Tzedakah, Sadaka, Dāna, Charity: Traditions in Giving

Tzedakah, Sadaka, Dāna, Charity: Traditions in Giving

Over the past 10 days Jews around the world, myself included, observed the High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. During these days, I along with countless others, turned our thoughts towards Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and Tzedakah (charity). Between the trio of powerful hurricanes that ripped through the Caribbean and the southeastern United States, powerful earthquakes devastating neighboring Mexico, and the ongoing struggles of poverty, poaching, and refugees in central Africa, there is no shortage of need around the world. As I reflected on my own faith traditions of helping those in need, I was prompted to think about what other faith traditions say about charitable giving, especially during their highest holy days. Uniting Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism (amongst other things) is charitable giving. Here are some thoughts on charitable giving from these traditions: For Christians, the role of charity is first built on teachings in the Hebrew Bible. However, in addition to Hebrew teachings of performing mitzvahs are lessons in the New Testament. Jesus’s parables and actions also speak to the morality of charitable sentiments. The Gospel of Luke, for example, notes “love thy neighbor as thyself” and asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” The lesson is that we are interconnected, everyone is my neighbor and thus all should be considered.    Buddhists also see the interdependence of all things and have an awareness of the helplessness of those less fortunate. Practicing selflessness in this way is thought to increase one’s own merit and is also seen as an antidote to greed. Giving is an expression of the natural qualities of kindness and compassion....
Santa Fe Community Foundation celebrates 35 years

Santa Fe Community Foundation celebrates 35 years

Santa Fe Community Foundation celebrates 35 years The foundation builds and manages charitable funds established by individual donors, families, and organizations. It also serves the philanthropic sector of New Mexico by training nonprofits in effective collaboration, defining board and staff roles and preaching community philanthropy. Read more...
Cycling Advocacy Veterans Seeking to Secure Their Legacy Look to Planned Giving as a Viable Tool

Cycling Advocacy Veterans Seeking to Secure Their Legacy Look to Planned Giving as a Viable Tool

The Active Transportation Alliance partnered with The Advise Us Fund to offer expanded giving options to donors. This new partnership will go a long way in supporting Active Trans in its future development and planned giving efforts. Chicago, IL, June 23, 2016 –(PR.com)— Cycling advocacy has deep roots going back more than 40 years. As such, the early pioneers of this movement are looking to secure the future of the cycling movement through planned giving and major gifts and bequests. This shift in development strategy balances traditional annual giving and long-term planned giving to meet the needs of cycling advocates looking to secure the legacy of their life’s work. The Active Transportation Alliance partnered with The Advise Us Fund to offer expanded giving options to donors. This new partnership will go a long way in supporting Active Trans in its future development and planned giving efforts. Recognizing that both organizations work to achieve a similar goal, Active Trans is proud to partner with The Advise Us Fund. “The sustainable transportation movement has reached a new level of maturity,” said Ron Burke, Active Trans Executive Director. “Establishing a long-term giving program for the organization is a natural development for us as we grow and evolve. And we’re thrilled to be teaming up with The Advise Us Fund in pursuit of this goal.” Furthering this partnership, “We work toward matching the interest of donors to the needs of the organization and providing outcomes to help them enhance the difference they are making.” said Amy Roy, Charitable Catalyst and Managing Director of The Advise Us Fund. “We look forward to bringing our expertise...
Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Giving to a Charity

Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Giving to a Charity

Your wallet, your heart and your head must all be open when donating to a charity. The first two are easy: you either have the passion and the funds or you don’t. However, the latter requires you to ask yourself five important questions to give wisely to a reputable charity.   What truly interests you? A charitable heart can be pulled in many directions but it takes mindfulness to identify the organizations that are most meaningful to you. Take time reading the mission statements and understanding a charity’s goals so that they mirror your unique values, not just a cause that is universally good.   Do you want to give to a general fund or a specific program? Like any investment, you want to make sure that your dollars go a long way. Instead of a Return on Investment, concentrate on your ROG, or Return on Giving. Determine “multipliers” for your donation and figure that in the rate of return. For example, a $100 donation to an organization could make your community $200 richer, or a $100 donation could enable volunteerism. A day’s work by a volunteer that would replace professional services charging, say, $50 for eight hours, is a $300 net on your $100 donation. Set goals for the outcomes of your donation and identify charities that give the best ROG.   Will your donation be tax deductible? You may also want to take advantage of tax breaks. Part of your research of charities should involve a visit to the IRS website to search its database of organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. Keep in mind, this...