(Last Updated On: April 6, 2023)


On November 15th, National Philanthropy Day honors those who give back to their communities. 

The word philanthropy comes from Latin and Greek philanthropia which gives us kindliness, humanity, and love for mankind. From this, we take the philo (tending to, fond of) and join antropos meaning mankind or human beings.

Ways Philanthropy Changes the World

Philanthropists give of their time and money in ways that provide a lasting impact. 

  • Supports education through scholarships, grants, foundations, and more
  • Foundations support scientific research
  • Development of charities
  • Funding grants to programs for local, national, and international needs
  • Encourage art through grants and foundations
  • Invest in advocacy platforms for the underprivileged

The day recognizes philanthropists for their many significant contributions, help, and good deeds and for the differences that they have made in our lives and our communities.

While philanthropy is giving and kind, it is a type of gift that strives to replace social ills with solutions. Philanthropists see issues and try to solve them. Charity often is a temporary solution for a temporary problem. When the issue persists, we seek a cure. There are instances of philanthropy that can overlap with instances of charity. The difference is that charity relieves the pains of social problems, whereas philanthropy attempts to solve those problems at their root causes.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPhilanthropyDay

Learn more about the kinds of philanthropy in your community. Read books on the history of philanthropy in the United States. You can also:

  • Share how philanthropy has impacted your community.
  • Support your favorite philanthropic organization.
  • Volunteer for a local organization.
  • Share your favorite organization’s page and your favorite projects.

Use #NationalPhilanthropyDay to post on social media.


The Association of Fundraising Professionals created National Philanthropy Day in 1985.


November 15th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) History


Sir Isaac Pitman developed and published a method of shorthand. Throughout his lifetime, he continuously improved and revised the method, and it became the most widely used method of shorthand in the world.


King Camp Gillett receives U.S. patent No. 775,134 for the first practical disposable razor.


The first color television advertisement airs in Britain. And did it ever pop! Birdseye peas brought a popping green theme to the commercial that was quite catchy.


Dave Thomas opened his first Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburger Restaurant in downtown Columbus, OH, and their Frosty was only 35¢.


In 1979, Kelly Monteith debuted The Kelly Monteith Show on BBC2 becoming the first American to host a television show in Britain.

November 15th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

William Herschel – 1738

The astronomy resorted to grinding his own stronger, more powerful lenses for his telescopes leading to his discovery of the planet Uranus in 1781.

Sara Josephine Baker – 1873

At the turn of the 20th century, Sara Josephine Baker was appointed director of the Bureau of Child Hygiene, the first woman to serve in an appointed health role of a major U.S. city. During her career, she would reduce infant mortality drastically.

Georgia O’Keeffe – 1887

The American abstract artist pioneered American modernism. Known for her large flowers, southwestern landscapes, and towering skyscrapers, O’Keeffe studied at the Art Students League, Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Virginia.

Joseph Wapner – 1919

In 1981, the Los Angels Superior Court Judge began presiding over The People’s Court. The affable judge was tough but fair and a television hit for 12 years.

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