Charity and Incentives

Offering incentives for charitable acts can be acceptable depending on the true motivation of the person that is being charitable. It is morally unacceptable if the person does it only for the intention of receiving a reward; however, if their motivation is out of kindness, then it becomes morally acceptable to receive an incentive. Charity is a neat way to help out people in need. Society presents opportunities every now and then when the time or donation would be highly appreciated. Charities all over the world are finding it more and more difficult to run their organizations.

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Although charities are tax-exempt, they still have expenses such as operating and administrative costs that are not easy to cover, while still being able to “be charitable”, and support their cause. So, many NGOs are obligated to motivate people to give their support by offering motivation. Another factor is that there are so many different charities fighting for the donor’s dollar. There are charities for everything from alley cats to children in Zimbabwe. So with all the choices, donors might choose to give where they receive something back.

I recall this one time when there was a Ruth Paz carnival in which many teachers here at E. I. S. were willing to give extra points to students assisting the event. As soon as this incentive was announced, students, including myself, rushed to purchase tickets. Another popular and profitable fund raising activity has been auctions, where goods and even services, such as a date with a famous personality, are auctioned to the highest bidder. Supporters are happy to donate large sums of money to the charity in exchange for a gift or reward.

Last year the Help Animal Lives Today foundation raised $30,000 by auctioning one of Dolly Parton’s wigs! People want more bang for their buck nowadays. Even if it’s something silly like a famous person’s wig, they want something in return for their generosity. They are getting used to receiving a reward for their generosity, because everyone is doing it now. Although offering incentive for people to be charitable is unethical, it has become so common that charities that do not give in to the pressure will find it hard to survive in these tough competitive times.


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