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What is philanthropy?

The origin of the word philanthropy is in the ancient Greek notion of “love of humanity”.

Philanthropy refers to the practice of giving, and more specifically, to the practice of contributing money in support of a cause.

As an emerging field, philanthropy includes the practices, knowledge, causes and investments of organisations and individuals involved in philanthropic giving, as well as the legislative framework that regulates these processes.

In South Africa, philanthropy has only recently started to be understood not simply as “giving”, but as inclusive of practices and approaches that determine how, from where, and to whom giving happens.