TZEDAKAH See also "Money Collecting; Sales; Fundraisers"
Years ago, before I had transitioned to Reform, I was taken aback at being handed a tzedakah envelope with my siddur on Shabbat. We talked about that once at [our congregation], but instead placed a tzedakah box prominently in the corridor on the way to the sanctuary. An announcement is made of this month's beneficiary, but there is no specific request to put money in the pushke tonight. So those for whom handling money on Shabbat is not a problem can contribute--those for whom it is don't have to, and don't have to be offended at its being requested.
In my former congregation, for the twenty some years I was a member we always had a tzedakah collection following Friday night services. The chosen charity would be announced during the service. The ushers stood at the doors holding baskets and people would put in whatever they pleased--this was also done on the High Holidays.
In my present congregation, this practice would bring forth cries of horror. But as a result we do not have a method for collecting tzedakah as a group. The board has a line item in the budget for giving to community groups, but it's not very much money.