Charity for Publicity

I was listening to some people have a discussion this morning that was mostly about charity.  Eventually, the conversation turned to people/organizations/corporations who advertise their charitable givings for good publicity.  Some people in the group expressed their misgivings about such behavior.

My feelings on the subject is that it does not matter why people behave charitably.  Why do we think it necessary to judge a person’s motivation when they are doing the charitable thing?  As long as the good work is getting done, the motivation for doing such can be a moot point.

*On a side note, it was Cornel West who said, “Never confuse charity with justice.”


~ by Eva on November 1, 2009.

One Response to “Charity for Publicity”

  1. Hi, Eva

    You’re right to say that the giving will help people, whatever the motivation. I’m not sure it’s wrong for a business entity to publicize its giving in an effort to improve its business. Most of the time a business is not a person, but an activity engaged in by a group of people.

    Likewise, I’m not sure it’s actually wrong for an individual to seek praise by telling of his/her giving. Jesus did advise against it, though, because the praise of men would be the giver’s only reward. (Mark 6:1-4) Sometimes people might tell their giving stories in order to motivate others–this is different from seeking praise from men. Only God knows our true motivations (we may even lie to ourselves about them), but we will all receive the reward we truly seek–whether from men or from God.

    Jesus was speaking to men who would be saved by His grace–no amount of good works will make us acceptable to God (as I know you know), but scripture clearly tells us that our good works, done in Christ, will be accepted and rewarded by God. The point then, is to seek to please God rather than to garner praise from men.

    In the past, I’ve belittled (in my mind) companies that give for publicity, but you’ve really made me see that this is wrong. Companies that give for publicity get publicity. That’s not wrong–it’s their choice. An individual owner or group of owners of a business may choose to give secretly as an act of devotion to God, but in most cases, a business entity probably isn’t even capable of doing this. So thank God for the good done, and knock off with the judgmentalism. Lesson taken.

    Thanks, Eva

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