What's the real reason why people do charity work?

<p>I'm getting the vibe that plenty of people here want to give to charity when they get jobs and make a lot of money. And I'm just curious on what really drives people to give to the poor and helpless, and I can only think of 3 reasons: genuine sympathy for others, your image to people/colleges/companies, and conformity (because others do it, like friends or family)</p>

<p>I mean, I get it when rich people give to charity. But what I don't quite get is why some people do charity work when they have other desires or pursuits. I admit. All the charity I've ever done were for my resume. And while I did them, it did feel good that I was helping people. But would I help again now that I'm a penniless dude in college? hell no, I'd rather make money or study for the GRE or something.</p>

<p>Maybe I'm being cynical. Maybe some people are goodhearted by nature, and they hate to see other people suffer, and my parents have squeezed me into a nervous utilitarian who's paranoid about my future. But what do you think is the real reason people do charity work?</p>

<p>I've been volunteering with a small organization (local humane society) for about seven years, and I will continue to do so/donate because its something I genuinely care about - very much.</p>

<p>On the other hand, I dont really donate to large organizations because you dont know where that money is going. For lots of those groups, $1000 is a drop in the ocean. For my local animal shelter, that is an amazing amount of money that they can do things with. There is a direct benefit that you can see firsthand. </p>

<p>all the other volunteer work I've done has been obligatory. It didn't give me warm fuzzy feelings and its not something I'll keep up with. But I will always volunteer in some way for a local shelter</p>

<p>I do it because I can, for those that can't.</p>

<p>I volunteered because it was a lot of fun, it gave me experience working in a shop without needing an interview so I could get shop jobs in the future, it gave me something to do with my time when I wasn't at school and they always had really good cookies in the break room.</p>

<p>Volunteering looks great on the resume, plus, if you are not sure about what you want to do, volunteering gives you are great opportunity to explore. Plus, I'm sure, there are some people who volunteer just because they want to help others!</p>

<p>To get in the National Honors Society...</p>

<p>=p</p>

<p>I see it as a win-win situation. Even though you might do it only to put it on a resume, at least it's getting done...you're not really hurting anyone. I volunteer around the area surrounding my college with friends at a high school and animal shelter. It's fun, I meet lots of new people, it energizes me, and I feel good about myself. I'm considering joining a service sorority too. </p>

<p>If I were filthy rich, I'd spend my time volunteering. I wouldn't want to have a job, and I'd get bored at home. :)</p>

<p>I volunteered with the public library and the Red Cross because I had to, but I volunteered at a therapeutic horse farm because it was fun.</p>

<p>The growing consensus is basically that it's for show, but it can be fun for some people.</p>

<p>I very rarely give money to charity. I do volunteer work all the time though. I just love to help people. Life is so hard for some people and the world needs people to make it easier. I just care. I do donate to an organization I have been volunteering with for a long time. I will donate money if I've worked with the group and have personal experience to know where the money goes.</p>

<p>People who make a lot of money (and anyone else who donates) do not pay taxes on the money they give away.</p>

<p>For me?
High school - To get into college
College - I genuinely enjoy the activities</p>

<p>I like helping people/the environment; all the volunteer work I've done has been interesting/fun/fulfilling; it gives me something to do; I like meeting new people; I love free t-shirts/food; my probation officer says I have to serve the community...that's about it, I guess.</p>

<p>I'd be loath to donate to a charity, however--too many middlemen/crooked folks who are far too willing to take advantage. I prefer to give my time rather than my dollars, but I suppose that's just because I'm a cynic (and relatively 'broke').</p>

<p>
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People who make a lot of money (and anyone else who donates) do not pay taxes on the money they give away.

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<p>Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think donations are tax deductible--not credits...So although this definitely could be an incentive, it can't be a primary motive. Even rich people aren't taxed beyond 35%, so why give up 65% of your earnings if you don't truly care?</p>

<p>Are you saying that if the government didn't match ~50% contribution for rich taxpayers' donations, then these people wouldn't donate (as individuals I mean, obviously they would donate collectively)? I think they'd simply donate less.</p>

<p>hmm ... any of the posters play on a sports team as a kid? How much do you think your coaches got paid? Or the admisitrators who pick teams, schedule fields and refs, etc? Are any of you active in your church ... how much are the members of the choir getting paid? Or the sunday school teachers? Who runs the PTO at your school? Runs the booster clubs at the high school? etc, etc</p>

<p>There are tons of volunteers in the world ... and tons follow a passion or deep commitment to find their volunteer work.</p>

<p>@justtotalk Unless you're like my dad and would much rather donate to a charity than see his money go to the government haha</p>

<p>Because it feels good, man.</p>

<p>I'd donate to charities because often they need the money. If it helps them do their operations, great. I'd volunteer for charities because it's a cause I care about and again, it does feel good to know you've helped people.</p>

<p>So yes there is some self-gratification involved, but if it's helping others then no harm no foul.</p>

<p>The big reasons are:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Personal gain of some sort. If it's going to look good on a college ap, resume, anything like that, people will do it. Also, it might get some people some chances to network or learn something about an industry you might want to go into. For instance someone might "volunteer" at a hospital (I put volunteer in quotes because hospitals are businesses!) because it might help them if they want to go into the medical industry.</p></li>
<li><p>It makes them feel good about themselves. Generally when people say they volunteer because they care, because it's the right thing to do, anything like that, it's really because it makes them feel good, whether they admit it or not.</p></li>
<li><p>The judge made them.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Why would anyone not want to admit that they feel good about doing volunteer work?</p>

<p>
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Why would anyone not want to admit that they feel good about doing volunteer work?

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<p>QwertyKey meant that whether people admit it or not, they volunteer because if makes them feel good as opposed to doing it because "it's the right thing to do". Not that they don't like to admit feeling good about volunteer work.</p>