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Is It Moral to offer Incentives for Charitable Acts?

Essay by   •  April 28, 2011  •  Essay  •  703 Words (3 Pages)  •  6,452 Views

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Jeremy Bentham, an influential contributor to the social theory, believed that the moral worth of someone's action is determined by the usefulness of maximizing benefits and minimizing misfortunes. This ideal, alongside the belief that good is the "greatest pleasure for the greatest number," is utilized as the basis for charities around the world. Despite the argument that was presented by the article, having incentives not only benefits oneself, but benefits the individual charity to which said person is helping as well. The fact that it boosts people's self-esteem and raises a great deal of money for those in need proves that there is nothing morally repugnant about offering incentives for charitable acts.

In all honesty, there is truly nothing wrong with offering incentives for charity since it allows people to feel good about themselves. For example, the students who are in the medical program in my school have a charity event in which they sell lollipops for a dollar in order to obtain money for children with juvenile diabetes. Without this delicious incentive students would be less enthusiastic about helping the cause. These lollipops act as a catalyst towards helping thousands of children who suffer from the disease. It also helps the self-esteem of students who know that they were able to raise money for such a just cause. Jupiter for Darfur is another high school organization that helps to fight the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan that has been occurring since February of 2003. They have a yearly car wash in which they clean people's cars for ten dollars and donate all of the money to the charity. They also give away free cookies during the car wash in order to lure in more customers. This incentive is ultimately able to help a charitable cause, while helping to lift people's inner happiness with the knowledge that they were able to make a difference in the world.

The fact that we are able to raise money for a greater cause proves that there is nothing unethical about offering incentives for charity. It is obvious that people are not going to be quite as inclined to throw money your way for charity if you just ask for it; however, if one offers something in return, even something simplistic, they will be more inclined to give money away. If we follow this very basic logic we can come to the realization that we can make a greater profit from people's monetary input. The bake sale that our Best Buddies Club has monthly to help children with leukemia is a perfect example of this logic. It costs the students very little to purchase the materials needed for the bake sale. They make a wide variety of treats that range in price, but cost very little to produce. The club ultimately makes more money for a greater cause, while people are able to purchase a wide variety of snacks that titillate their taste buds. We have to face reality and realize that we live in a country run by money. The

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