The Build a Tzedakah Fund allows young people (sometimes at a Bar/Bat Mitzvah age) to take the responsibility of performing the mitzvah (the act of giving charity. From the Hebrew word tzadik, meaning righteous or justice) of tzedakah (a commandment or a good deed) by establishing their own charitable fund, forever.
Distributions may be recommended to any qualified 501(c) (3) organization that is a U.S. public charity. The annual distribution is determined by the Foundation's spending policy. The Jewish Foundation charges a 1% annual administrative fee on all funds. Fund distributions may only be for charitable purposes. As required by the IRS, the Jewish Foundation has legal control over all donations to the fund.
The cost to establish a personalized Build a Tzedakah Fund is $1,000. Your commitment of $600 (payable over 3 years) is matched by $400 from an anonymous donor.
It works like this: Bar or Bat Mitzvah contributes $600 and a generous community donor provides $400, which brings the fund to $1,000. The fund can be in the child's name or it can be named after or in honor of loved ones. Friends and family can add to the fund at any time or at special occasions or milestones, such as birthdays, highschool graduation, or college admission. As the fund grows, there will be more funds available for distribution every year.
The Jewish Foundation will invest the fund, track additions and process your charitable recommendations. Each year, at Hannukah time, the Jewish Foundation will send you an annual summary of your fund's activity and ask you which charitable organizations you want to support.