A Brief History of Charitable Giving

A Brief History Of Charitable Giving

2500 BCE

Ancient Hebrews use a mandatory tax, or 'tithe,' to benefit the poor.

500 BCE

The word 'philanthrophy' "Prometheus Bound" by Aeschylus. Phil=Love Anthro=Man

387 BCE

Plato's Academy, a group working for the public good on a voluntary basis, is established.

28 BCE

The first Roman emperor, Augustus, gives public aid to an estimated 200,000 people.

1180 CE

Moses Maimonides authors "Mishneh Torah," which includes the Eight Levels of Charity.

1601 CE

The Charitable Uses Act of 1601 is enacted by Parliament. It identifies what purposes can be defined as charitable.

1643 CE

The first American fundraising drive is organized by Harvard University. It raises 500 pounds.

1727 CE

The Sisters of Charity provide social assistance to the needy in Latin America.

1835 CE

Alexis de Tocqueville publishes "Democracy in America," which highlights the philanthropic spirit of American as one of the country's strenghts.

1913 CE

Congress passes the REvenue Act of 1913. It exempts charitable organizations from paying taxes.

194 CE

World's first community foundation is established in Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Foundation.

1931 CE

The first donor-advised fund is established by a community foundation in Winston-Salem, N.C.

1935 CE

Corporations are now allowed to deduct charitable contributions.

Present Day

The Giving Pledge invites the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

A Brief History of Charitable Giving

shared by sarahppeters on Oct 30, 2012 in History


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Giving to charity isn’t a new fad; it’s a practice that has been popular for thousands of years. Research shows us that even through unconventional methods, the act of charitable giving has had it...
Category: History


Greater Horizons


Kyle Dolan
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