The etymology of “philanthropy” is a combination of two ancient Greek words: “philos” meaning “loving” in the sense of benefitting, caring for or nourishing; and “anthropos”, meaning “human being” in the sense of “humanity”. Philanthropy, therefore, can be translated to mean “love of humanity”. In the modern world, philanthropy is generally understood as voluntary action or private giving of time or valuables for the public good, or more specifically, for improving the quality of life of all human beings. There are different factors that can lead to philanthropic giving, for example, religious belief, personal values, family or cultural tradition, as well as different vehicles for doing philanthropy. Philanthropy plays an important role in the development of civil society and how philanthropy happens will continue to evolve as we seek to maximize the way our contributions impact society for the better.
Effective Philanthropy in Private Foundations