philanthropy

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philanthropy,

the spirit of active goodwill toward others as demonstrated in efforts to promote their welfare. The term is often used interchangeably with charity. Every year vast sums of money are collected for invaluable philanthropic purposes, and an increasing number of people participate in the work of collecting money through highly organized campaigns, the purpose of which is fund-raisingfund-raising,
large-scale soliciting of voluntary contributions, especially in the United States. Fund-raising is widely undertaken by charitable organizations, educational institutions, and political groups to acquire sufficient funds to support their activities.
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. In many countries philanthropy has been incorporated in government policy in the form of tax exemptions for contributions to charitable agencies. It has become so accepted that few now escape the demands of giving, and many important institutions are partly or wholly dependent on it.

In early times, charity was usually prompted by religious faith and helped to assure a reward in an afterlife, a notion found in Egypt many centuries before the Christian era. Throughout history, active participation in philanthropy has been a particular characteristic of Western societies. A traditional philanthropic ideal of Christianity is that of the tithe, which holds that one tenth of a person's income should go to charity. Charity is also important in Islam, Buddhism, and other religions. Foundationsfoundation,
institution through which private wealth is contributed and distributed for public purpose. Foundations have existed since Greek and Roman times, when they honored deities.
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—institutions that distribute private wealth for public purposes—also have an ancient history.

At the end of the 19th cent. it was recognized that corporations could play a part in financing voluntary agencies when the Young Men's Christian Association set a new pattern for raising money: intensive drives over a short period of time, the use of sophisticated techniques to raise money, and an emphasis on corporation donations. Other voluntary agencies soon copied this pattern, and it is still the typical practice for large-scale fundraising. During World War I, coordination of effort became a trend in philanthropic activity. In the United States, this coordination took the form of Community Chestscommunity chest,
cooperative organization of citizens and social welfare agencies in a city. Also known as a united fund, it has two purposes: to raise funds through an annual campaign for its member agencies and to budget the funds raised.
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, which combined a number of charities under one appeal, now known as the United Way.

Today the organization and coordination of philanthropy has eliminated much of the spontaneity of giving. They have also brought about a more rational assessment of ability to give as well as the introduction of scientific methods of ascertaining community and national needs and of raising money. The focus has also shifted from the relief of immediate need to long-term planning to prevent future need.

Philanthropy

Appleseed, Johnny
nickname of John Chapman (c. 1775–1847), who traveled through the Ohio Valley giving away apple seeds and caring for orchards. [Am. Hist.: Collier’s, IV, 569]
Carnegie, Andrew (1835–1919)
steel magnate who believed the rich should administer wealth—for public benefit. [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 83]
Guggenheim
19th- and 20th-century family name of American industrialists and philanthropists. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1159]
Mellon, Andrew (1855–1937)
financier and public official; left large sums for research and art. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1743]
Rhodes, Cecil (1853–1902) British
imperialist; left millions of pounds for public service; notably, the Rhodes scholarships. [Br. Hist.: NCE, 2316]
Rockefeller, John D(avison)
(1839–1937) American multimillionaire; endowed many institutions. [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 431]
References in classic literature ?
Jarndyce, who is desirous to aid any work that is considered likely to be a good work and who is much sought after by philanthropists, has, I believe, a very high opinion of Mrs.
I never fancied that you were a budding philanthropist," Aynesworth remarked, lighting a fresh cigarette.
The editor of a monthly review came with his wife, and Lady Kildare, the Irish philanthropist, brought her young nephew, Robert Owen, who had come up from Oxford, and who was visibly excited and gratified by his first introduction to Miss Burgoyne.
A GREAT Philanthropist who had thought of himself in connection with the Presidency and had introduced a bill into Congress requiring the Government to loan every voter all the money that he needed, on his personal security, was explaining to a Sunday-school at a railway station how much he had done for the country, when an angel looked down from Heaven and wept.
     The good philanthropist replied;
I assure you that the most winning woman I ever knew was hanged for poisoning three little children for their insurance-money, and the most repellant man of my acquaintance is a philanthropist who has spent nearly a quarter of a million upon the London poor.
After this passage of arms, in which Benassis showed not the slightest sign of a wish to appear generous or to pose as a philanthropist, the supposed invalid entered his doctor's house.
The philanthropist too often surrounds mankind with the remembrance of his own castoff griefs as an atmosphere, and calls it sympathy.
Posing as a sort of philanthropist at the front, he felt his way through the English Army, and at last got his fingers on its one corrupt man--please God
I tell thee thou foolish philanthropist that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.
Nietzsche's great love for his fellows, which he confesses in the Prologue, and which is at the root of all his teaching, seems rather to elude the discerning powers of the average philanthropist and modern man.
I have heard him even spoken of as a philanthropist.