Resources on Philanthropy

References to philanthropy can be found in the Koran, Bible, Torah and in the teachings of many other religions and cultures, including Buddhism, Japanese and Native American cultures, and Hinduism. “Zakat,” or giving, is one of the five pillars of Islam that help people become closer to God ( According to the Bible, giving is a way to honor the sacredness of each individual, as in the book of Matthew, when God says, “…Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25: 40). In the Jewish tradition, there are eight levels of charity. The highest level is helping someone to become self-sufficient, which is the definition of true philanthropy (Friedman). Philanthropy can be broadly defined as love for humankind.