Philanthropy can be broadly defined as love for humankind. It is derived from the Greek words “philos,” which means loving and “anthropos,” which means humankind. A person who practices philanthropy is called a philanthropist .

The purpose of philanthropy is to improve the well-being of humankind by preventing and solving social problems. Philanthropy is not the same as charity. Charity focuses on eliminating the suffering caused by social problems, while philanthropy focuses on eliminating social problems. For example, giving food to a person who is suffering from a famine is charity. The food helps the person for a short period of time, but the person will become hungry again in the future. Teaching the person how to grow food is philanthropy because it eliminates the social problem causing the person’s hunger.

Philanthropy has played a very important role in American society. We directly benefit from philanthropy by the use of libraries, schools, hospitals, performing arts centers and museums supported by the generosity of philanthropists. Philanthropy may also support scientific research, scholarships, civil rights endeavors, social services and other things beneficial to society.

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