What Makes Philanthropy Such a Vital Part of Our Society?

Cory S Powers
3 min readJan 30, 2023

It’s critical to realize that philanthropy encompasses more than just charitable giving. It can aid in resolving social issues and give ordinary people the confidence to take on authoritarian regimes.

The history of philanthropy is a subject that needs to be addressed. However, it has the potential to be a good topic. It may offer a clearer view of the big picture. It can also suggest policy options.

Philanthropic donations in the United States shifted toward science around the middle of the 19th century. Scientific philanthropists thought that tight surveillance of the underprivileged may be beneficial. They supported education as well.

The Age of Discovery promoted an unparalleled worldwide flow of culture and ideas and was the catalyst for this shift in giving habits. Americans were viewed as a new source of charitable potential by Europeans.

The Great Awakening of the 18th century was a societal movement that stressed religious individuality. Many well-known citizens competed to show greater civic virtue during this time.

Women founded charity organizations and generated money for the poor’s care, especially in mining communities. This was the first step in the direction of planned generosity.

Even though it was a public concern, slavery did not become a significant problem in charitable giving until the middle of the 19th century. However, the American Colonization Society’s plan to found a colony in Liberia for free African Americans was contentious. Additionally, it wasn’t advantageous for the African Americans it was intended for.

In our culture, philanthropy is a strong force for good. It is a social engagement that improves living conditions and strengthens our communities. Philanthropy, meanwhile, has its drawbacks.

It frequently comes with strings, which is one of the most obvious. It is therefore challenging for contributors to comprehend its true impact. Many contributors need access to reliable information and resources. Philanthropy has to be refocused on the needs of our local communities.

However, generosity is an essential component of a free society. The growing middle class has allowed charity to accomplish great things. Hunger and other social evils will continue to plague our countries until public policy changes.

Investment in a cause is the most crucial thing a contributor can do to help the general public. A wise donor may back a networked movement and help it use modern technologies. They also act as a spark for a charity that is more avant-garde.

Giving privately obtained the cash to a common benefit is known as philanthropy. The government supports it as a volunteer activity. Philanthropy involves participation from individuals, businesses, and foundations. These charitable organizations strive to lessen inequality and provide possibilities for social advancement.

The United States has a long history of philanthropic work. Aid clubs and religious institutions supplied troops with supplies throughout the Civil War. The Great Awakening was an American social movement in the 18th century. This trend was inspired by individualism and religious revivals.

Entrepreneurs with a social conscience were instrumental in finding solutions to numerous societal issues when the Industrial Revolution began. For these inventors, philanthropy developed and became a significant source of support.

In the United States, philanthropy flourished during the nineteenth century. Philanthropy used to be primarily concerned with education, morals, and religion. But charity began to shift away from these places by the middle of the century.

The impoverished people also attracted increased attention in the eighteenth century. Europeans saw the colonization of America as an opportunity to further charitable causes and give American inhabitants access to religion and education.

If you’re a philanthropist who wants to alter the world, think about how your giving might spur societal change. You may improve the lives of underprivileged populations and advance democratic values by supporting various causes.

People on opposite sides of the political spectrum might come together via philanthropy. Working together, individuals from various backgrounds may influence changes in governmental policies and strengthen democracy. This can assist in resolving some of the issues facing contemporary society.

You may start a charity or initiative to help a nearby school, sports team, religious organization, or environmental cause. A group that supports public initiatives might also be supported. These are only a few instances of how regular citizens acting as philanthropists may protect democracy.

However, you must exercise caution when enabling your generosity to affect politics. Philanthropy, in some forms, may be harmful to democracy. Philanthropy may undermine elected officials, particularly in nations with weak governments.



Cory S Powers

Cory S Powers donates generously to Heifer International, a significant nonprofit dedicated to eradicating hunger and poverty.