Administrators of tzedakah funds can have a greater merit than the contributors themselves:
One who can cause others to give has a greater reward than the giver. Shulchan Aruch 249:5
But adminstrators have a responsibility to conduct themselves so that they are above suspicion. There are two biblical verses that our sages take as evidence of this requirement, even for administrators known to be trustworthy and reliable.
The more general is as follows:
And the land will be conquered before HaShem, and afterward you will return, and you shall be clean [of your duty] before HaShem and Israel, and this land will be your property before HaShem. Numbers 32:22
As a result of that text, halacha places numerous restrictions on tzedakah adminstrators to be sure they remain above suspicion. The classic source may be found in the tractate P’sachim:
We learn in a braisa: if there are no poor, tzedakah administrators must exchange the tzedakah’s excess coins with others and not with themselves, if there are no poor to feed, administrators of soup kitchens must sell any excess food to others and not to themselves, as it is said “and you shall be clean [of suspicion] before HaShem and Israel.” Pesachim 13a
Note that the plain meaning of the Biblical source text refers to Moses’ arrangement with the tribes who wanted to settle east of the Jordan and apparently has nothing to do with tzedakah administrator’s behavior. Moses says to the tribes: after you have fought along side the rest of the tribes of Israel and the land is conquered you can return to the east bank and you will have fulfilled [be clean of] your duty to HaShem and Israel. Remarkably, our sages, learn that moderns entrusted with community tzedakah funds should remain clear of suspicion from a phrase whose surface meaning refers to tribes of ancient Israelites being clear of their responsibilites to the rest of the nation.
The second verse regarding the behavior of tzedakah administrators relates specifically to the issue of providing an accounting for funds held in their trust:
These are the accounts of the tabernacle, the tabernacle of Testimony, that were made at the direction of Moshe, the work of the Levi’im, by the hand of Isamar son of Aharon, the Cohen. Exodus 38:21
In that verse, our sages find support for tzedakah administrators to provide an accounting for the tzedakah funds they hold.
From here we learn that even though reliable tzedakah administrators are not tightly supervised, it is good that they give an accounting as we have found with Moses our teacher who gave an accounting of the contributions to the tabernacle, as it is said “These are the accounts of the tabernacle…” Torah Temima quoting the Bach Yoreh De’ah 257.
However, while it is laudable for those entrusted with tzedakah funds to give an accounting, trustworthy administrators are not required to do so.
The rabbis taught in a baraisa that there is no accounting made for funds held by tzedakah administrators nor for temple funds held by temple treasurers. And even though there is no proof, there is an implied reference for the matter, as it is said, “And they would not account with the men to whom they gave the money for the workers because they act honestly.” II Kings 12:16, Baba Basra 9a
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