“Because its literal translation from Greek is “the love of humankind,” philanthropy can be and often is the word used to describe a multiplicity of benevolent behaviors: an act of kindness to a stranger, volunteer service at a not-for-profit organization, advocacy for a humanitarian cause, a dollar placed into a Salvation Army kettle, or multimillion dollar gifts and grants to universities and hospitals. Generous benefactors may choose to concentrate their attention upon the relief of suffering, the improvement of living standards, the provision of amenities for the “good life,” the promotion of social reform, or the support of civic engagement.”

Excerpted from The Liberating Promise of Philanthropy.

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