Philanthropy is known for carrying out actions that benefit the whole of humanity or part of it, motivated by the sole desire to do something good without expecting anything in return. The term philanthropy comes from the union of two Greek concepts: philos (love) and anthropos (man), therefore, its meaning is love for man or love for humanity.
Philanthropy has a strong positive charge and refers, in most cases, to people who provide help to the most needy without expecting any benefit in return. The most common philanthropic actions are donations and volunteer work.
History of Philanthropy
Philanthropy has its origins in Ancient Greece. Since then, Plato’s illustrious academy has referred to philanthropy as an educational ideal, associated with democracy and freedom whose goal must always be excellence.
However, the term philanthropy, through its meaning as we know it, would not be valid today because the Roman Emperor Julian tried to restore paganism in his territories during the fourth century. For this, it copied several institutions of the Catholic Church and parts of its doctrine through charity to replace philanthropy and thus become one of the main virtues of this new religion.
Modern Philanthropy was born at the time of the Enlightenment during the 17th century. It was especially in Scotland and England that a number of progressive thinkers emerged whose ideas silenced the upper classes of society at the time, so this class gathered in associations or in gentlemen’s clubs to organize their philanthropic activity in relation to the more in need. Philanthropy
Among history’s most distinguished philanthropists, oil tycoon John D. Rockfeller has occupied a prominent place in this setting. One of the richest men of all time devoted much of his last years to improving the conditions of those most in need. Thus, it has donated more than 550 million dollars through various foundations dedicated to medical studies and to facilitating access to education and humanitarian causes. Philanthropy
Another great philanthropist was the Swiss Henri Dunant, who went down in history as one of the great activists of the humanitarian cause, even receiving the great Nobel Peace Prize. His philanthropic activity gave rise to the International Red Cross and his ideals inspired the principles of the Convention of Geneva.