It supports projects and endeavors from which we all benefit, such as libraries, museums and scientific research; and it also supports efforts that may be too unpopular or controversial to gain the widespread support of the general public or the government.
Philanthropy can be broadly defined as love for humankind.
The 17th century European colonization of America was a very important time for philanthropy in Europe.
There was a renewed interest in charity, religion, the poor and philanthropy in general among Europeans; they saw America as a source of new philanthropic opportunities.
References to philanthropy can be found in the Koran, Bible, Torah and in the teachings of many other religions and cultures, including Buddhism, Japanese and Native American cultures, and Hinduism.
"Zakat," or giving, is one of the five pillars of Islam that help people become closer to God (Islam-guide.com).
The food helps the person for a short period of time, but the person will become hungry again in the future.
Teaching the person how to grow food is philanthropy because it eliminates the social problem causing the person's hunger. Like modern philanthropists, ancient people practiced philanthropy for different reasons.
For generations, religious beliefs have influenced the way people think about and participate in philanthropy.
For people who are not religiously motivated to give, the religious belief systems of other people help to define what is considered "good" or "moral" in society.