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Reviewed by Annapoorna | Updated on Jun 10, 2021


What is meant by Philanthropy?

Philanthropy suggests large scale charitable donations to noble causes. It is an attempt made by an individual or organisation on an altruistic desire to improve human welfare. Rich individuals sometimes set up foundations to aid their philanthropic efforts.

In recent times, philanthropy is usually undertaken by those exploring tax breaks rather than for the satisfaction of helping others.

Origin of Philanthropy in India

Philanthropy has a quite long tradition in India. All practising religions embrace the idea of philanthropy and the concept of ‘daan’ functions across religions and cultures. The custom of philanthropy is as old as India, spanning thousands of years. According to the sacred Hindu verse of Bhagavad Gita, one who relishes abundance without sharing with others is a thief. Also, the Muslim community has religiously practised zakat for a long time now.

There are various government policies that have influenced philanthropy, and there are successful strategies practised by the general population as well as organisations. It is not only practised by the individuals but by the business community too.

Modes of Philanthropy in India

It has been providing to the social and economic development for a long time. One can get both formal and informal relevance of philanthropy, most predominantly religious and secular, spread across India as charitable trusts, foundations, NGOs and corporates, as well as social media platforms.

In the middle ages, there are movements to donate land, labour, and aid to the needy, which was not considered so strongly in the ways of giving across the globe.

Individually, a person may do philanthropy trusting his instinct. But organisations look at long-term sustainability. Corporate philanthropy is now getting better structured, specifically after the government’s order to companies (registered under the Companies Act, 2013) for spending a part of their profits on corporate social responsibility (CSR).

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