What is “p”hilanthropy?

We’ve all been there, sitting at an auction when the raise-the-paddle or fund-a-need time comes.  You hear a story about the impact of the non-profit that you are supporting at the auction.  The puppy, children, disaster relief, veteran, etc. story that you hear tugs on your heartstrings and you are ready to open your wallet to support this great cause.  And then it comes, they start at the $20,000 or $10,000 level and work their way down.  By the time they get to the $50 level that you were ready to donate at, you feel a little shy because you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to give, you don’t even have hundreds of dollars to give.  So, you don’t raise your paddle at the $50 level even though the non-profit could really benefit from it. 

Philanthropy is a big word and our perception of what it means to be a philanthropist has shifted over the years.  We see organizations like the Gates Foundation taking on world water shortages, we see college graduation keynotes announce that they are going pay the debt of every graduate in the audience, we see that Warren Buffet is the largest giving Philanthropist in the world.  It all feels very corporate and like something only the uber rich can participate in.  Even if you look up the definition of philanthropy, Oxford Languages uses the word philanthropy this sentence, “he acquired a considerable fortune and was noted for his philanthropy.”  But get this, the definition actually says nothing about philanthropists needing a “considerable fortune.”  The definition is the “desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.”  Let’s read that one more time but highlight some key words.  The desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.  This definition says nothing about the amount of the donation or that in order to participate in philanthropy that you must donate a fortune.

A statement recently came out that said if you donate $20 twice a year to a non-profit when you make $20 an hour, you are donating more of a percentage of your income to charity than the top 1% of American wealth.  This is so telling about what it really means to be a philanthropist.  That the word philanthropy does not actually have to start with a capital P like it is a title to be put on a business card.  That it is not some unattainable deed that only the wealthy can participate in.  We are all philanthropists (with a little p) because we all have the desire to promote the welfare of others through whatever monetary donation we can afford.  And although it doesn’t feel like it when you open your wallet and give $5, it actually makes quite an impact.  Charity Navigator reports that “the donating public, not big foundations or corporations, is responsible for the vast majority of annual donations.”  The donating public is a financial force to be reckoned with and small donations really do make a big impact.

This is why Honeybux exists.  Our vision is that philanthropy is accessible for all.  That through Honeybux more people are connecting with their community through their financial contributions.  That everyone can and will be a philanthropist in their own way.