Essay on Philanthropy : An American Tradition

1448 Words Dec 9th, 2014 null Page
Philanthropy: An American Tradition

Manned by volunteer troops, the Continental Army defended the roots of United States. Its father, George Washington, and commander-in-chief of the army served without a salary and as a volunteer. From the very creation, American citizens have carried philanthropy in their veins. Over the past two centuries they have demonstrated generosity through charitable giving, volunteerism, and humanitarian efforts.
The Industrial Revolution fueled philanthropy in America. During 1870s, more than 100 millionaires lived in America. H.G. Horr from The New York Tribune Association (1892) counted as many as 4,000 millionaires. Olivier Zunz wrote about this period “more people made more money more rapidly than ever before in history, and made very large gifts to society” (Zunz 8). In the first decades of 1900, the numbers increased to 40,000 millionaires, including two industrialists, John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford, who were billionaires (Marriot 28). Incapable of spending all money personally, the wealthy people decided to create investments in new institutions called private foundations such as Ford Foundation. The mission statements such as “to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world” (Rockefeller Foundation) and “advance human welfare” (Ford Foundation) furthered the quality of human life. These philanthropic projects served as the first acts of generosity of this nation. Private foundations provide grants to nonprofit…

Related Documents