Remember when you sent that $18 donation to that obscure charity in memory of an old acquaintance? If you’re like me, then I’m guessing that you don’t remember.
Well, good news—those charities remember us. To make sure that they would remember us, they put us into their databases and onto their mailing lists. They may have even sold our information to data collectors for further sale to other charities that now remember us without ever having met us. (Note: Federation would never do this.)
And starting around Thanksgiving every year, all these charities inundate our physical and electronic mailboxes with requests for our support. Why not? We already have showed them our philanthropic intent.
As generous people, we have some work to do this time every year in sorting through all the requests and making some decisions. Which organizations deserve our support?
Some organizations deserve our gratitude. They educated us. They nurtured us during our formative years. They take care of our children. They take care of our parents. They have supported us during special or difficult times in our lives. We want to help ensure that these organizations continue to do for others what they have done for us.
Some organizations allow us to help those less fortunate. Thank you for feeding, clothing, educating, and supporting those who need our help.
Some organizations have missions that align with our values: building and maintaining a strong and united Jewish community; boosting Zionism; supporting world Jewry; fighting antisemitism; liaising with law enforcement; building interfaith relationships; developing leadership; and engaging with all.
Of course, there are countless other worthy charities out there as well.
So, before 2022 comes to a close, let’s sit with our checkbooks and credit cards, sift through our stacks of requests, and help make the world a better place.
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