Talking about Volunteering and Donating

November 20th, 2012
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Socially, it's totally fine to be public about your volunteering. If you do something positive, you're encouraged to talk about it. Let other people know how great it felt to be helping people and how satisfying it is to have made a difference! But with giving money instead of time the dynamic changes: in our culture people stay quiet about their donations.

When your friends are talking doing things, those things seem more normal, more part of what people do. It's good that volunteering can benefit from this, but I want donating to benefit from it as well.

Changing things you don't understand is hard, though, and probably not going to work. So why is it that people are ok talking about their volunteering but not their donating? Why do we see volunteer work as a stronger indicator of good character than donations? Is it the "we all have the same amount of time" equalizing factor? That money is debasing? That donations are too far removed from directly helping people? What's going on?

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