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Charitable Planning

The origin of the word “philanthropy” is generally attributed to the Greeks and means “love of humanity.” Over time, philosophers have commonly defined “philanthropy” as private initiatives for the public good that focus on quality of life. Alan Alda, a famous actor and now philanthropist, perhaps put it simply and best when he said: “The idea behind meaningful philanthropy is a desire to change the world for the better.”

Why Do People Give?

Obviously, we live in a very charitable society. But why do individuals give? There are many reasons:

  • To have a positive impact on society;
  • To create a family legacy;
  • Because of guilt;
  • Because it can be good business;
  • To elevate personal status in society;
  • To show gratitude;
  • To support others in the wake of disasters, such as the 9/11 attacks or Hurricane Katrina;
  • For personal reasons, such as when a close family member is diagnosed with an illness; and
  • For religious reasons.

According to Giving USA 2013: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2012, there are over 117 million households in the United States which make charitable gifts. Those same donors gave away over $316.2 billion in 2012. Of that amount, $228.9 billion came from individuals. The remaining balance came from businesses and foundations.

Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

For a complimentary copy of “Making a Difference in Your Community While Protecting Your Loved Ones” , A  Consumer Guide To Charitable Giving & Philanthropy please complete the contact us section on this page and put Charitable Giving in the subject box.  If you would prefer this to be mailed instead of an electronic copy  please include your mailing address in the your message box.

Source: Giving USA 2013: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2012, Giving USA Foundation and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.