Guest Opinion Piece: Charity and Philanthropy – Is There a Difference???

Once again I’ve been contacted by someone out of the blue, interested in contributing to What Gives??? as a guest blogger.  Today’s guest blog post is an opinion piece from Joy Maiywa of Degree Jungle.

Opinions below are not those of What Gives??? but those of the guest blogger.

Please share your responses to Joy’s piece by commenting on this blog post!


Even though charitable and philanthropic activities both aim towards promoting human welfare, there is a big difference between the two. The difference mainly lies in the methods that are used to execute both activities. Charities tend to build a dependent or reliant relationship between the receiver and the giver. Philanthropy, on the other hand, aims to empower and establish sustainability of a certain cause. Charity can be said to offer an instant solution while philanthropy pursues preservation. Charity offers relief to those that are suffering whereas philanthropy looks into the root or origin causes of particular social problems and aims to solve them. Philanthropy therefore offers something more or greater than charitable activities for the purpose of enhancing human welfare by bringing about vital social changes.

People are said to be giving charitably when they either write a cheque or dig into their pockets and offer a particular amount of money to a grateful receiver. However, a philanthropist would make a substantial donation to an organization or a foundation and the money given is invested towards the achievement of a greater social benefit. Philanthropists can make donations for a particular period of time, say six days, eight years or for a lifetime. This brings about sustainability for the project at hand. The money given by charitable persons are quickly used but those of philanthropists have long-term impact.

At present, there has been an increase in the number of non-profit organizations with philanthropic missions that aim to serve the needy and the poor in different developing countries around the world. These philanthropic organizations use different platforms to reach their targets such as family welfare, healthcare and education. They have experienced tremendous success in their simple, yet highly-effective strategies and solutions that bring about real sustainable changes in individual lives and communities at large. As such, they are increasingly getting support from other philanthropists who are encouraged by their mission and accomplishments.

A good majority of people have in one time or another donated towards a charity. Even small kids may have given their allowances or pocket money to a charity. However, most people do not know the procedures and activities of philanthropy. Issues like where and how to begin, who to contact, accountability and whether or not the donations will faithfully be used to fund the cause, normally stop many people from being philanthropic.  The solution to all these issues is to thoroughly research the work of a particular organization and find out what they mainly do and the methods they use to execute their work.

Once you have gathered all the necessary information and reviews regarding a particular non-profit organization of your interest, you can determine whether or not to get involved in their philanthropic activities. You can be assured that the donations you make will greatly benefit the receivers if the organization is true to their cause. Getting involved in philanthropic activities is a great ay to give back to society.

Written by
Joy Maiywa

Joy is a professional freelance writer and blogger. She has worked with clients from different fields including technology, education, health, and business and entrepreneurship. She writes for Degree Jungle, a resource for college students.

1 thought on “Guest Opinion Piece: Charity and Philanthropy – Is There a Difference???

  1. I think making a distinction between “charity” and “philanthropy” is important, and I would encourage people not to get confused that “philanthropy” has anything to do with how much someone gives. Historically speaking, philanthropy has been the domain of the uber-wealthy because they have the time and money to invest in making donations that make long-term impact.

    Merriam Webster defines a philanthropist as “one who makes an active effort to promote human welfare.” You can donate $5 and be a philanthropist. You can donate $1 million and NOT be a philanthropist.

    Here’s how I define a philanthropist: A philanthropist is someone who
    has a picture of how the world should be,
    donates with the intention of of bringing that picture to life, and
    takes the necessary steps to evaluate if a particular donation will foster that vision.

    Philanthropists know that giving money is serious business. And, today’s technology means that ANYONE can be a philanthropist. To make this easier, I advise people to create their donation team around whatever cause they care about most. This donation team, aka a “Giving Circle”, pools their small donations so that together they make BIG donations and make a big impact. Plus, they share the work of making good donations that are going to make a big impact on a problem.

    Who has time this month to research this charity that we’re considering?

    Who can do some research and present a report on this particular problem so that we understand what’s going on so we can make a better donation.

    Giving circles make philanthropy easy and accessible to everyone.

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