Social Question

OpryLeigh's avatar

If you do a lot of work with charities or volunteer regularly, do you like people to know that you do or would you rather keep it to yourself?

Asked by OpryLeigh (25251points) February 2nd, 2010

Does a small part of you like the admiration or recognition that you get from doing charity work/volunteering or do you keep it to yourself? If you keep it to yourself, why? I often feel that when someone makes a point of informing people of the charity work they do (apart from maybe spreading the word for the good of the charity) I feel a little less respect for them than I would if I found out that they did charity work but they had kept it quiet themselves. It’s almost like they have an ulterior motive for doing good deeds. What do you think?

I’m sure we have all been guilty of dropping our good deeds into conversation from time to time , I’m just trying to discover why we feel the need to do this.

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25 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m not shy at all about the charity work I do, but then it’s for a local community theater group. So, I’m not shy about neither the behind the scenes work or the on stage work.

I used to volunteer at the local literacy center, and I wasn’t shy about that either.

The way I see it, I’m getting more out of the volunteering than I’m putting into it.

CaptainHarley's avatar

“Never left your right hand know what your left hand does.”

Arisztid's avatar

I do not have money (thankyou Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama) so I do what I do best: write. I have some degree of skill with this and I have made some small differences here and there with letters to various people, teaching about my people, etc. Education, I believe, is one of the keys to eventually starting to erode discrimination. I try to be a small drop that erodes.

I am an activist for my people, using my skills with the written word, and, when I had the money to do so, I would bring goods to homeless shelters and the like. I also attempt to raise awareness of the plight of the poor and homeless in America.

My writing is under a pseudonym. Unless someone sees my writings and knows they are mine, they have no clue that I am doing it. I do link portions of my writings to various profiles of mine in my effort to raise awareness to my causes, but that is as far as that goes. If someone asks what I do activism wise, then I tell.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@hawaii_jake I don’t think you are supposed to be shy about theatre groups to be honest. That’s one thing that should be shouted about!

Supacase's avatar

I will bring it up if it is relevant to the conversation, but am pretty quiet about it otherwise. Of course, that is how I tend to be about most other things in my life as well.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

As @CaptainHarley and Saul of Tarsus said. Two reasons for not wanting recognition: First, it embarasses me. Secondly, other organizations will be bothering me for money or goods. Anonymity is always a condition I place on any charitable works I do.

wilma's avatar

I do a lot of volunteering and charity work.
I don’t usually bring it up, I rarely ever talk about it except when working with children’s groups to help teach them about volunteering. ( the subject comes up when I’m volunteering at our local museum, they think it is my “job”. I tell them about doing things for no pay, but for the good of the community and how they can do that too.) Many children do not have any concept of doing work and not getting paid for it, because they don’t have that example from the adults in their life.
I would never wish to be publicly recognized for what I do, I’m too shy I guess. I would be uncomfortable with that.
Now since I am anonymous here, I will tell you that I’m on my way right now, to volunteer at my local food pantry. We have been very busy lately. The need is great, I urge you to help if you are able.

aprilsimnel's avatar

For me? Shh! Unless it’s the baby clothes sorting, and it’s because I can’t help but go on about the itty-bitty clothes! Especially baby socks! Such tiny feetsies!

belakyre's avatar

I try to do it as “under-cover” as possible. After all, I’m doing this for the needy, not for a show.

Your_Majesty's avatar

I’ll if they ask me. It’s not my fault if I answer their question(I don’t want to lie for what I really did). Although I really hope someone will ask me that.

Cruiser's avatar

I don’t mind at all hearing about others efforts to provide help and assistance to others in need. It makes me feel good knowing that people, especially in my community are reaching out and making our world a better place. The only time I want any kind of acknowledgment of my efforts is so my boys can see that a person can make a difference by taking time to help out so they will go forward in their life knowing they can make a difference too.

Other than a couple of mom’s on the PTO here, I really can’t think of any genuine volunteers I have met that make a big stink out of their efforts.

wilma's avatar

@Cruiser , I like you more every time you post!
Talking with your kids about how you volunteer and pointing out others who do as well, is a great way to help them be assets to their communitys in the future.

Cruiser's avatar

@wilma What a nice thing to say! TY! They are both in scouts and have been part of numerous community projects, food drives etc. and they are especially proud of the annual river clean up project I started 2 years ago.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@aprilsimnel Lurve for the word “feetsies”!

josie's avatar

When I do something charitable, I do it because it makes me feel good. Whether anybody knows or not, is unimportant. But I prefer charitable activities that put me face to face with the recipient. I do not like to toss money into a fund that somebody else distributes.


i keep it to myself. it ain’t about me !!

Siren's avatar

I don’t advertise I do it, but it really depends on the situation: IF I feel like disclosing it in a conversation within context of the discusssion and IF I think it will benefit someone to hear about what I am doing. Like @josie said, I do it because it makes me feel good.

Other than that, it’s no one’s business what I do with my free time. I agree it somewhat lessens the good when you boast about your good-doing, but apart from that, if someone is getting annoyed with hearing about others’ charitable activities, you kind of have to wonder if they’re not just feeling a little guilty because they’re not contributing to society themselves…Things that make you go hmmm…

StephK's avatar

I do a fair amount of volunteering/charity work. I don’t really bring it up in conversation unless someone has a question about something involving whatever organization I’m with/is wondering what my weekly schedule is or something. After all, I’m there for the organization; if I wanted the recognition, I’d just donate. just kidding, I don’t have any money to donate. Point is, I’m content without everyone knowing about my volunteer work.

YARNLADY's avatar

Part of the work I do for volunteer agencies is to publicize them and recruit other volunteers, so I can’t exactly keep a low profile.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@YARNLADY That’s fair enough, I have no problem with advertising and talking about the work you do if it is genuinly for the good of the charity. A lot of charities benefit from word of mouth. I should have been more specific in my original question because I know a lot of people who do charity work that involves going out and broadcasting what they do in order to get more people to help out.

rottenit's avatar

I vounteer about 40–60 hours a week, I carry a normal position and title at the agency but dont get paid. I got sick of people thinking im crazy and now I just say that I “work” for the agency.

Its not about the recognition or credit, my wife and I decided that when we could afford it this is how we would “give back” to the community. I treat this like its my normal job.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I work for a nonprofit. I would like to say more about what I do. All but the most basic inquiries have to go through the PR dept to protect the privacy of the people we serve.

phillis's avatar

I don’t have a problem with people knowing that I am a caring person, no. I see no purpose in hiding that aspect of me, nor do I put it out there for somebody to pick apart. I’m just me. If it comes up in conversation, no biggie. I don’t wear a t-shirt that asks for a pat on the back.

cockswain's avatar

I used to be a volunteer firefighter. When I started I think I tended to “casually” mention it all the time, but eventually I rarely did that. I think I stopped because I realized it sounded like I was just doing it so others would know I did it, which wasn’t really my motivation.

Sunshine1245's avatar

I prefer to keep it to myself. The reason is if I volunteer it is out of the desire I have to help people not the recognition others give me for who I help or where and how long I volunteer. But hey thats just me.

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