For donations Click Here

Unused Charity Funds

Rav Shimon wants to take his class of 20 kids on a trip. He books a trip to a water park including lunch through a tour company. Rav Shimon gets some funding through a third party organization to pay for the lunch. The tour company books the water park and give Rav Shimon 21 vouchers to a bagel store in the area(for him and the students). Rav Shimon pays the tour company the amount for the water park and the third party pays the amount for the 21 lunch vouchers. On the day of the trip only 18 boys end up coming so at the end of the day Rav Shimon is left with two vouchers. What is to be done with these vouchers? Can he use them for his own use or do they need to be returned and if so to who?

*Note: the way that the vouchers work is that the store at the end of a certain amount of time bills the tour company for all the vouchers that were “cashed” without details of who cashed it. Because of this the tour company’s policy is that they charges the third party the full amount for all 21 vouchers (the amount they ordered) regardless of how many where used at the end.


The vouchers should be used for their intended purpose, and therefore used on a future class trip or for students as a reward for something earned in school.


SHulchan Aruch Y:D 253:6-7 duscusse 2 scenarios: one where money for a certain cause was raised and it brought in extra funds. Here the rule is it should be used for the same cause in the future. ANother case is when the money was raised for a specific recipient, who then n longer needs the funds. Here the halacha is the money should be returned, as we assume it was only give on the condition it was needed by the beneficiary. It would seem our case is similar to case 1. The donor wanted to help out students and encourage them by providing recreational activities. So if possible it should be used for this cause in the future.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *