Reporting charitable activities

edited March 2014 in Religion & Philosophy
I have a question about the morality and etiquette of reporting one’s own charitable conduct, but would like to first provide context for the question.

We had some neighbors over for a dinner party, very nice people with lovely, well behaved children. They attend the big Presbyterian church in our town, which, if I understood them correctly, is a conservative offshoot of the PCUSA, the sort of Presbyterian with which I am familiar, who are very interested in same-sex marriage and recycling.

They report a lot of traffic between Presbyterian churches of that sort and Baptist populations. The wife attended Cedarville, and another woman we know in that big Presbyterian church is also from the South and I would pick her as originally Baptist or Methodist.

A couple of months ago the husband shaved his head, so I inquired about whether this was illness related. He noted that he did it to raise money for the United Way. These are very gentle and kind people, so this question is not about a breach of etiquette.

Instead, I note that in my professional culture one is expected to have a list of charitable causes he can recite when queried about his interests.

 

 

My practice is to conceal the act of having assisted someone based on the reasoning that a failure to conceal introduces a motivation which is not itself charitable.

On the other hand, people do learn about activities from exposure, socialization and mimicry, so letting people know that these sorts of acts are (and therefore should be) routine has a general, social and educational value.

Your thoughts on whether concealment is "doing it wrong" are requested.

Comments

  • I'm on the same page as you.  Our corporation has an annual 'competition' for volunteerism.  Basically they are looking for people to be nominated for acts of charity/selflessness/kindness and then proceed to stack rank them and give 'the winner' a public recognition and a donation to the charity of their choosing.

    Just feels all wrong.
  • Being charitable for the right reasons, and telling people of your charity (in the proper context) are not mutually exclusive.

    I think it's poor form to put stickers all over your car for the charities you support.
    I think it's good form to let people know about your interests, when asked. If it's really a part of your life, people will find out about it anyway.

    I have a yachting buddy who does work with Habitat for Humanity. It isn't the first thing you learn about him when you meet him. But he doesn't conceal it either.

    It's a form of useful social pressure, I think. If I trust and respect someone, and it turns out they are involved in charity X and give money to charity Y, it might cause me to take a look and see if I might be interested in getting involved.

  • I wonder which Presby denomination it is.  PCA, OPC, EPC, etc are smaller than the PCUSA but thankfully not defined by their liberal beliefs.

    My view is that it's a heart matter.  Is one doing these things for their own greatness and renown or to serve God and the community.  The actions may look the same but the heart defines the focus.  I like the tension we feel when issues like this come up, it forces us to examine our own hearts and motives.

    Is this gent a middle-manager or consultant of some form in a large company?  The only people I know that give to the United Way are press-ganged by large companies.

    I won't put Zuk to sleep by quoting scripture but Matthew 6:1-4 has most of the answers on this.
  • o·ver·think
    ˌōvərˈTHiNGk/
    verb
    gerund or present participle: overthinking
    1. 1.
      think about (something) too much or for too long.
      "must you overthink every relationship?"
  • .

    I won't put Zuk to sleep by quoting scripture but Matthew 6:1-4 has most of the answers on this.




    Incredibly, I've read that part somewhere before.

    I wonder which Presby denomination it is.  PCA, OPC, EPC, etc are smaller than the PCUSA but thankfully not defined by their liberal beliefs..




    Excellent question. The fellow gave me a run-down on the conflict this church (Bay Presbyterian) had with the larger PCUSA, but a lot of the detail didn't stick. This one is now EPC.

    Is this gent a middle-manager or consultant of some form in a large company?  The only people I know that give to the United Way are press-ganged by large companies.>




    Good call. He is talent at a nearby hospital.

    Nice people. He is oddly earnest and apparently lacking in guile. She is from the south, a pattern not unusual locally, though I cannot explain it.

    I enjoyed hearing her reaction to how rude people up here were because we (the northern population) don't all greet one another at the grocery. She pretended to enjoy hearing my impression of several southern people, and purported to have not noticed that I am a wretched person.

    Mrs Zuk and I don't go out much anymore, so bringing the outside in works well. Nice evening.
  • ZedZed
    edited March 2014
    zukiphile said:

     I enjoyed hearing her reaction to how rude people up here were because we (the northern population) don't all greet one another at the grocery. She pretended to enjoy hearing my impression of several southern people, and purported to have not noticed that I am a wretched person.

    Mrs Zuk and I don't go out much anymore, so bringing the outside in works well. Nice evening.

    Ha, too typical.  "Southern Hospitality", from my observations, is a mile wide and an inch deep. If "You're not from 'round here" you are given the tag "Yankee" if you're just visiting and "Damned Yankee" if you've taken up residence.

    I offer exhibit "A"

    image

    Which isn't to say that many folks from 'Up North' don't do their part to uphold their own stereotypes.

    Yeah, in general, people are assholes... I know, no big reveal to be had here today.
  • I never give to the United Way or any of the overhead consumed charities. I give my time, goods, and money to locally run charities like food banks and Christian missions.
  • MC Escher said:

    o·ver·think
    ˌōvərˈTHiNGk/
    verb
    gerund or present participle: overthinking
    1. 1.
      think about (something) too much or for too long.
      "must you overthink every relationship?"
    There you go... Every other year or so I show up here and ask you cheap bastards for a few sponsorship dollars for the MS150 ride. I do the ride for two reasons: I enjoy it and it's for a good cause. Neither reason is mutually exclusive, IMO.

    I talk about the ride to people who seem genuinely curious or who have ridden it as well (it is surprisingly popular). Other than that, I don't discuss it much or put a bunch of stickers on my car. It's really the only "cause" I'm involved with that benefits adults. Everything else that I give for goes to either children or animals.

    The Presby church we have been attending for the last few years just lost a very slim vote (had to pass with a super majority) to break away from the PCUSA. It made the local news here for several days and was being watched by other Presby congregations nationally because this church is the oldest and one of the largest in Houston. The minister supported the break and lobbied for it, so it will be interesting to see what he does.
  • Far best to keep such things to oneself, imho. "Doing it" right: 

    Cliffs: gives away billions, tries to remain anonymous. He's Catholic so I'm sure he's evil, if some in other places are to be believed. 
  • Can't trust the Papists. Buncha' Mary with the Cherry worshipin' pagans.
  • If anyone cares, here's what the Joosians have to say on the subject:

    “If your brother sinks in poverty, then you shall strengthen him.” (Leviticus 25:35)

    “Do not harden your heart or shut your hand against your needy brother.” (Deuteronomy 15)

    “When you reap your harvest, do not pick the fallen grapes,or harvest the ends of your field. They must be left for the poor and the stranger.” (Leviticus 19).

    ”When you lend money to the poor man among you, do not press him for repayment.” (Exodus 2)

    “They that lead the many to righteousness will be like the stars forever,” (Daniel 12:13)

    Maimonides lists his Eight Levels of Giving, as written in the Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot matanot aniyim ("Laws about Giving to Poor People") Yeah that's right... Joosians are so lawyered up we even have laws about THAT.


    Chapter 10:7-14:

    1. Giving an interest-free loan to a person in need; forming a
      partnership with a person in need; giving a grant to a person in need;
      finding a job for a person in need; so long as that loan, grant,
      partnership, or job results in the person no longer living by relying
      upon others.
    2. Giving tzedakah anonymously to an unknown recipient via a person (or
      public fund) which is trustworthy, wise, and can perform acts of
      tzedakah with your money in a most impeccable fashion.
    3. Giving tzedakah anonymously to a known recipient.
    4. Giving tzedakah publicly to an unknown recipient.
    5. Giving tzedakah before being asked.
    6. Giving adequately after being asked.
    7. Giving willingly, but inadequately.
    8. Giving "in sadness" (giving out of pity): It is thought that
      Maimonides was referring to giving because of the sad feelings one might
      have in seeing people in need (as opposed to giving because it is a
      religious obligation). Other translations say "Giving unwillingly."
  • edited August 2015
    Work was busy today so apologies for being late.

    I was always taught to give quietly. 

    Concealment is certainly not doing it wrong.

    [QUOTE=John@VMG]Your signature was in violation of the rules: 

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    No infractions or anything, but it had to be removed. Apologies for any inconvenience.[/QUOTE]

    No apology needed.

    It isn't an inconvenience. It's just another example of how inconsistently rules are enforced here.

    I know, I know...[quote=John@VMG]Nobody is forcing you to be here ;)[/QUOTE]

    You should really just post that at the top of the "Help & Suggestions" forum in big bold
    letters.

    Mark

  • I for one think southern hospitality is real and spectacular.  The recent ice storms were a great display of this.  Lots of people opening their homes, bringing food to people stranded, putting themselves out to a fault.  Zed, you need to embrace us and we will embrace you back... it's time.

    Too bad Joos don't practice Jubilee anymore, that would be interesting (Property debt forgiven every 7th year).
  • I for one think southern hospitality is real and spectacular.

    Uh-huh...
    image


    Zed, you need to embrace us and we will embrace you back... it's time.


    Never!  The South will NOT rise again!

  • ZedZed
    edited March 2014
    PS: I was just kidding, I'm happy to report that I've crossed a threshold in my Southern rebirth.  I just snacked on roadside prepared boiled p-nuts AND pork rinds, and washing it down with bourbon.
  • I'd like to add though, I can see why boiled p-nuts would be popular with a toothless people.
  • Zed said:

    I'd like to add though, I can see why boiled p-nuts would be popular with a toothless people,

    who had lost their sense of taste completely.

    [fixed it for you]
  • FTR, I can't stand boiled peanuts or pork rinds but I celebrate your change of heart AND consumption of bourbon.  Kentucky (my birthplace) may have technically been on the north side of the Mason-Dixon but I'll always consider it part of The South.
  • Kentucky (my birthplace) may have technically been on the north side of the Mason-Dixon but I'll always consider it part of The South.




    I've noticed that Yankees consider Kentucky southern while southerners think of it as the north.
  • Neither fish nor fowl
  • So it's the "other" White State"?
  • ^^^Outstanding!
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