I bet I can convince you to change the way you give to charity…

By: Carly Friedman

A lot of people hold themselves back from donating because they really doubt the impact of their $50/month, when our parents are clearly donating more.

But let me tell you about the power of monthly micro-donations. Let me tell you about the power of giving authentically with real impact.

Through MyTzedakah, the average monthly donation is $100. We have some donors who give $360/month and some who give $10/month. Together, in 4 months through just word of mouth marketing, we’re making over $6,000 a month in recurring donations. That’s over $70,000 a year!

Imagine a world where no one scrolled past an Instagram post from MyTzedakah without doing something. Imagine if ONE THOUSAND millennials set up funds for $50/month each — that’s $50,000 a month. That’s $600,000/year. WOAH, that’s impact.

And for an organization like ours that has had absolutely zero canceled funds (a churn rate of 0 for you business people) — that’s some substantial, impactful fundraising.

$50/month is significantly less than your maaser requirements. $50 month is not a lot. Not for the average 30-something year old Jewish working professional:

$50 is two trips to a make-your-own-salad store. $50 is three beers and a tip at a bar. $50 is the price of a standard mani/pedi. $50 is cheaper than the average buy-in for fantasy leagues.

If you can spend $50 that easily on things you definitely DO NOT NEED, it should be just as easy to set it aside every month for those who desperately DO need it. If nonprofits knew they had that coming in consistently, imagine what kind of programming and planning they would be able to do!

And it’s never been more apparent how badly the nonprofit world needs to start shifting their fundraising goals towards monthly micro-donations. During Covid, nonprofits slashed their budgets, laid off their staff and had to provide fewer services.

The NYTimes had an amazing article that talked about this very thing:

So most pantries in the city operate through private funding. And there are these big question marks about how they’ll manage when the pandemic is expected to get even worse. In the past, before the pandemic, a lot of the pantries relied on big-time contributors who could give $100,000, $500,000 — a million dollars. And that money has kind of dried up. I talked to this one director. He’s been calling all of his big-time contributors. And they’re saying right now they don’t know what the stock market is going to do. So they don’t know what they’re going to be able to give. This is all really bad news for millions of New Yorkers who are getting in line these days, and tens of millions of people around the country who rely on pantries for their literal survival. You show up at a pantry and you wait for hours, and they might run out of food.

When you rely on a few major donors to sustain your organization, you are placing your existence on their ability to sustain their wealth. Covid taught us that this is a huge problem. If your benefactor usually gives you $500,000/year but the stock market is crashing, they will pull funding from your nonprofit FIRST. And then what do you do?

But micro-donors don’t pull their $18/month. For the most part, micro-donors can always afford their monthly giving, because it’s not a large, cumbersome and scary number — it’s not a dollar amount they can’t survive without.

I’ve worked in nonprofits so I can tell you firsthand that each organization spends months fundraising, just to get people to donate at the end of the year. All of those resources – time, (wo)man-power, money spent – just trying to make money so they can continue their programming, it’s a huge burden and a huge waste of talent. A school for special needs children shouldn’t be wasting their time begging us for money, they should be spending their time doing the work only they can do – taking special and unique care of these children.

So it’s my goal to get you all to change the way you think about your potential impact and change the way you give to charity — simply by giving what you can and actually providing more stability and security than those who give the large end of the year checks.

Research has shown that right now, the older generation donates more to charity in terms of dollars, but that MORE millennials donate to charity, even if they don’t donate as much. 84% of millennials currently give to charity. Sometimes people call us the entitled generation, or the sheep generation. But that’s clearly far from the truth: studies show that by 2042 millennials are expected to have inherited roughly $22trn. The Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy says there is the potential for this to cause a golden age for nonprofits, BUT, there is a caveat: nonprofits will only benefit from this golden era of wealth IF they start changing their methods, communication and transparency for the millennials generation now. Imagine a world where nonprofits care about us, as much as they care about our parents – if 84% of millennials donate now, when we don’t have as much money, imagine what will happen when we inherit $22 trillion dollars.

Our goal at MyTzedakah is to enable Jewish millennials to get into the habit of authentic, consistent and sustaining tzedakah giving, so when that transfer does happen, nonprofits can benefit from this golden age. We’ll be the generation to change the world. 100% of Jewish millennials will be donating meaningfully to charities, and there will be no such thing as relying on the top 5% of wealthy individuals to sustain the tzedakahs of the world – tzedakah giving will be a democracy, with all of us contributing what we can, impactfully.

What we’re creating here is something authentic. Something REAL. Something sorely missing in the Jewish philanthropic world.

And millennials are going to be the ones to change the game.

So, did I convince you? Create your automated monthly giving fund today: https://app.mytzedakah.com/


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