I’ve struggled with the true definition of philanthropy here on this blog.
What does it mean to be philanthropic? How can one truly make a difference in the world?
I know being philanthropic means more than just giving money. Yesterday, I stumbled upon a blog post by Matthew Smith in which 6 words really stood out for me.
Charity is giving…philanthropy is doing.
It was like a light bulb went in my head. That’s it! Those are the words that I’ve been looking for!
So simple, but powerful.
The word charity has a bad connotation to it. We give to charity because we feel like we have to, because there’s an immediate need, not because we really want to. As Matthew puts it,
Whereas charity is essential to address immediate needs, philanthropy is the means by which individuals and nonprofit agencies achieve their greater missions. Philanthropy is breaking down the stereotype that an ex-offender can’t contribute to a business and society at-large. Philanthropy is building a well for a remote village in East Africa. Philanthropy is changing hearts and minds and cultures, it’s righting wrongs, it’s making the world a better place.
While philanthropy is surely more challenging, it is also much more rewarding. I have noted on the blog that little deeds can add up to make a world of difference. This post inspires me to continue on with my exploration of philanthropy.
Who knows. If I plan right, maybe I can be the difference I want to be in this world.
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