There is often a confusion between Social Responsibility and volunteering. However, the differentiation between social responsibility and volunteer work are rooted from what was stated in the Holy Quran: البقرة 158" وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ" "And if any one obeyeth his own impulse to good, be sure that Allah is He Who recogniseth and knoweth" and what the messenger peace be upon him has said"All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock" . Therefore, Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University assumed responsibilities to develop and disseminate the concept of social responsibility with full commitment to its values and principles to achieve the social, economic and environmental dimensions that benefit the community. the University institutionalized the concept of social responsibility based on the universities three functions, teaching and Learning, Scientific Research and Community Service. The university also reinforced the general framework to activate the social responsibility through flexible and efficient ways according to deliberate plans to incorporate as much as possible of community- based projects and activities, seeking to shift from the traditional pedagogy and education to the modern and progressive methods of teaching and learning that adopts new concepts and encourage the involvement of the university staff within the community, aiming to reach a knowledge based society.
The Social Responsibility concept at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University is framed as zakat of university towards the community (zakat is an obligatory payment made annually under Islamic law) to exercise sustained set of principles and values that serve society and achieve social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development; to develop the general framework of sustainability via the main functions of the universities, within the available resources. Therefore, Social Responsibility is a community activity that are prepaid within the monthly salary of the employee, and carrying it out satisfies the demand of obtaining academic accreditation from the national Authority for assessment and accreditation.
As for the concept of volunteer work at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University , it is more like Sadaqa of the university which is a charitable giving from the university to the community. Volunteer work is a positive value for the construction of a good citizen and protruding signs of community development. Volunteerism crystallizes its concept about voluntary practices for a set of values and principles that serve the community by motivated personal and non-mandatory output from the internal sense of responsibility, altruism initiative, sacrifice of time, effort and money to third parties. Volunteer work is often a community activity without reward.