Matzav Shmooze: Are We In A GoFundMe Crisis?

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Dear Matzav Shmooze,

Has there been a recent financial crisis that the media isn’t reporting? Why is it that every day there is another fundraiser being passed around Whatsapp and every one of them with their own cheshbon why their campaign is unique, unprecedented, historic etc.? A few years ago, the shidduch crisis was all the rage with too many single girls to match up with the single boys. Now there is a GoFundMe crisis – too many fundraisers to match up to all the dollars!

How were yeshivos built before GoFundMe existed?

I appreciate the importance of giving tzeddaka but is it yashrus for every organization to send their members to nag their friends and family to guilt them into giving another $18 to some mosdos they probably never even heard of.

I have my own schools I want to support and my own organizations I enjoy helping out. But making every fundraiser a do-or-die countdown for double or triple donations makes it much them more difficult to turn down and leaves less to go around.

Besides for not being yashrus the method is also unsustainable. If everyone turns their campaign into an emergency the will stop working, the whole idea will be overdone and real emergencies will lose out. I feel bad for any mosdos that loses out on some gvir’s offer of doubling their donations just because they came late to the game and can’t raise the right amount.

Can we all just take it down a few notches and not turn every minor ordeal into an EMERGENCY campaign? For sake of my mind and my wallet. Thank you.

Calling for moderation


  1. I am always amazed when people complain about Tzedakah campaigns of any kind. Did someone put a gun to your head? Is anyone forcing you to contribute? Complaining for the sake of complaining!!!

    • There are two points here, one point is “LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY” and on that I share your amazement.

      However, there is another point here which warrants attention, that the emergency moniker and the “do or die” campaigns are being overused which will lead (and possibly already has begun) to the jading of people’s feelings in regard to these campaigns (similar to how many people throw out tzedakah letters without opening them) and at that point only people with direct knowledge of the recipients or the few very noble people that can bring themselves to connect with every campaign will give.

      And klal yisroel will have one less tool for major emergencies

  2. Yes there is a crisis with regards to GoFundMe and the rest. However, there is a huge problem with people and mosdos that need money. More so on the people side than the Mosdos. מרובים צרכי עמך, and there are other ways to fix or greatly reduce these needs and problems. In addition, we are Rachmonim and feel for each other (on some level) and these funding sites prey on our emotions, and seem to work to some level.

  3. Yessss!!! ive been thinking this for a good few months!!
    Every young shmoiger wants to run for this or bike for that, enough. no one can afford to support everything

  4. If you don’t want to help or contribute that’s your choice, BUT why discourage others???

    And why publish everyone’s garbage.

    Did you ask daas torah if you can publish this??

    Who has the stupidity to take it upon themselves to discourage others from doing mitzvos?

  5. You dont have to donate is not a great answer. As klal Yisroel are Rachmonim, it is on some level increasing the likelyhood of guilt, possibly even giving what you dont have etc. So a physical gun to your head? NO. But an emotion gun, possibly.

  6. people can afford to give more,

    the problem is people do not want to part with their money!!!

    How many ppl actually give maser 10% of their income?

    If you would understand that the more money one gives the more you will get back in return, the attitude would be alot different!!!

    • I think you are gravely mistaken. I think most people want to give and in actuality give more. The difference is that some of the maaser goes to tuition. If I can only reasonably afford $6k per child but my school is demanding $8k, I was told by my Rav that the additional 2k can be out of maaser. And I know others giving far into 4 digits of maaser money this way.

    • what people do with their maaser is their business. it is a custom. not mandatory. stoping looking at people and assuming what exactly they gave!

  7. I fully agree!. It has become extremely annoying and family members not realizing they are doing something wrong by being pushy…. and getting insulted when the answer is no thx.

  8. The way I look at it if everyone gave $2 or $3 for example it will add up very quickly for the fundraiser. No one is asking you to give $18 each time. Give a few dollars and if everyone does this it will add up. Now if you personally know the organization in question then of course you can give more.

  9. this is reposted from

    If you can’t contribute then don’t, but please don’t try to discourage those who need financial help from asking for it.
    Personally, I’m far from wealthy (I get tuition breaks, wear well-worn clothing and shoes, haven’t eaten out so much as a hamburger in months and so on), yet I’ll occasionally scrape together a few dollars to contribute after reading an appeal like this one. It won’t be much – maybe $5, $10 or $18 – yet even sums like those can add up.
    Furthermore, there are people who b”H have greater financial means and are willing to help. Just look at some of the appeals where contributors are listed – among the $5 donations are some in the hundreds and some in the thousands, even.
    I feel bad – even guilty sometimes – that I can’t help all those who ask, but c”v that we should discourage appeals from those in dire need, whether that need is due to health, parnassa, a shidduch or any other worthwhile request.

  10. You are correct that every campaign has turned into an emergency. However, this is the way to collect tzedoko in this day and age. The cost of running an online campaign is a fraction of the mass mailings that I used to receive years ago. Three quarters of the mail I used to receive was from tzedoko organizations. Now I receive much less.

  11. Kudos to the poster.

    The point is very legitimate and the writer is quite on target.

    The ones protesting so vociferously may be people who are running such campaigns.

  12. Get a job! If you empty out half of each Kollel and encourage the boys who should not be there living off of others to be productive, you would eliminate all of these tzedaka campaigns.

  13. The Gemorah explains a contradiction between psokim

    Efes ki lo yeah bcah evyon


    Ki lo yechtel evyon

    Rather than complain about being on the giving side why don’t you recognize in a nano second you could be on the needy side?!


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