Is it Time to Rethink Charity?
Charity is a virtue. We’ve been told this (even if not in those words) since we were kids. We’re taught to be generous with our blessings and to help those less fortunate.
I don’t mean to downplay any of this, of course. Charity is not only admirable, but it’s essential to the survival of the species.
But we’re also told that charity is the donation of money or time in exchange….for nothing.
If you deny this, you’re labeled a “Scrooge” and demonized.
But is this really the case? Is the line between “Scrooge” and “saint” always noticeable? In order to answer these we must ask ourselves three things:
1. What is charity, really?
2. Why is there such pressure to always donate to charity in the traditional way?
3. If you run (or wish to begin) a charity, how would you raise funds?
What Is Charity
Charity is something that is definitely essential in the “well-being” of our society. We all get down in our luck in life and need help from time to time. And if family and friends are unable (or unwilling) to help, sometimes we need the charity of others to help us get through the tough patches in life. For most of us, the tough patches are few and far between so relying on charity for most people is a rare occurrence and not something we rely on day after day, year after year.
Of course, money doesn’t just grow on trees so organizations that help others rely on the charitable giving of others in order to exist. Simply put, if charities rely on donations and those donations dry up, so does the charity.
This is what I call “traditional” charity. That is, charities have traditionally held out their proverbial hands and asked for the kindness of others. Traditional charities do not sell anything, per se, but rather just ask for donations.
But is donating to charities in the traditional way really best, or is it time to adapt with the times? The answer is revealed, in part, in “good causes” such as the Girl Scouts.
Most of us enjoy Girl Scout cookies and are willing to buy a box or two if asked because…