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Jewish tradition strongly encourages us to give generously. But our sages also want us to give smart. Maimonides teaches that “tzedakah should be preformed with more care than any other positive commandment.” The authoritative Shulchan Aruch rules that “A person should not contribute to a tzedakah fund unless he knows that its management is reliable and knows how to conduct the fund properly.”
Donors have a right and responsibility to know about the organizations to which they contribute and charities have a reciprocal responsibility to be transparent. Tzedakah, Inc.’s Jewish Nonprofits in the Sunshine (JNS) is designed to help achieve these dual objectives. Jewish Nonprofits in the Sunshine (JNS) program makes it easy for donors to learn about participating charities in depth. We congratulate participating organizations for their extraordinary transparency and accountability. Only about ten percent of the charities we have approached have completed all our disclosure requitrements.
JNS looks at charities from four sides: (1) Mission and activities, (2) External recognition,(3) Leadership and governance, and (4) Financial and human resources. For each participating organization, we put the information on our website in a compact, easy to read profile that is available free of charge. Click here for a list of organizations that have met the disclosure Standards of the JNS program, and links to their profiles. A five or 10 minute review of one of our profiles will give you the information we suggest donors have before making giving decisions.
So far only a handful of organizations in the United States and Israel are participating in JNS. There are two reasons. First, as we have already noted, the overwheloming majority of charities approached have chosen not to participate. Second, this is a new program and Tzedakah, Inc. has very limited resources. It will take time to identify those organizations who are eager to share information about themselves.
We can suggest two ways to learn more. You can click here to see our pamphlet Smart Tzedakah: How to Evaluate Charities Before You Give Or you can dive right and view one or two profiles by clicking on this link. You’ll see a list of charities. Each one has a link to its profile labeled “full profile available.” Profiles are rich in context sensitive help pop ups. Just click on the nearest question mark whenever you need help in understanding an item.
(1) Encourage Jewish charities that solicit funds from you to participate in JNS. (2) If you’re the leader of a Jewish charity, be sure to look into participation. Donors want to know about your organization before they give. Click here for the application form (3) Contribute to Tzedakah, Inc. We have very limited resuorces. Any contribution will help us get the word out. Click to make a donation.
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