This site does not endorse the following Watchtower quotes. They are simply presented to show what Watchtower teaches regarding the topic.
Charities and Relief Funds
Jehovah's Witnesses are discouraged from donating to charitable organisations, with Watchtower articles describing them as corrupt and ineffective. Information about charities is generally confined to reports about misuse of funds and the creation of "rice Christians." Watchtower justifies its' stance by claiming preaching and conversion is the only strategy with long term benefits.
If a Witness would like to donate towards disaster relief it recommended they donate to a Watchtower fund to oversee distribution of the money. This money is used almost entirely for assisting Jehovah's Witnesses.
Watchtower 2021 May p.7
"People may also feel that we should build schools and hospitals as well as perform other charitable works. They are stumbled because we focus our effort on the preachign work, not on solving the world's immediate problems. ... Never should we become distracted by the political and social issues of this world."
Watchtower 2017 May p.7
"Like the neighborly Samaritan in Jesus’ illustration, we want to help suffering people, including those who are not Witnesses. (Luke 10:33-37) The best way to do so is by sharing the good news with them. “It is important to make clear right away that we are Jehovah’s Witnesses and that our primary mission is to help them spiritually, not materially,” notes an elder who has helped many refugees. “Otherwise, some may associate with us only for personal advantage.”"
Kingdom Ministry 2005 Jan Canada Edition p.7 Question Box
"What is the best way to make contributions for the benefit of needy brothers in other lands? At times, we hear about brothers in another land who have come into material need because of persecution, disaster, or other difficult circumstances. Some brothers have been moved to send funds directly to the branch offices in such lands, requesting that the money be used to help a certain individual, a particular congregation, or a designated building project. -- 2 Cor. 8:1-4. While such loving concern for fellow believers is commendable, often there are needs that are more urgent than those that the contributor has in mind. In come cases, the designated need has already been cared for. Of course, we can be confident that when contributions are sent to the local branch office for the worldwide work, the Kingdom Hall Fund, or disaster relief, those donated funds will be used as directed by the contributor. The brothers in all the branches have been thoroughly trained to respond quickly to unanticipated needs. In all cases, the branch keeps the Governing Body informed regarding the matter. If additional assistance is needed, the Governing Body may invite nearby branches to help or funds may be sent directly from headquarters. 2 Cor. 8:14, 15. Therefore, all contributions intended for the worldwide work, building projects in other lands, or disaster relief should be sent to the branch office in the land in which you live, either through the congregation or directly. In this way, 'the faithful and discreet slave,' through the organizational arrangement set in place by the Governing Body, cares for the needs of the worldwide brotherhood in an orderly manner. -- Matt. 24:45-47; 1 Cor. 14:33, 40.
Watchtower 2003 June 1 p.7 Giving That Pleases God
"When it comes to organized charity, though, we need to be cautious as we evaluate the many appeals we receive .There is a kind of giving that is even more important than charity. Jesus alluded to this when a rich young ruler asked what he had to do to get everlasting life. Jesus told him: "Go sell your belongings and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven, and come be my follower." (Matthew 19:16-22) Notice that Jesus did not just say, 'Give to the poor and you will get life.' Instead, he added, "Come be my follower." In other words, as commendable and beneficial as charitable acts are, Christian discipleship involves more. Jesus' chief interest was in helping others spiritually."
Watchtower 1969 May 1 p.280
"If there is any material giving, to charities for instance, it is because there is need to salve a conscience, or because one's reputation is at stake."