Philanthropy is derived from “philos” and “anthropos” – Greek words that mean loving and humankind. So, philanthropy can be broadly defined as “love for humankind.” The purpose of philanthropy is to solve and prevent social problems for the purpose of improving the wellbeing of humankind. It is not the same as charity, which focuses on eradicating the suffering that social problems cause.
Philanthropy has been practised for many years. While some ancient people practised it for genuine concern for the common good and kindness, there were others who used it as a way to gain power, prestige, and recognition, and to get in favour with the gods. You can also find references to philanthropy in the Torah, Bible, Koran, and in the teachings of many other cultures and religions, including Hinduism, Native American cultures, and Buddhism.