May 26, 2021

Charity versus Philanthropy

Charity – Helping people in need. Charitable people help others in need, like giving money to a soup kitchen so they can buy what they require for their regular meals for their clients, would make one a charitable person.

Philanthropy – Making an investment that stimulates other investments or provides opportunity for others. Philanthropists make charitable gifts that result in the creation of economic and social opportunity for individuals which, in turn, helps create a better society for everyone.

You want to find or develop philanthropists for your nonprofit.
In other words, while the first gift a supporter makes might be a charitable donation, they could have the capacity to give your organization much more money. But they will not hand over their home or a large chunk of cash to you because they are feeling charitable; they may, however, do it because they are feeling philanthropic.

Therefore, you need to find ways to help people feel more philanthropic. But how?
How many people benefit by your programs and services, and by how much?
Is this the most effective thing I can do with my money?
Is this area neglected in society and requires a lot more resources (i.e., financial, or otherwise)?
What would happen if I do not contribute?
What are the chances of success, and how would success be measured?

Nonprofits are attracting philanthropists to help guide them. For instance, “effective altruism” is a way donors can learn how to make an impact on the world. Effective altruism inspires critical thinking by applying evidence and reasoning to determine the most effective ways to improve the world. Effective altruism can add meaning to our lives and can help us in finding fulfilment in what we do. Many effective altruists say that in doing good, they feel good.

Many people want to be philanthropists but need some help getting there. In addition to helping people learn about your organization, its programs, and its impact, you should help them learn what philanthropy is all about. If in fact, you want to attract and support philanthropists, you need to provide them with value. You might share a worksheet with them so they can think through their goals, a book about philanthropy, or maybe send them inspirational quotes from philanthropists every now and again.

I hope you enjoy my postings and find this information useful. Please follow the link at: as I welcome your comments on my Blog.



Mitchell Ravvin, BComm, PFPC, CFRE
Professional Fundraiser
Rave Results Inc.
7436 21A Street SE
Calgary, AB T2C 0V9

Rave Results Inc. is a professional fundraising service specializing in assisting mid-size nonprofit organizations. Areas of expertise include: Donor Development, Major Gift Fundraising, Sponsorship, Planned Giving, and both Annual and Capital Campaigns.

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