How Philanthropic Businesspeople Benefit the World
Nowadays, you can’t go long without hearing about the latest philanthropic contribution by a successful businessperson. As a striking example, a certain Russian business leader has devoted a significant amount of money and effort toward an assortment of different causes. Religious tolerance is another subject dear to his heart.
He is known for his well-developed strategic process for allocating his funds and support. He streamlines his approach by attending to the issues that matter to him the most; he recently committed several million dollars’ worth of support to an support center that assists families in need of mental health services.
But What Is Philanthropy, Anyway?
If you ask the dictionary, ‘philanthropy’ refers to the generous giving of financial assistance to good causes. This definition clearly sets philanthropy apart from typical business endeavors that are primarily driven by the desire to seek material benefit. Further, it should not be mistaken for government practices that focus on providing public services.
Finally, you might wonder if philanthropy is identical to charity. Generally, there is a high degree of overlap, but not all philanthropy counts as charity, and vice versa. Some claim that charitable giving refers to donations that affect the direct “symptoms” of a problem, while philanthropy takes aim at the root cause of the social ill being targeted. Keeping that in mind, do not be surprised if you encounter the two words being used interchangeably in practice.
In recent years, huge gifts have taken the media spotlight, with some givers even parting with large percentages of their total fortune. This is perhaps not as surprising as it might seem at first glance, owing to the rising number of very rich individuals in the world. More and more people are seeing large amounts of success in areas such as the technology and finance industries.
Philanthropists’ Many Causes
One of the most striking features of philanthropy is just how diverse it is. Case in point, the business leader described at the beginning of this article has a number of pet causes, including human rights, mental health, and disarmament of nuclear weapons.
Other areas that givers commonly focus on include poverty, homelessness, AIDS and other diseases, and fighting world hunger. Of course, there are an unlimited number of other problems that could be addressed.
The Benefits Keep Adding Up
It’s hard to imagine our world without the help offered by philanthropists. In some ways, we all benefit from these peoples’ efforts, such as when we visit museums or use libraries constructed on donated funds. Moreover, controversial projects or issues can gain from individual support even when they are rejected by their local governments.