Understanding Philanthropy

Research conducted by Newcastle University Centre for Research on Entrepreneurship, Wealth and Philanthropy.

Philanthropy is the voluntary gift of resources from private wealth to promote charitable causes, projects or organizations. Based on original research and a review of the existing literature, the purpose of this paper, specially commissioned for the Generosity Festival, is to provide a comprehensive overview of the philanthropic landscape in Britain and to explain how philanthropy serves as a force for good in society. It begins by introducing the types of actors operating in the philanthropic field; the often confusing array of donors, foundations and beneficiaries of different types and hues. It outlines the choices confronting philanthropists and the different organisations and tools that exist to facilitate, maximize and effectively utilize philanthropic giving.

In the paper, you can also read about the motivations behind philanthropy and the wide range of causes philanthropists support. Philanthropy plays an important role in social innovation through the founding of new organisations and institutions. Large numbers of schools, libraries, hospitals, universities, churches, parks and gardens and community organizations have their roots in philanthropy. Tens of thousands of front-line charities, tackling deep-seated problems at home and abroad and improving the lives of millions of people, are sustained largely by the generosity of private individuals.

Overall, the concise discussion of a complex topic makes this paper a valuable introductory guide for prospective philanthropists, third sector professionals, board members of charitable trusts and foundations, interested academics and anyone else interested in understanding how philanthropy works.  Download your copy by clicking on the button below.

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The Philanthropic Landscape