Friday, 20 January 2012

How Giving are these Amutot?

Do you receive requests in the mail from Charitable organizations asking for assistance. Do you get phone calls from various charities asking for assistance?

We decided to do a little test and the result is quite alarmning. We tried calling a few to ask how someone receives assistance. We tried one organization that helps Orphans and Widows. Amazingly they can not answer as to what the process is for one to receive help. We tried asking two that called us stating they help Avreichim (those who learn in Kollel) with a monthly assistance so that they can learn Torah in Kollel. "Sounds good, we said, how does an Avreich receive help?" Amazingly they could not answer.

We have tried this test with quite a few organizations and decided this is our new method to check out if an organization is real before we decide to donate.

Try it yourself. Next time you receive a flier or envelope from a charitable organiztion in Israel requesting your Maaser money, find out how much they really help others. It is easy to write a tear jerker story, but if an Orphan or Oleh or Avreich or other needy Jew turns to them for help, do they really assist? Do they know  the process?

We manage a few Mitzvah Projects and hence from personal experience know very well what the process is. If someone asks who we help, we have certain criteria, a screening interview and process to assist. If a Charitable organization can not answer for you what the process is to receive, then the question is do they really help or are they just taking advantage of their Amuta for their own gain.

Try it yourself. Next time you receive an appeal for help, before you send in a check or give your credit card details, call and ask how to receive help. If you are given the run around or put on hold or disconnected / hung up on, will your donation really go where you want it to?

Next time you are called by one of these charities, ask them the method to receive help. Ask them if they have a website and take a look. Is the method to receive help clear? Is there even an option given or are there only options to give to them but that they dont need to give to others?

There are organizations that are real. Make sure your donation goes where you intend it to. Do this simple test and then donate generously to those who really do help. For the others, if they can not explain to you how one in need applies for help, then I question if they actually help at all.

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