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Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life". Philanthropy contrasts with business initiatives, which are private initiatives for private good, focusing on material gain, and with government endeavors, which are public initiatives for public good, e.g., focusing on provision of public services.[1] A person who practices philanthropy is a philanthropist.

Philanthropy is different from charity, though there is some overlap. Charity aims to relieve the pain of a particular social problem, whereas philanthropy attempts to address the root cause of the problem.[2][3][4][5]

With the acquisition of most of the stock of the Ford Motor Company in the late 1940s, the Ford Foundation became the largest American philanthropy, splitting its activities between the United States, and the rest of the world. Outside the United States, it established a network of human rights organizations, promoted democracy, gave large numbers of fellowships for young leaders to study in the United States, and invested heavily in the Green Revolution, whereby poor nations dramatically increased their output of rice, wheat and other foods. Both Ford and Rock

With the acquisition of most of the stock of the Ford Motor Company in the late 1940s, the Ford Foundation became the largest American philanthropy, splitting its activities between the United States, and the rest of the world. Outside the United States, it established a network of human rights organizations, promoted democracy, gave large numbers of fellowships for young leaders to study in the United States, and invested heavily in the Green Revolution, whereby poor nations dramatically increased their output of rice, wheat and other foods. Both Ford and Rockefeller were heavily involved.[50] Ford also gave heavily to build up research universities in Europe and worldwide. For example, in Italy in 1950 it sent a team to help the Italian ministry of education reform the nation's school system, based on the principles of ‘meritocracy" (rather than political or family patronage), democratisation (with universal access to secondary schools). It reached a compromise between the Christian Democrats and the Socialists, to help promote uniform treatment and equal outcomes. The success in Italy became a model for Ford programs and many other nations.[51]

The Ford Foundation in the 1950s wanted to modernize the legal systems in India and Africa, by promoting the American model. The plan failed, because of India's unique legal history, traditions, and profession, as well as its economic and political conditions. Ford, therefore, turned to agricultural reform.[52]

The Ford Foundation in the 1950s wanted to modernize the legal systems in India and Africa, by promoting the American model. The plan failed, because of India's unique legal history, traditions, and profession, as well as its economic and political conditions. Ford, therefore, turned to agricultural reform.[52] The success rate in Africa was no better, and that program closed in 1977.[53]

Philanthropy in Australia is influenced by the country's regulatory and cultural history, and by its geography.[54] Structured giving through foundations[55] is slowly growing, although public data on the philanthropic sector is sparse.[56] There is no public registry of philanthropic foundations as distinct from charities more generally.

Two foundation types for which some data is available are Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs)[57] and Public Ancillary Funds (PubAFs).[58] Private Ancillary Funds have some similarities to private family foundations in the US and Europe, and do not have a public fundraising requirement.[59] Public Ancillary Funds include community foundations, some corporate f

Two foundation types for which some data is available are Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs)[57] and Public Ancillary Funds (PubAFs).[58] Private Ancillary Funds have some similarities to private family foundations in the US and Europe, and do not have a public fundraising requirement.[59] Public Ancillary Funds include community foundations, some corporate foundations, and foundations that solely support single organisations such as hospitals, schools, museums and art galleries. They must raise funds from the general public.[60]

Traditional philanthropy and impact investment can be distinguished by how they serve society. Traditional philanthropy is usually short-term, where organisations obtain resources for causes through fund-raising and one-off donations.[61] The Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation are examples of such; they focus more on the financial contributions to social causes and less on the actual actions and processes of benevolence. Impact investment, on the other hand, focuses on the interaction between individual wellbeing and broader society through the promotion of sustainability. Stressing the importance of impact and change, they invest in different sectors of society, including housing, infrastructure, healthcare and energy.[62]

A suggested explanation for the preference for impact investment philanthropy to traditional philanthropy is the gaining prominence of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since 2015. Almost every SDG is linked to environmental protection and sustainability because of raising concerns about how globalisation, liberal consumerism and population growth may affect the environment. As a result, development agencies have seen increased accountability on their part, as they face greater pressure to fit with current developmental agendas.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since 2015. Almost every SDG is linked to environmental protection and sustainability because of raising concerns about how globalisation, liberal consumerism and population growth may affect the environment. As a result, development agencies have seen increased accountability on their part, as they face greater pressure to fit with current developmental agendas.

Philanthrocapitalism differs from traditional philanthropy in how it operates. Traditional philanthropy is about charity, mercy, and selfless devotion improving recipients' wellbeing.[62] Philanthrocapitalism, is philanthropy transformed by business and the market,[63] where profit-oriented business models are designed that work for the good of humanity.[64] Share value companies are an example. They help develop and deliver curricula in education, strengthen their own businesses and improve the job prospects of people.[65] Firms improve social outcomes, but while they do so, they also benefit themselves.

The rise of philanthrocapitalism can be attributed to global capitalism. There is an understanding that philanthropy is not worthwhile if no economic benefit can be derived by philanthropy organisations, both from a social and private perspective. Therefore, philanthropy has been seen as a tool to sustain economic growth and the firm's own growth, based on capitalism. There is an understanding that philanthropy is not worthwhile if no economic benefit can be derived by philanthropy organisations, both from a social and private perspective. Therefore, philanthropy has been seen as a tool to sustain economic growth and the firm's own growth, based on human capital theory. Through education, specific skills are taught which enhance people's capacity to learn and their productivity at work.

Intel invests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricular standards in the US and provides learning resources and materials for schools, for its own innovation and revenue.[66] The New Employment Opportunities initiative in Latin America is a regional collaboration to train 1 million youth by 2022 to raise employment standards and ultimately provide a talented pool of labour for companies.

Celebrity philanthropy involves to celebrity-affiliated charitable and philanthropic activities. It is an increasingly prevalent topic of scholarship in studies of ‘the popular’ vis-à-vis the modern and post-modern world.[67]:3 Structured and systematised charitable giving by celebrities is a relatively new phenomenon. Although charity and fame are associated historically, it was only in the 1990s that entertainment and sports celebrities from affluent western societies became involved with a particular type of philanthropy.[67]:1–16 Celebrity philanthropy in contemporary western societies is not isolated to large one-off monetary donations by definition. It involves celebrities using their publicity, brand credibility and personal wealth to promote not-for-profit organisations, which are increasingly ‘business-like’ in form. This is sometimes termed as ‘celanthropy’ – the fusion of celebrity and cause as a representation of what the organisation advocates.[67]:5

Implications on government and governance