Let's Define Philanthropy

What is Philanthropy?

Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life", there are no strings attached to philanthropy that is well-targeted and utilized, the only reward or gain for a philanthropist is recognition that their intent was well-received with positive sentiment and made a difference. Philanthropy contrasts with business initiatives, which are private initiatives for private good, 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 a philanthropist. Philanthropy is distinctly different than charity, often viewed as a branch of charity because charity is so vast, but the reality is that charity is part of philanthropy, and much more important to charity professionals than charitable causes on their own. Philanthropy is often viewed as one of the most important parts of American history dating back to the mid 1600s with William Penn and later with Benjamin Franklin who were both considered great humanitarians of their time.

Origins of the Word

The word philanthropy comes from Ancient Greek φιλανθρωπία (philanthrōpía) 'love of humanity', from phil- "love, fond of" and anthrōpos "humankind, mankind". Philanthropy was modernized by Sir Francis Bacon in the 1600s, who is credited in great part with preventing the word from being owned by horticulture. Bacon considered philanthrôpía to be synonymous with "goodness", correlated with the Aristotelian conception of virtue, as consciously instilled habits of good behavior. Samuel Johnson simply defined philanthropy as "love of mankind; good nature". This definition still survives today and is often cited more gender-neutrally as the "love of humanity."

Philanthropy and the Law

What the law says about Philanthropy is most important because the Common Law has been codified into the United States Code.

Common law also states that honorary awards and titular recognition is appropriate for extraordinary contributions to the welfare and development of civil society sustainable development programs of which they are a part and exceptional acts of philanthropy to an initiative, mission, or project. The law also provides philanthropists with naming recognition for administrative and practical facilities, places, and mapped items like landmarks, streets, parks, creeks, or hiking paths.