Philanthropy is the act of promoting the welfare of others by the act of donating a generous amount of money—or time—to a cause. Typically, philanthropists wish to delegate where their money is going while they are still alive to see the impact their generosity has on the recipients of their gifts.

According to Stephen M. Dowicz, philanthropy is important because it allows one to contribute to a cause that is close to his or her heart. Choosing a cause that one is passionate about means carefully thinking about the many social, environmental, and health needs that exist, and deciding which ones he or she wants to have a positive impact on.

The philanthropist should start small, and give to several organizations until he or she sees which results are the most satisfying. Valuable lessons will be learned to guide the philanthropist in his or her ongoing philanthropic efforts.

A true philanthropist should be just as passionate about donating his or her time—something that is vital for nonprofits and similar organizations to survive. Volunteers are a vital part of day-to-day operations for these organizations.

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