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 ?
Besides, I want you to tell me why I should not go in for philanthropy.
He seemed to project those two shining knobs of temples of his into everything that went on and to brush his hair farther and farther back, until the very roots were almost ready to fly out of his head in inappeasable philanthropy.
Every effort of philanthropy seemed to have miscarried, every effort at correcting abuses seemed of doubtful value, and the race friction seemed to become severer.
In regard to philanthropy, the greatest virtue of crowned heads, Napoleon also did all in his power.
Although she had blunted her taste upon some form of philanthropy for twenty-five years, she had a fine natural instinct for an upstart or a pretender, and knew to a hairbreadth what literature should be and what it should not be.
Well, Wilberforce was perhaps not enough of a thinker; but if I went into Parliament, as I have been asked to do, I should sit on the independent bench, as Wilberforce did, and work at philanthropy.
Apparently Mademoiselle Violet combined a taste for philanthropy with her penchant for Islington dancing halls.
I'll just let you-all know this ain't no Sunday-school society of philanthropy," he said.
Then he studied the deep-lined face of the toil-worn woman before him, remembered her soups and loaves of new baking, and felt spring up in him the warmest gratitude and philanthropy.
I sympathized with the ardent philanthropy of his motives.
A BEAR boasted very much of his philanthropy, saying that of all animals he was the most tender in his regard for man, for he had such respect for him that he would not even touch his dead body.
His heart swelled with that dull, collective love which we must call humanitarianism, the eldest son of deceased philanthropy, and which is to the divine catholic charity what system is to art, or reasoning to deed.