South Asian Women's Fund
Murray Culshaw Consulting
What is philanthropy?
Philanthropy is the voluntary act of donating money or goods or providing some other support to a charitable cause usually over an extended period of time. In a more fundamental sense, philanthropy may encompass any activity which is intended to enhance the common good or improve human well being. Someone who is well known for practicing philanthropy may sometimes be called a philanthropist. Although such individuals are often very wealthy, people may nevertheless perform philanthropic acts without possessing great wealth.
By the conventional definition of philanthropy, only a wealthy person can be a philanthropist. But in a broader sense it can also mean love of humankind in general and something, such as an activity or institution, intended to promote human welfare. Many non-wealthy individuals have dedicated – thus, donated – their lives to charitable causes but are not described as philanthropists. Whether the donation of time or money, the end result should be the betterment of human beings and of mankind. This is the true philosophy of the philanthropist.
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|Ancient India (Vedic periods) |Hindu and Buddhist tenets of giving influence and encourage informal | | |philanthropy among women. Women of wealth i.e. queens and wives of | | |wealthy merchants gave wealth and property to monastic orders, temples | | |and built tanks and wells for public use. Other women gave food and | | |clothing to wandering mendicants, and poor and the disabled. | |Early Christian era to the beginning of the 19th century |Women were considered as inferior and denied rights. Working was | | |considered as taboo; women had no economic independence and limited | | |property rights. Philanthropy by women not encouraged, giving if any was | | |of an informal nature and only in the private domain. | |1810 |First missionary girl school opens in Bombay and Bengal and education | | |became an important plank of reform. | |Late 1800s and early 1900s |Christian missions set up welfare organisations for destitute women and | | |the first university for women set up in 1916 by D K Karve a male social | | |reformer. | |1882 |Pandita Ramabai, the first woman social reformer formed a women's | | |organisation in Pune and later in 1889 started Sharada Sadan, a home and | | |school for widows where they were taught skills to rehabilitate | | |themselves....