Skip links

Philanthropy vs Charity: The Subtle Difference

Did you know there was a difference in philanthropy vs charity? That’s right! However,  it is subtle, so don’t worry if you don’t know it. 

Naturally, we associate positive images with philanthropy and charity. Likely, we believe both help others and both are beneficial for the community. We probably use them interchangeably.  And why not? Maybe you even have a philanthropy example in mind? Or could it actually be a charity example? 

The good news is that there are benefits of philanthropy , and of course, there are benefits of charity. Both are great to involve in your life and with your team at home or work. It’s not Philanthropy vs Charity. It’s Philanthropy and Charity!

In this article we’ll take a quick look at the subtle difference between philanthropy and charity. 

Philanthropy vs Charity

Remember, they are both great! 

The concept behind philanthropy is about ideas & actions that are done to better humanity. Philanthropy focuses on long-term solutions and social change. Philanthropy is based on collective and organized responses.  It also has more independent communities. Anyone can be a philanthropist. You can help solve issues within society.  

With that, here’s a philanthropy example. Let’s think of something we’re facing right now. We can look into disaster relief for COVID-19 philanthropy. If we look at the whole picture of the situation, the actions that are done to better humanity are philanthropy. Philanthropy efforts would focused on funding or creating medical research teams for vaccines and ways to prevent COVID. 

Now, let’s look at charity. Charity is more of an emotional response, and it’s actually more focused on relief in the short-term. Supplying people and communities with COVID vaccines is a charity example. Funding to create the vaccine would fall within philanthropy! Sending masks and other aid are also great charity examples of short-term relief. Charity relieves a particular social problem, whereas philanthropy focuses on addressing the root cause.  

Remember, they are both great! Short-term solutions are needed. Additionally research and longer term solutions are also needed. We have to find the root cause of the issues to solve them long term. Both philanthropy and charity are critical partners to improve communities everywhere.  

Many of us do both without even realizing it. 

Let’s Make A Difference

It’s all about the needs of the people around us. Charity helps whenever there is an immediate need for giving. Philanthropy plans out strategic efforts to make change. Both charity and philanthropy bring positive change. These are two different, and needed, approaches to solving a problem. Consider someone with high blood pressure or heart disease. We would suggest a diet change and taking medication. We want to address both the root cause and the immediate need!  

The most important thing to note is philanthropy and charity are open to everyone! Giving back and helping others is for everyone. Even small amounts of volunteering go a long way. If you have an extra dollar, great! You can make a difference with your time, talent, or treasure.  Each of us has a choice to create a positive impact on this world. Using our individual talents and skills, we can work together and make this world a better place!

Skip to content