Righteous Crowd is a micro-giving platform that engages the Jewish community in supporting small, impactful not-for-profit organizations.
For years, our family has been passionate about small, innovative not-for-profits. Discovering these lesser known organizations was one of the things that drew us to the Slingshot community in the first place. Each year, with great anticipation, we would look forward to the Slingshot Guide, wondering which organizations were doing the most exciting and innovative work in the Jewish community. Inspired by the work of Slingshot, our family has launched a platform that connects the Jewish community to small and innovative not-for-profits doing exceptional work. We crowdfund $1/day from our members, and each week, distribute the collective funds to a different organization. We call it Righteous Crowd.
In 2014, one of the founders of Kickstarter launched a website called “Dollar a Day,” raising (you guessed it!) a dollar a day to support various organizations. A lightbulb went off. Could there be a Jewish version of Dollar a Day? What could that look like? So we started laying the groundwork for Righteous Crowd. Ours would be different. Instead of asking our members to support 365 organizations with $1/day, we would feature one organization per week. $1/day, 52 organizations per year. And, of course, consistent with our family values of tzedakah and learning, we’d put a Jewish twist on it.
Fast forward to 2019 and Righteous Crowd is here. The world of philanthropy can feel daunting at times--there are so many causes and organizations to support. What causes do you care about? Who is doing a good job? How do you choose? And as a young person, typically giving smaller amounts, it can be even harder to feel like you are making a difference. This is why we created Righteous Crowd.
With Righteous Crowd, we want to make it easy for people to discover great not-for-profits by turning tzedakah into a subscription “crowd-giving” service. Think of Righteous Crowd as your philanthropy starter pack--for less than the price of a SoulCycle class a month, you can support 52 different organizations and causes throughout the year. We do the research, facilitate all the donations, and cover all administrative costs--that means 100% of your donation goes to the recipient organizations themselves.
The organizations we feature are small (sub $5M budgets), support people in need, and are local, national, or international in their work. Our members are also now part of a powerful network. The more members we have, the more money we can collectively give!
Not all of the recipient organizations of Righteous Crowd are Jewish (a lot are), but we tie all the organizations to the Jewish calendar--either that week’s Jewish holiday or Torah portion. Imagine giving to a homeless organization over Sukkot (a holiday celebrated by building temporary dwellings) or a modern anti-slavery organization when the Torah tells of Jews being slaves in Egypt. We’ve always loved discovering new organizations in the Slingshot Guide, and through Righteous Crowd, we want people to not only discover small, exciting organizations, but learn how the work they are doing reflects Jewish values and even Jewish history.
In that spirit, every Friday before Shabbat, we send out an email highlighting that week’s not-for-profit our community has funded. In addition to explaining the organization and how it’s connected Jewishly, we feature an interview with someone affiliated with the organization--the Founder, Executive Director, Board Member, Volunteer, whomever. We aim to give our community a quick, but meaningful overview of the organization. We know the email is something Righteous Crowd members look forward to discussing with friends and family at their Shabbat dinner tables.
We hope you will find many reasons to join Righteous Crowd, but here are some of our favorites:
- Saves you time and effort from researching best-in-class organizations worthy of funding.
- Transforms your small donations into meaningful, collective giving.
- Surfaces lesser-known organizations that might not be on your radar.
- Incorporates Jewish history and teachings into modern day giving.
In our first 3+ months we have:
- signed up more than 150 members
- raised more to $70,000 in annualized giving
- distributed more than $15,000
- supported 16 amazing organizations
In the very short time since we launched, Righteous Crowd has changed and enhanced the meaning of Tzedakah in our lives. Just like with a Slingshot Fund, our giving has now expanded to include our networks and peers and we have been able to broaden the organizations we support. The power of community becomes apparent each week as this Righteous “Crowd” comes together to make a difference in people’s lives.
It may have taken close to five years to put the idea of Righteous Crowd into action, but these first three months have been well worth the wait. We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of our community and their willingness to participate. And we are so excited to continue to grow the community and make giving tzedakah an easy, meaningful experience.
~The Schilit Family
Founders of Righteous Crowd