The meaning of philanthropy

6 years ago

One of my goals for 2011 is to live more philanthropically (and figure out what this means in the process). I even made it part of my new motto / slogan.

My thought is that I am at the point in my life that I have the resources to give back in a more meaningful way. But what does it mean to give back? And how do I build philanthropy into my everyday life? (Just working for a nonprofit doesn’t count.)

The first step for me is to define what philanthropy means. Here are a few definitions I found:

From Merriam-Webster:
1: goodwill to fellow members of the human race; especially : active effort to promote human welfare
2 a : an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes
b : an organization distributing or supported by funds set aside for humanitarian purposes

1. altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons, by endowment of institutions of learning and hospitals, and by generosity to other socially useful purposes.
2. the activity of donating to such persons or purposes in this way: to devote one’s later years to philanthropy.
3. a particular act, form, or instance of this activity: The art museum was their favorite philanthropy.
4. a philanthropic organization.

1. The effort or inclination to increase the well-being of humankind, as by charitable aid or donations.
2. Love of humankind in general.
3. Something, such as an activity or institution, intended to promote human welfare.

There seems to be a theme of supporting and bettering humankind. I like that these definitions don’t necessarily focus on giving money. I think philanthropy is more than money. At work, when I receive donations, I find the stronger connection the donor has to our cause, the more meaningful the donation. Oftentimes, it isn’t money that the person is giving. It’s their time or resources.

So, what does philanthropy mean to you? And how do you incorporate philanthropy in your everyday life, both personally and professionally? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Cross-posted from another jennifer
art, music, parenting, philanthropy and other musings from a working mom in brunswick, maine

This is an article written by one of the incredible members of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

More from living

by Kimberly Peta Dewhirst
| 4 days ago
by Kimberly Peta Dewhirst
| 11 days ago
by Christina Marfice
| 14 days ago
by Laura Williams
| 15 days ago
by Christina Marfice
| 16 days ago
by Justina Huddleston
| 17 days ago