What is Philanthropy?

Philanthropy is the desire to give to society for the good of humanity. Philanthropists contribute money, time or other assets to society to enrich the public good. Often, the public is unaware of the volume of philanthropy with which society is endowed.

Why is Philanthropy Important to Society?

The act of giving back for the bounty of assets received is a natural human instinct for most individuals. Philanthropy is a kind of return on the investment of receiving. Thus, philanthropy is important in order for society to feel some measure of stability and satisfaction with the quality of life.

Entrepreneurs believe philanthropy is a duty to give back to the community in the form of charitable acts of generosity, or donations to various projects that contribute art, beauty, and science to the world.

How Important is Philanthropy?

In order to properly assess the value of philanthropy, it is necessary to cite some of the most extraordinary philanthropic projects. It is important to note philanthropists exist globally.

Some of the most famous philanthropists in recent times are Bill and Melinda Gates of Microsoft who established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Every five years the Foundation donates $200 million for public health initiatives directed toward infectious diseases such as HIV, Malaria, and Tuberculosis.

In 1906, steel magnate Andrew Carnegie established the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1906. The John D. Rockefeller Foundation was created by Standard Oil magnate, John D. Rockefeller, who donated over $500 million for the advancement of public health. Others, like the Guggenheim Foundation, spread their philanthropic generosity to a broad range of arts-related grants.

The top three most generous philanthropists include Warren Buffett, No. 1, Bill and Melinda Gates, No. 2, and George Soros, No.3. Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway has donated more than 99% of his fortune to charity. George Soros, hedge fund manager in New York from 1969 to 2011, founded the Open Society Foundations which donates nearly $14 billion to various causes.

The True Value of Giving Back to Society

All of the most generous philanthropists have contributed significantly to science, art, music, and health projects. It is difficult to imagine how much advancement in the treatment of cancer there would be without generous donations from philanthropists.