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Philanthropy (from Greek ) means etymologically, the love of humanity, in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing, and enhancing what it means to be human. In this meaning, it involves both the benefactor in their identifying and exercising their values, and the beneficiary in their receipt and benefit from the service or goods provided. A conventional modern definition is "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life," which combines an original humanistic tradition with a social scientific aspect developed in the 20th century. The definition also serves to contrast philanthropy with business endeavors, which are private initiatives for private good, e.g., focusing on material gain, and with government endeavors, which are public initiatives for public good, e.g., focusing on provision of public services. A person who practices philanthropy is called a philanthropist.
Philanthropy has distinguishing features from charity; not all charity is philanthropy, or vice versa, though there is a recognized degree of overlap in practice. A difference commonly cited is that charity aims to relieve the pain of a particular social problem, whereas philanthropy attempts to address the root cause of the problem—the difference between the proverbial gift of a fish to a hungry person, versus teaching them how to fish.
The literal, classical definitions and understandings of the term philanthropy derive from its origins in the Greek , which combines the word φίλος (philos) for "loving" and ἄνθρωπος (anthropos) for "human being" (see below).
The most conventional modern definition is "private initiatives, for public good, focusing on quality of life". This combines the social scientific aspect developed in the century with the original humanistic tradition, and serves to contrast philanthropy with business (private initiatives for private good, focusing on material prosperity) and government (public initiatives for public good, focusing on law and order). These distinctions have been analyzed by Olivier Zunz, and others.
- Organizations and institutions
- From 1860–1890, millions, from Charles Henry de Soysa to undertake various projects in Ceylon and overseas.
- From 1895–1915, millions, from Charles T. Hinde to undertake various projects in Southern California.
- In 1901, $350 million from Andrew Carnegie, who distributed almost 90% of his wealth to philanthropic causes, including the building of Carnegie Hall and the founding of Carnegie Mellon University.
- Especially in the teen years of the early 20th century, $540 million from John D. Rockefeller to the Rockefeller Foundation and various other Rockefeller Charities.
- In 1984 and the years preceding and following, as disclosed in 1997, $4.1 billion ($3.5 billion from sale of the 38.75% equity stake in DFS Group, alongside $600 million in other giving), from Chuck Feeney, to Atlantic Philanthropies.
- In July 1992, $100 million from Henry and Betty Rowan to Glassboro State College, to become Rowan University.
- In 1993, $1 billion from Walter Annenberg to various education efforts, including a single $500 million bequest to support public schools in the United States.
- In 1998, $1 billion from Ted Turner to create the United Nations Foundation, in support of children's (especially girl's) and women's issues, climate change and energy, sustainable development and technology, and other areas mediated by the United Nations. The main issue areas that the Foundation addresses are .
- In 2003, $200 million from Joan B. Kroc to National Public Radio.
- In 2005 and years following, a total of ~$500 million from T. Boone Pickens (as of 2011, although ~$115 million was lost by Pickens' BP Capital in 2008), to Oklahoma State University, the initial approximate half to the university's athletic program, and a subsequent amounts of ~$220 M for faculty chairs and scholarships.
- In 2010, $100 million from Mark Zuckerberg's Startup: Education fund, to the Newark, New Jersey public schools, with concurrent negotiation with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to allow Newark Mayor Cory Booker " a strong voice in choosing a new superintendent of schools," with the state retaining the ultimate control of the school system that it has had since 1995.
- In 2011, $225 million from Raymond and Ruth Perelman, parents of Ronald O. Perelman, to The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
- In February 2013, $2.3 billion from Azim Premji, an Indian IT business leader sometimes referred to as India's Bill Gates, via a 12% stake, in his IT outsourcing company Wipro, to "a trust to fund his education-focused Azim Premji Foundation."
- Announced in 2014, to be given over 10 years, $100 million from James Packer to "improving indigenous education, assisting community welfare programs and making artistic endeavours accessible to more Australians."
Aknin, Lara B.; Barrington-Leigh, Christopher P.; Dunn, Elizabeth W.; Helliwell, John F.; Burns, Justine; Biswas-Diener, Robert; Kemeza, Imelda; Nyende, Paul; Ashton-James, Claire E. & Norton, Michael I. (2013). "Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence For a Psychological Universal." (print, online). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 104 (4, April): 635–652. doi:10.1037/a0031578.
"This research provides the first support for a possible psychological universal: Human beings around the world derive emotional benefits from using their financial resources to help others (prosocial spending). …survey data from 136 countries were examined and showed that prosocial spending is associated with greater happiness around the world, in poor and rich countries alike. …recalling a past instance of prosocial spending has a causal impact on happiness across countries that differ greatly in terms of wealth (Canada, Uganda, and India). …participants in Canada and South Africa randomly assigned to buy items for charity reported higher levels of positive affect than participants assigned to buy the same items for themselves, even… [without] an opportunity to build or strengthen social ties. Our findings suggest that the reward experienced from helping others may be deeply ingrained in human nature, emerging in diverse cultural and economic contexts."
Zunz, Olivier (2011). Philanthropy in America, A History: Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press. ISBN . Archived from the original on October 17, 2011.
Sulek, Marty (2010). "On the Classical Meaning of Philanthrôpía". Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 39 (3): 385–408. [Citation originally appeared attached to the Scottish Enlightenment in the "Modern philanthropy" section, but is clearly, rather, associated with material of the "Classical… " section.]
Dunn, E.W.; Aknin, L.B. & Norton, M.I. (2008). "Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness." (print, online). Science. Vol. 319 no. 5870, March 21. pp. 1687f. doi:10.1126/science.1150952. PMID 18356530.
"Although much research has examined the effect of income on happiness, we suggest that how people spend their money may be at least as important as how much money they earn. Specifically, we hypothesized that spending money on other people may have a more positive impact on happiness than spending money on oneself. Providing converging evidence for this hypothesis, we found that spending more of one's income on others predicted greater happiness both cross-sectionally (in a nationally representative survey study) and longitudinally (in a field study of windfall spending). Finally, participants who were randomly assigned to spend money on others experienced greater happiness than those assigned to spend money on themselves. [Erratum in Science. 2009 May 29;324(5931):1143.]"
McCully, George (2008). "Promethean Fire: The Archetype (Chapter I)". Philanthropy Reconsidered: Private Initiatives, Public Good, Quality of Life (A Catalogue for Philanthropy Publication). Bloomington, IN, USA: AuthorHouse (self-published). pp. 1–21. ISBN . Archived from the original on August 26, 2008.
Chapter I subtitle: From its first coinage in ancient Greece, in Prometheus Bound, philanthropic meant "the love of humanity," or of what it is to be human, an educational and cultural ideal. [Citation originally appeared attached to the Scottish Enlightenment in the "Modern philanthropy" section, but is clearly, rather, associated with material of the "Classical… " section. (Appears likely to be the un-cited source for the "Definitions" section and led content and for the "Classical… " section.)]
Beatty, Sally (2007). "Money: Families Wrestle With Closing Foundations" (online). The Wall Street Journal (April 17).
"Wealthy families are setting up new philanthropic foundations in increasing numbers, but they are also shutting them down at an accelerating pace. / Some of the biggest names in philanthropy are backing the idea of setting a time limit on their giving: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced in December it will spend its entire endowment… within 50 years of the death of the last of its three current trustees, then close its doors."
Martin, Hubert (1961). "The Concept of Philanthropia in Plutarch's Lives". American Journal of Philology. 82: 164–175. [Citation originally appeared attached to the Scottish Enlightenment in the "Modern philanthropy" section, but is clearly, rather, associated with material of the "Classical… " section.]
Lester, Charles Edwards (1883). Lester's History of the United States: Illustrated in Its Five Great Periods: Colonization, Consolidation, Development, Achievement, Advancement. New York: P. F. Collier & Son.
Berman, Edward H. (1983). The Influence of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations on American Foreign Policy: The Ideology of Philanthropy. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. ISBN .
Muslim Philanthropy Digital Library open-source library managed by the research program at the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo
Voluntary Action History Society, Various research into the history of charity, philanthropy and voluntary organisations
ULIB.IUPUI.edu, Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library
ULIB.IUPUI.edu, Philanthropic Studies Index
NPtrust.org, History of Philanthropy, 1601–present compiled and edited by National Philanthropic Trust
MCCORD-museum.qc.ca, "A Bourgeois Duty: Philanthropy, 1896-1919" — Illustrated historical essay
GPR.hudson.org, PDF file from the Hudson Institute at The Index of Global Philanthropy 2006 83 page.
ULIB.IUPUI.edu, Philanthropy Resources Online
IMPACT.UPENN.edu, Center for High Impact Philanthropy in the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2)
- A New Voice
- Feeding the Hungry
- Adding Capability To Disabled
- Nonprofits & Philanthropy Research at IssueLab
- Karen DeSoto
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