Anonymous giving – Maimonides Levels of Giving

Cover article today in the Oregonian was about a $40 million dollar anonymous donation to Oregon Health Science University to help with buildings on our waterfront.

My husband who is currently employed at this University and I spoke about such an incredibly generous and anonymous gift. I was curious if the donor would still receive the IRS benefits of the gift. My husband’s reply was yes the donation is anonymous to the public but not to the IRS.

Thought this was a perfect time to share the ideas of levels of giving charity. There are in Judaism higher levels based on how tzedakah (charity) it is given.

The levels of charity, from the least meritorious to the most meritorious according to Maimonides, one of the greatest medieval Jewish scholars are:

  1. Giving begrudgingly
  2. Giving less that you should, but giving it cheerfully.
  3. Giving after being asked
  4. Giving before being asked
  5. Giving when you do not know the recipient’s identity, but the recipient knows your identity
  6. Giving when you know the recipient’s identity, but the recipient doesn’t know your identity
  7. Giving when neither party knows the other’s identity
  8. Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant
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4 thoughts on “Anonymous giving – Maimonides Levels of Giving”

  1. Hello, Linda,
    Arnie Draiman, as you can see from above, is Ziv’s Representative in Israel, and he sent me the URL for your blog, which I am enjoying immensely.
    When I started way back in January 1975, who could have imagined something as wonderful as this?
    I would like to send you some recent materials on Tzedakah I have put together – texts and readings. If you send me your e-mail address, I can send them as PDF attachments.
    Yasher Koach, Big time.

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