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Maimonides defines nine levels in giving charity (Tzedakah):
Giving assistance to a someone who has fallen on hard times by presenting a gift or loan, or entering into a partnership with the person, or finding them work, thereby helping that person to become self supporting.
Giving assistance in such a way that the giver and recipient are unknown to each other.
Donations to the community charities, which should only be done if there is confidence that the charity is administered in an honest, prudent, and efficient fashion.
Donations when the donor is aware to whom the charity is being given, but the recipient is unaware of the source.
Donations when the recipient is aware of the donor's identity, but the donor still doesn't know the specific identity of the recipient.
Donations where each party knows the other, but the gift is given unasked.
Donations where each party knows the other, but the gift is given only after a specific request.
Donations where each party knows the other, but the gift is given only after a specific request, and the donor gives less than should be given (but does so willingly).
Donations given grudgingly.
(based on Yad, Matanot Ani'im X 1-14)
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