"give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach
a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime" is,
for many, at the heart of the difference between philanthropy
and charity. People often use the terms 'philanthropy'
& 'charity' interchangeably and think the two are
synonymous. Social scientists consider this incorrect
and rightly so.
Charity refers to the relief of suffering while
philanthropy is the seeking out of the root causes of
social problems and solving them.
When the charitable person makes a donation, he gives
whatever he's got on him or he conscientiously writes
a cheque for a sizable sum and hands it off to a grateful
beneficiary. When your philanthropist, on the other
hand, makes a grant, that money comes from a foundation,
or a giving circle, or a donor-advised fund, where the
money is invested for social benefit.
Contemporary philanthropy usually focuses on interests
and concerns of all income classes, while charity on
the other hand has come to mean serving mainly, if not
only, the poor, disabled and needy.
There is also a difference in the ways the two are carried
out. While charity creates an dependent relationship
between the giver and the receiver, philanthropy seeks
to empower and enable sustainability. Give a man a fish,
feed him for today. Teach a man to fish, feed him for
a lifetime. Charity is for today; philanthropy is forever.