Starbucks uses its social media platforms (14.1 million Instagram followers) to communicate ethical responsibility and charity work to consumers. When a company can use ethical and charitable avenues to show the public how they give, customers often take notice.
Executives and celebrities often give large sums of money as charitable donations. For example, Madonna hosted an island party in 2008 to raise approximately $2 million for children in Africa while Paris Hilton went on a “fact-finding” mission to Rwanda to see where help was most needed (Beato, 2008)
According to Forbes magazine, Taylor Swift donated $1 million of proceeds from her hit song “Shake It Off” to victims of Louisiana’s flood in 2016. Mel Gibson donated nearly $7 million to the AP Reilly Foundation, supporting the Catholic church, while actor Matthew McConaughey gave over $1.5 million to support school communities in Los Angeles and Texas in 2012 (Atunes, 2012).
From a Christian perspective, giving is not only suggested, it is a direct command from God. As independent humans, we often do not like to be told what to do. However, giving out of what God has already given to us can be an expression of worship and praise to our Creator.
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on’” (Mark 12:41-44, New International Version).
The root of tithing in the Old Testament can be tied back to a responsibility to God to give in worship for what was given to Abraham. For Christians, tithing or giving a tenth of what God has given as an act of worship is something that many grew up knowing but not necessarily understanding.
Abraham set the groundwork for tithing in the Old Testament when he dedicated ten percent of his spoils from war to God (many other rulers would dedicate ten percent of their spoils to other pagan gods). Additionally, Moses takes tithes from the Israelites but when this amount is added together, it is more along the lines of 25%.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says,
“The point is this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, New International Version).
While motivation behind giving is not always quantifiable, it is something that reveals the character and integrity behind a business or individual. As Christians, it is important to maintain integrity, especially in the business world.
Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by duplicity.”
Those in the business world notice an individual of character and integrity. Giving money, time, and attention to others, making them feel valued is an excellent way to show care and the love of Christ in a genuine way
Finally, 1 John 3:17-18 reads, “If anyone has the world’s good and sees a brother in need, yet doesn’t help him, how does God’s love abide in him? Let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18).
As Christians in the world, it is essential to not only talk about doing good or giving to others, but to also practice what we preach in deed and in truth.
Antunes, A. (2012). The 30 Most Generous Celebrities. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
Beesley, C. (2012). Understanding the Charitable Giving Tax Deduction – What Can Your Small Business Write Off? Retrieved April 30, 2017.
Beato, G. (2008). The virtues of conspicuous giving: How self-righteous, empty-headed celebrities promote private charity Reason Foundation.