Individual philanthropy!

05 SEP, 2014
by Bikash Mohanty

A donation is a gift given by physical or legal persons, typically for charitable purposes and/or to benefit a cause. A donation may take various forms, including cash offering, services, new or used goods including clothing, toys, food, and vehicles. It also may consist of emergency, relief or humanitarian aid items, development aid support, and can also relate to medical care needs as i.e. blood or organs for transplant. Charitable gifts of goods or services are also called gifts in kind.

Monetary donations affect not only how much money is given but to whom it is given. The poor people tend to give to religious organizations and social-service charities, while the wealthy prefer to support colleges and universities, arts organizations, and museums.  For example:

  1. Of the 50 largest individual gifts to public charities in the recent time in United States of America, 34 went to educational institutions, the vast majority of them colleges and universities, like Harvard, Columbia, and Berkeley, that cater to the nation’s and the world’s elite.
  2. Museums and arts organizations received nine of these major gifts.
  3. With the remaining donations spread among medical facilities and fashionable charities.
  4. Not a single one of them went to a social-service organization or to a charity that principally serves the poor and the dispossessed.


We have always made a virtue of individual philanthropy, and an independent charitable sector is crucial to any country’s public spirit.

There is much to admire in our approach to charity, such as the social capital that is built by individual participation and volunteerism. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF or the Gates Foundation) is one of the largest private foundations in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It was launched in 2000 and is said to be the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world. It is "driven by the interests and passions of the Gates family". The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. The foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, is controlled by its three trustees: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

  • The trust had an endowment of US$38.3 billion as of 30 June 2013.The scale of the foundation and the way it seeks to apply business techniques to donation; makes it one of the leaders in the philanthrocapitalism revolution in global philanthropy.
  • In 2007, its founders were ranked as the second most generous philanthropists in America, and Warren Buffett the first.
  • As of May 16, 2013, Bill Gates had donated US$28 billion to the foundation.


Related Initiative


Smile Charitable Trust will soon launch an educational and informational program to enlighten the disadvantaged and poor of their rights. They will be given the tools to advocate for their rights and become a successful citizen of the world.