Career Woman

Charity | Are you helping others or helping yourself?


It’s often said that helping others ⎯ to be completely selfless and put someone else’s needs before your own⎯ is the most rewarding feeling a person can have. However, is this only true if you don’t stand to profit from whatever help you are providing? If you created a charity or work with one and earn your living through that, is there such a thing as taking too much when you are making money? Is it dirty? Do women who work with charities and disadvantaged groups feel guilty for making a living that way?

One could argue that if you are putting a considerable amount of effort into helping those who need it, and you have in fact made a change in another person’s life, then you do deserve some kind of a reward. You could say that ‘what goes around comes around’, so why can’t good things happen to you if you help them happen to others?

Then again, it can also be argued that if you are helping people, and participating in charitable events solely for gaining a profit at the end of it all, then you don’t really deserve to gain anything, that it’s unethical.

Another argument made is that if you were able to help others and offer your own time and money to a cause, then surely you would be financially stable already, wouldn’t you? Why would you need to take money from those who don’t have any to begin with?

Each of these arguments are quite valid in retrospect so perhaps the answer lies in regard to just how much money one makes when working for a charity. When are you taking TOO much? Some studies have found that in America many of the most well known charities funnel more money to administration and salaries rather than to those they are actually raising money for. Surely, this is an example of how making money for yourself through charities can be somewhat ‘unethical’ if you stand to gain more than those actually in need.

Clearly, this is quite a sensitive topic. For those women who have in fact earned a profit from participating in a charity, regardless of the cause, did you ever feel guilty for it? Or did you find a line between taking an amount that was representative of the effort that you put into the project, without taking too much away from those who truly need it?

About Natalie Cupac

Natalie Cupac Journalist & Features Writer for The Business Woman, Natalie Cupac is studying a double degree of Journalism and International Studies and has previously worked for Pacific Magazines

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