National Philanthropy Day

Quick Facts - US

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2023 DateNovember 15, 2023
2024 DateNovember 15, 2024

National Philanthropy Day

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National Philanthropy Day offers an opportunity to recognize and celebrate those who have made significant differences in the lives of others through their charitable contributions and volunteer services. The observance intends to showcase the importance of philanthropy across various sectors, including education, healthcare, arts, and human services. By highlighting these efforts and achievements, National Philanthropy Day aims to inspire others to engage in acts of generosity and service, ultimately fostering a culture of giving and a stronger sense of community.

The concept of National Philanthropy Day was first proposed by philanthropist Doug Freeman in the 1980s, and it was officially established by then-US President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Since then, the Associated Fundraising Professionals (AFP) have led this annual observance in America, focusing on the powerful and vital role that philanthropy holds in society. Over the years, National Philanthropy Day has served as a platform to honor thousands of donors, volunteers, corporations, foundations, and others who are committed to making a positive impact on their communities and beyond.

National Philanthropy Day is observed in various ways, such as organizing local events and award ceremonies to recognize philanthropic individuals and organizations, hosting fundraising campaigns for different causes, and promoting acts of giving and gratitude on social media platforms. On this day, everyone is encouraged to share their stories and experiences of giving back, inspiring others to contribute their time, energy, and resources to help those in need. National Philanthropy Day takes place annually on November 15th.

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Facts about National Philanthropy Day

  • Former billionaire and co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers Charles 'Chuck' Feeney, 89, has donated more than $8 billion over the last four decades according to Forbes. His foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, donates and funds charities, universities, and foundations around the world. His mission: I see little reason to delay giving when so much good can be achieved through supporting worthwhile causes.
  • The word philanthropy comes from the Greek word 'philanthrōpos', meaning loving mankind. It is the combination of the Latin 'philo', which means loving, and 'anthrōpos', which means mankind.
  • According to Giving USA, American individuals, bequests, foundations, and corporations gave an estimated $471.44 billion to U.S. charities in 2020.
  • The Association of Fundraising Professionals, which spearheads National Philanthropy Day, has more than 230 chapters across the U.S. The organization is instrumental in promoting and increasing understanding of fundraising in the U.S.

Top things to do in the US for National Philanthropy Day

  • Find a charity or organization that interests you at Discover Charities
  • Give back to your community through service or donation.
  • Watch a film or documentary about giving back. Here are our suggestions:
    Sweet Inspirations (2019)
    Living on One Dollar (2013)
    Girl Rising (2013)
  • Embrace the spirit of philanthropy by performing random acts of kindness throughout the day. Buy a coffee for a stranger, help someone carry their groceries, or write an uplifting message and leave it somewhere for a stranger to find.

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