrived at the school expecting to see a fully-stocked library (or at least the empty shelves if the students checked out all the books).  They were disappointed to find cartons of books sitting in the corner.  They were told, “We bought the books with the money you gave, but had no money to build bookcases.”  Needless to say, the donor was shocked that they hadn’t approached him earlier, for he surely would have sponsored bookcases too!  After all, without them, his donation was useless.

For this reason, if you are thinking of making a significant donation to a particular organization, consider employing the services of a family office to oversee the donation. A family office carries out due diligence into the activities of non-profit organizations on behalf of the philanthropist. This work is extremely useful to both the donor and the recipient. The donor has peace of mind of knowing that the money given is being used for the intended cause in the best possible way, while the charity gets a chance to efficiently further its mission.

Indeed, this was the happy ending of the library story.  The donor hired a family office to oversee the library, from the construction of bookcases until the books reached the hands of the students.

An End-of-Year Call to Action

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

For many people, we’re approaching the end of the financial year. A good time to remind you of the voluntary work we (the bloggers behind this site) do and have done since September 2001.

We lost our child to an act of barbaric murder and incomprehensible hatred. Our response has been to create the Malki Foundation in our daughter’s name and to raise money and distribute it very efficiently in a way that allows us to do a lot good. You can get the whole picture at the website of the Malki Foundation. But if you’re click-resistant, here’s the brief version.

For Israeli families (Jews, Christians, Moslems, Druze, others) who have a special-needs child like the little boy above being helped by his brother, we provide substantial subsidies to enable five kinds of therapy: physical, occupational, speech, water and horse-riding… The parents decide how much therapy, which therapies and which therapist. We aim to empower them, and certainly not to patronize or direct them. They get enough of that from the establishment.

We also provide long-term free loans of home-care equipment like beds, wheelchairs, walkers and standers. The goal, again, is to make home-care a real option for such families.

In a country which has some fine institutional solutions, we believe that home care is and always will be the best option for a child with serious disabilities. For those who agree (not everyone), we want to help in our murdered daughter’s name. We are doing this today for many hundreds of families with a special-needs child.

We have a blind, severely-disabled eleven year old child [update: she's now 17] at home (she attends a special school but sleeps at home) and came by our opinions the authentic way – by living the experience, by fighting the establishment and by learning how to work around the schlerosis in the system in order to do substantial good. And for those to whom this sort of statistic is important, nearly a third of the families we support month-in, month-out are Arab.

If you’re in a position to help us by making a 2006 fiscal-year donation [update: still very relevant in 2012], we can promise it will be honestly and effectively applied. And if you’re living in the United States, the UK or Israel, we can provide you with a tax-deduction for your contribution. Details here.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/this-ongoing-war/an-end-of-year-call-to-action/2012/12/18/

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