“Tzedakah (charity) and acts of kindness are the equivalent of all the mitzvot [laws] of the Torah.” — Jerusalem Talmud, Pe’ah 1:1
Giving is universal. Almost every culture and religion includes a strong mandate for people to provide for those less fortunate than themselves.
At Daffy, it has been inspiring to see how many members live aspects of their faith by giving. We see some members who tithe regularly to their churches, while others practice zakat and sadaqah during Ramadan. Each of these acts not only teaches us about various forms of charity, but also helps us in our efforts to build a new platform for giving.
In Jewish tradition, Tzedakah, derived from the word that means “fairness” or “righteousness”, makes charitable giving one of the core responsibilities of the faith. This concept is one of the main influences that led us to build Daffy.
From the day Daffy launched, we have seen incredible adoption and support from the Jewish community. However, one early complaint really stuck with me. Most donor-advised funds have a high minimum donation size, like $100, but we wanted to set ours lower to help fulfill our mission to help more people give, more often. As a result, we set ours to $20.
What was the complaint? In Jewish tradition, the number 18 (”Chai”) is considered a lucky number for giving because it means “life,” and our service didn’t allow people to give this culturally desirable gift. We quickly modified our minimum, but this feedback got us thinking.
Inside every complaint is an opportunity to better understand your product and the people who use it. At Daffy, we decided to think more deeply about how we could leverage insights from different communities to both encourage our members to give and teach others about how and why they give.
Giving the Gift of Chai
Today, just in time for the Jewish High Holy Days, we are proud to announce that we’ve brought a little more Chai into our service.
As of today, when any Daffy member goes to donate to a Jewish charity, they will not only be able to give $18, but helpful buttons will appear to make it easy to give multiples of $18, $180, and $1800. Since the special meaning of $18 is not known to many outside of the Jewish community, we’ve also added a prompt for all Jewish charities that explain the special meaning and encourage gifts. This way any Daffy member can participate in this tradition when supporting Jewish organizations.
We’ve also made it a lot of fun to smash those buttons.
For many people, choosing the right amount to give to a charity is a difficult problem, and it’s even more difficult when the organization comes from a different culture. We want to make it easier for our Jewish members to give, and help educate and encourage our non-Jewish members when they give to Jewish organizations.
Inspiring Each Other to Give
One of the most wonderful things about Daffy is that we’re a community based on a simple idea, a vision of a world where everyone puts money aside regularly for those less fortunate than themselves. Daffy can help bring together people from a wide variety of cultures and experiences, and hopefully, we can all learn a little bit from each other about how and why we give to the causes and organizations we care about.
We know there are many different ways people give and would love to not only honor those traditions but share those with others. Daffy will never be just another financial service because giving is deeply personal. We hope that by learning more from different communities about how they give, we can design these ideas into our product to help inspire and educate each other.
If you have a special tradition in your religion, community, or family — we’d love for you to tell us about it.
Let’s inspire each other to be more generous, more often.
Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday!)
PS The CH in “Chai” is pronounced similarly to the “ch” in Scottish (loch) or German (nacht), or sometimes the way jota is pronounced in Spanish. Transliteration is always a little rough…