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November 12, 2021

The Differences Between Philanthropy and Charity

Charities are non-profit organizations that collect funds for a specific cause. On the other hand, philanthropy is an act of generosity or an example of charity in action without receiving payment back.

The term “charity” refers to societies formed by private citizens who collected money to provide aid or relief for others. Meanwhile, philanthropy has been around as early as 600 BC. The word philanthropy comes from the Greek words “Philos” (love) and “anthrōpos” (mankind).

In this article, we will review the difference between charity and philanthropy.


Charity is a type of giving or donation to help those in need. This is usually done out of compassion and empathy for the needs of others. It is the act of giving money or some other form of valuable property to support the cause or missions of a non-profit organization.

Charities rely on donations to provide services for people in need. This will allow them to offer more services and meet the needs of more people. Charities can also issue tax receipts for these donations.

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of people using or supporting non-profit organizations. This is because we live in a world where there is far more abundance than at any other time in human history.

The definition of charity has evolved. The modern definition today includes the idea of gift-giving, helping others, or volunteering to give back to society. Charities are also voluntary organizations that work on behalf of the public without payment and receive donations from private individuals, corporations, governmental organizations, other charities, and income from investments and property sales.


Philanthropy is also the act of giving money, help, or other resources to the poor or those in need. In this sense, it often has a lot in common with charity. For instance, some of the most popular ways to give back and make an impact through philanthropy include the following ways:

  1. Being a volunteering guide at your local homeless shelter
  2. Donating old clothes to a homeless shelter in your area
  3. Organizing a clothing drive for your local shelter or social cause

Philanthropy is an act of doing good, a virtue, or a disposition to do good. It is the opposite of selfishness or self-interest.

The idea of philanthropy has existed for centuries. It took form in ancient Greece when philosophers like Socrates and Plato advocated that society should be governed by its strongest members.

Today’s philanthropists are often associated with billionaires such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who have donated billions to charitable causes over their lifetime.


The word “charity” is sometimes used interchangeably to mean “philanthropy,” but they’re two different concepts. There are some apparent differences between them. Both are about serving those in need. However, while philanthropic acts resemble charitable acts, philanthropy is more about the idea of service while charity is more about the act of service.

Originally published on on November 5, 2021

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