National Philanthropy Day

On November 15th, National Philanthropy Day honors those who give back to their communities. 


The word philanthropy comes from Latin and Greek philanthropia which gives us kindliness, humanity, and love for mankind. From this, we take the philo (tending to, fond of) and join antropos meaning mankind or human beings.

Ways Philanthropy Changes the World

Philanthropists give of their time and money in ways that provide a lasting impact. 

  • Supports education through scholarships, grants, foundations, and more
  • Foundations support scientific research
  • Development of charities
  • Funding grants to programs for local, national, and international needs
  • Encourage art through grants and foundations
  • Invest in advocacy platforms for the underprivileged

The day recognizes philanthropists for their many significant contributions, help, and good deeds and for the differences that they have made in our lives and our communities.

While philanthropy is giving and kind, it is a type of gift that strives to replace social ills with solutions. Philanthropists see issues and try to solve them. Charity often is a temporary solution for a temporary problem. When the issue persists, we seek a cure. There are instances of philanthropy that can overlap with instances of charity. The difference is that charity relieves the pains of social problems, whereas philanthropy attempts to solve those problems at their root causes.


Learn more about the kinds of philanthropy in your community. Read books on the history of philanthropy in the United States. You can also:

  • Share how philanthropy has impacted your community.
  • Support your favorite philanthropic organization.
  • Volunteer for a local organization.
  • Share your favorite organization’s page and your favorite projects.

Use #NationalPhilanthropyDay to post on social media.


The Association of Fundraising Professionals created National Philanthropy Day in 1985.