Philanthropy is the strategic process of exploring systemic issues and striving to make the world a better place by tackling societal problems at their roots. It is not the same thing as charity, which is shorter-term, more immediate and typically intended to offer direct relief.

Individuals, corporations and foundations all participate in philanthropy and collectively give more than $425 billion annually to charitable causes, according to the National Philanthropic Trust. Individuals are the largest source of giving, contributing nearly 70% of the annual total.