I have always believed that it is not really considered charity if you do not do good out of your own volition. If you are forced into doing something OR if you do good works because you feel that you have to do it, then that is defeating the purpose of charity. However, I am also a pragmatist and realize that if people do good even if they were only urged to do it, then that is better than nothing.
And I think this is what is happening (in some cases) with a UK organization called Do Good For Debt. The idea behind this group is brilliant, really. What they do is provide the opportunity for those with students loans (which are usually immense) to pay back their debt and at the same time, do good work. Inventor Spot has this feature on them:
The non-profit UK based organization was started by Ian Wallace, who found himself so constricted under the weight of his 14,000 GBP student loans that he took a job in a factory while looking for a job in his chosen field; law. With his life decisions completely surrounding making his debt payments and keeping a roof over his head, this innovative entrepreneur decided there had to be a way to look after his best interests, and give back to his community at the same time.
Do Good for Debt was created, with a main goal of working with charities to encourage recent college graduates to give back, while taking a little something for themselves in the process; complete student debt repayment. Perhaps monetary compensation for charity work, defeats the purpose and takes away from the philanthropist mentality, but hey, recent grads have a better chance at making a contribution to society if they don’t have the burden of student loans hanging over their heads.
As I said, this is better than nothing. More so, I am sure that many of the people who participate in the program would willingly help out in other circumstances anyway. Call it providing an opportunity. By the way, Do Good For Debt has a MySpace account – add them!