Frequently Asked Questions
For any further questions, please contact CFI by e-mail.
Is the Central Fund a charity registered in any other country besides the USA?
No. The Central Fund is a registered 501 c 3 only in the USA. We have no charitable status in Israel, Canada, the UK or anywhere else. We can accept donations from other countries but we are a charitable entity only in the USA.
How can one donate to the Central Fund?
Contributions are accepted preferably by check, and possible by wire transfers or by stock donations. Stock donations are sold immediately. We do not hold donors’ securities. We do not accept any other non-cash donations.
Does the Central Fund take a commission from the donations?
No. 100% of the donations go to charity. Overhead costs are covered by other means and by the volunteers themselves.
Is the Central Fund of Israel a donor advised fund?
No. The Central Fund of Israel was started in 1979 as a standard 501 c 3 USA charity.
Can a donor make a recommendation with their donation?
Yes. Many donations arrive with a recommendation. It is strongly suggested that the donor first checks with CFI about the recommended organization. This is in order to ensure that the organization adheres to the fund's charter and is within the IRS guidelines. Whereas all our program grants are ultimately decided by the Central Fund, we certainly take the wishes of the donors into account.
Does the Central Fund give grants to individuals?
No. The Central Fund only gives grants to non-profit entities.
Can someone make a donation recommended for tuition?
No. Giving tuition through a charity is illegal. Educational institutions do have scholarship funds for special cases, and as long as there is no relationship between the donor and the recipient, that type of donation is permissible. In addition, educational institutions also raise money for building funds and other activities and donating to those are acceptable.
Are there other restrictions for donations?
Yes. Whereas donors can recommend their donations for a charitable purpose, there can be no benefit to the donor for the donation. Donations for benefit tickets, dinners, events, goods purchased at an auction or lobbying/support for political campaigns are other examples of non-acceptable donations.
Is there a minimum amount for a donation?
There is no minimum for donations by checks.
What is the policy for receipts?
According to IRS rules, in order to qualify for a tax deduction one needs a receipt. Up to $250 dollars, the picture of the check received in the bank statement qualifies as a receipt. For donations of $250 dollars and above, the donor needs a special receipt from the charity, which states that “no goods or services were received by the donor for their donation”.
Therefore, the Central Fund receipts all donations of $250 and above.
How does the Central Fund send out their receipts?
The preferred, quickest and most efficient way is by e-mail. We encourage everyone to attach their e-mail address to their donation. Otherwise, receipts are sent by regular mail. In the near future we hope to gradually move over to only e-mail receipts.
Does the Central Fund have fundraising campaigns?
The Central Fund never solicits or advertises itself and exists to enable charitable donating in the most efficient way possible.
Does the Central Fund share the names of its donors with others?
Never. The Central Fund respects the privacy of its donors. If a donor requests help in order to find places that suit his/her needs in giving a donation, the Central Fund will try to assist them. Donors do not need to worry that we are selling or giving their names to others.
Does the Central Fund call its donors?
The Central Fund respects the privacy of its donors and does not contact them unless there is a question regarding their donation.
Does The Central Fund of Israel only give to specific types of charities?
No. We currently support charities in Israel in the following basic areas:
1) Humanitarian Aid
2) Community Projects
4) Religious Institutions
We are aiding over 300 charities which fit this model.
Does the Central Fund give grants outside of Israel?
Not generally. There are occasionally grants that are given to charities outside of Israel as long as the cause benefits the people or the land of Israel.
At times it has been suggested in different platforms in the media that the CFI supports only specific causes.
The CFI supports all charitable causes that promotes the needs of the people of Israel or the land of Israel. Jewish, Christian and Muslim populations are all beneficiaries of such programs, as long as they are within the parameters of our charter. The CFI does not discriminate against anyone based on sex, age, race or religion.
Is it illegal to give charity in Israel over the pre-1967 border?
The Central Fund has documents from the IRS, the State Department and U.S. Senators confirming that it is permissible to give charity in areas of the State of Israel and those under Israeli administration.