Giving a Dollar a Day
A new Jewish website allows people to easily donate tzedakah each and every day.
A new movement that is rapidly gaining ground gives people a chance to perform a mitzvah every day.
“Imagine if every single morning you wake up, and you’ve already done one mitzvah,” Dr. Jonathan Donath, the co-founder of DailyGiving.org, recently said in an Aish.com interview (he and his family are in the above photo). No matter what else happens that day, you can be assured that at least one good deed was being performed because of you, and that you’d already fulfilled the crucial Jewish mitzvah of tzedakah, giving charity.
DailyGiving.org donors sign up to donate a dollar (or two or more if they choose to give for each person in their family) every day to charity. Due to the way credit card fees are structured, donors are billed either monthly or yearly, but each day, one dollar from their donations is distributed to a different Jewish organization in the United States or Israel.
“100% of all donations are given to the charities,” explains Dr. Donath. He and the board that runs DailyGiving.org are all volunteers and take no salaries. The groups they donate to are all non-profits who help people on a national level.
The idea started several months ago. “I’d just listened to a class about how much every seemingly little mitzvah matters,” recalled Dr. Donath, "when I went to put a dollar into our shul's tzedakah box. As I looked at the dollar, I suddenly viewed it in a different way. It doesn’t matter how much I already give to tzedakah – I still get a mitzvah every time I give a dollar.” Dr. Donath wondered if there was a way he could “guarantee myself this mitzvah every single day for a buck.”
He searched for any organizations that help people pledge charity every day but found nothing. Dr. Donath was determined to act, realizing that gathering together many people’s $1 donations could make a big difference.
Dr. Donath assembled a board and approached some of the most prominent rabbinical authorities in the United States for guidance. In January 2019, DailyGiving.org was registered as a 501c(3) charity in the United States and went live, helping people to donate a dollar a day to a diverse range of charities.
DailyGiving.org supports 36 organizations dedicated to alleviating poverty, to helping those with special needs, helping the elderly and children, and education. “There are so many tzedakahs out there,” Dr. Donath noted. His group only helps support organizations that are national in scope and that have low operating budgets.
A brief sample of recent donations includes Pantry Packers, an Israeli charity that donates crates of food to some of Israel’s poorest citizens each month; Sharsheret, a national US group that supports women diagnosed with breast cancer; Yachad, an international group dedicated to helping people with disabilities; and many others.
So far they have given out over $60,000 and over $160,000 has been pledged.
Donors appreciate the peace of mind that comes from knowing that each day they have donated charity and performed at least one mitzvah. One woman explained that she signed up in the merit of her sick child who is bedridden and unable to perform many of the functions that most of us take for granted. She felt great that her child could now participate in the central Jewish mitzvah of giving charity each and every day.
Other contributors have given funds in honor of other people or in memory of loved ones who’ve passed away.
Dr. Donath sends a welcome email to each new contributor, enabling him to make a personal connection. DailyGiving.org once received a particularly large daily pledge and Dr. Donath called to verify the donation and ensure that they could afford it. The donors in question knew what they were doing; they decided to make DailyGiving.org their primary vehicle for charitable giving.
DailyGiving.org is helping people realize that even relatively small amounts of money can make a big difference. “A dollar a day is doable for many people. It's less than what many pay for a cup of coffee," Dr. Donath said. "And giving each day trains you to work on yourself.”
As more and more donors sign up with DailyGiving.org, this seemingly small amount of charity is primed to make a significant impact for thousands of Jews around the world.
For more information about DailyGiving.org or to sign up, visit www.dailygiving.org.