The Difference Between Philanthropy and Charity

The Difference Between Philanthropy and Charity

Philanthropy is a process by which any person or an organization works for towards the well-being of society. It refers to ‘giving back’ to society principle. The philanthropist Aman Mehndiratta knows it very well that charity and philanthropy have a slight difference but this slight difference is enough to decide whether the person is a philanthropist or charity-giver.

For further elaboration, let’s look at both the terms a little closer this time-


The charity is an empathetic response to an immediate crisis or need. The way how we show compassion for people in disguise or an immediate need or our support for victims of crime or violence is what charity is all about.

Charity can be symbolized as the spare- money change that we leave in jars so that sick kids get the medical help they need, or we give to help in providing clean drinking water to villages. Charity can be said as the hands-on response to help meet immediate needs like food, shelter, medical care, etc.


Philanthropy refers to a more strategic process of giving that that consists of proper planning and seeks to identify the root causes of systemic issues. The motto of philanthropy is to make the world a better place by tackling societal problems at their roots.

On a broader stage, Charity tends to be a
  • short-term,
  • emotional
  • immediate response
  • focused primarily on rescue
  • relief
Whereas philanthropy is much more different from the charity in each manner-
  • long-term and permanent
  • more strategies
  • focused on rebuilding
  • vanishing the root cause

Well, to an extent, we can say that charity and philanthropy both seek to accomplish the same outcome that is to address the needs and make the world a better place. Apart from this, the method that philanthropic entities and charitable entities use to reach that outcome is much more different.

Basically, charity refers to the direct and immediate relief of suffering and social problems whereas philanthropy seeks out the actual root causes of these issues and tries to find a solution.

So, here arises a question that, which process of giving, is ultimately better: charity or philanthropy?

See, both the processes are equally important for the society, but there are some arguments made on the same.

One can say that permanent solutions to social problems can only come from strategic and large-scale efforts and this is important to mend it from the footing but the importance of immediate need-based giving during times of crisis is inevitable too.

In this chaos, Aman Mehndiratta has got the point, according to Aman instead of making a judgment on the best way of giving, we should think about philanthropy and charity as two different approaches for solving the same problem.

Nothing is better and nothing worse, but rather they are overlapping strategies which are equally essential to the nonprofit sector.

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