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 periodicals archive ?
Many large philanthropies and charities compete with deserving local organizations, creating more distance between the donor and the ultimate recipient.
Rather than seeking independent, entrepreneurial, and locally based efforts to help the poor, some philanthropies have used their resources to build what are now widely termed "public-private partnerships." The all-too-frequent result is that the nonprofit sector becomes bureaucratic, dependent on government, and incapable of imagining solutions that do not involve government spending.
Many large philanthropies, and the programs they fund, see their missions as extensions of government policy.
Many philanthropies and foundations suffer from hubris.
As Knowledge Partner, Bloomberg Philanthropies will also support the Ministry of Urban Development in helping design and manage the cities challenge.
Ruby said Atlantic Philanthropies granted out a "global target of about $400 million" last year.
Harvey Dale, former president and current board member of Atlantic Philanthropies, said the organization's changes should be considered part of the life of a foundation.
"A number of people at Atlantic Philanthropies have been real thought leaders and demanded of their grantees a kind of intellectual rigor that was essential," which will be missed, he added.
"For NCRP and organizations like us, Atlantic Philanthropies has been very generous," said Rick Cohen, executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, referring to the infrastructure subsector, such as Independent Sector, Council on Foundations, NCRP and others.
Cohen said the ripple effect of the departure of Atlantic Philanthropies funding "is to wake up the infrastructure groups.