Differences in the directness of responses to community needs were examined in youth who demonstrated public-spirited purpose. Implicit theories about the world and other people were investigated as a potential explanation for these differences. This study used interview analysis for between- and within-individual analyses. First, results supported a relationship between incremental theories of the world and indirect-response public-spirited purposes. Second, results showed that participants with direct-response public-spirited purposes may display evidence of either entity or incremental theories. Agency and compassion are suggested as explanations for why implicit theories functioned differently between the identified types of public-spirited purpose.