The difference between Charity and Philanthropy

Jun 29, 2018 · 2 min read

The words Charity and Philanthropy are often used interchangeably, but actually there is a difference between these two concepts.

The origin of the word Philanthropy comes from the Greek language that translates to: “Love of mankind”. A more modern definition is “private initiatives for the public good which combines an original humanistic tradition with a social scientific aspect”.

Philanthropy is an idea or an action that is done to better humanity and usually involves some sacrifice as opposed to being done for a profit motive.

Charity comes from the old French word Chrité and means, “Providing for those in need; generosity and giving”. The practice of charity involves giving money, goods or time to the unfortunate, either directly of by means of charitable trust or other worthy causes.

Charity tends to be emotional, immediate response which mainly focused on rescue and relief, whereas Philanthropy is more strategic and built on rebuilding.

The main difference is that Charity aims to relieve the pain of a particular social problem, whereas Philanthropy attempts to address the root cause of the problem. An example is the difference between sending painkillers to malaria patients, which is charity, versus educating the public in affected areas or supporting medical research teams in finding a cure for malaria, which are philanthropy.

Charity is giving, Philanthropyis acting and changing for a better world.


Written by

Philanthropy Foundation on Blockchain