The Merriam-Webster Dictionary tells us the word philanthropy is derived from Greek roots, which literally translate to “love of mankind.” By definition, philanthropy is an act or gift made to promote goodwill to fellow members of the human race. While that may seem like a fairly
straightforward concept, misconceptions abound. Today, we will discuss the top seven myths about philanthropy in order to set the record straight and shed a positive light on giving to others for humanitarian purposes.
Myth #1: The bigger the better.
While the spotlight is often given to famous, philanthropic billionaires, you do not have to be rich — and you do not need to give large sums of money — to make an impact. Every little bit counts, and anyone can be a philanthropist regardless of status or net worth.
Myth #2: It’s all about the money.
While supporting a cause or organization through monetary donations offers much needed funds, philanthropic efforts are not only financial. Volunteering your time, skills, talent and expertise also helps to make a difference in the world.
Myth #3: Most charitable donations go to overhead expenses.
While this can be true in some cases, it is not the norm. Do your research before giving to find reputable causes. For example, The Alliance for Health Equity provides scholarships to students and funding of non-profit organizations, with 100% of contributions going directly to those in need in the Greater Coatesville community.
Myth #4: Women are less philanthropic than men.
This is simply not true. In fact, women play an important role in helping to shape philanthropy today. According to Philanthropy News Digest, women have proven to be more likely to give and also to give more money than men. Most notably, MacKenzie Bezos recently committed half of her $36 billion Amazon fortune to charity.
Myth #5: People of color are new to philanthropic giving.
While often called a “new and emerging” demographic in philanthropy by media outlets, this is grossly inaccurate. The truth is, people of color have participated in charitable giving for hundreds of years, including investing in their communities, places of worship, and educational institutions.
Myth #6: The young generation is disinterested in philanthropy.
Young people are coming up with new and innovative ways to give back. These next generation philanthropists are growing up with a greater sense of social responsibility, and they are championing large causes while also devoting time to volunteer service close to home.
Myth #7: Most non-profits are large and do not need support.
This myth is by far the most detrimental, especially for small, local non-profit organizations like The Alliance for Health Equity. As a non-profit organization, we not only fund programs and services to improve the health and development of children, teens, and families in Greater Coatesville. We also help other impacted areas and underserved communities through grant giving. Support is much-needed and helps to continue our mission. For more information on The Alliance for Health Equity, click here.
The Alliance for Health Equity is a philanthropic organization striving to advance a more equitable, resilient and healthy community for all residents of the Greater Coatesville area. We pursue our mission through funding and running programs and services to improve the health and development of children, teens, and families in the Coatesville Area School District. We also provide funding to non-profit organizations and scholarships to students who need our help most. 100% of contributions go directly to those in need.