What is Zakat?
Zakat is the act of sharing a portion of one's material and financial wealth to help other's. The payment of Zakat is not voluntaryand must be paid by all Muslims who can afford to pay it. Zakat is one of the 5 pillars of Islam that must be performed. Zakat is a mandatory alms giving of 2.5% of one's financial wealth to the poor, needy or for a charity. It is the duty and requirement of the Islamic community to responsibly college Zakat and to distribute it fairly and equally to Muslims that fit the requirements of poverty and need. Poor and deprived Muslims have a right to Zakat, it is not a privilege. (The poor are the only Muslims excluded from being required to pay Zakah). Zakah can be used for Shura approved projects but must not be diverted away from the absolute requirement to assist and distribute to the needy and the poor.
What is Sadaqah?
Sadaqah is voluntary charity. Sadaqah has many tenets and forms. It can be a kind word, cleaning of the Masjid or removing objects from the road, helping someone, etc. Sadaqah should only be given for the sake of Allah (swt).