Philanthropy is a general term used to describe actions taken by individuals and organizations to benefit social units and universal causes. In practical terms, philanthropy is a type of social movement for the sake of human needs and generally refers to individual contributions or those of larger organizations aiming to serve the public good. This book discusses the past, present and future perspectives of philanthropy. Chapter One examines the tensions between discourses of philanthropy, social welfare, and social reform as they played out in parliamentary debates around proposed legislation and in localised public debates in the province of Auckland in New Zealand in the early 1870s. Chapter Two addresses the link between individual level theories of volunteering and organizational level approaches of philanthropic activity. Chapter Three discusses rational philanthropy in the Muslim world.
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