Philanthropy has strong roots in religious beliefs and of an individuals desire to help his fellow man. Giving to needy people, to the poor in other lands, to the victims of natural disasters and to their churches has been a strongly felt obligation for many people throughout our history. Three important philanthropists include:
More than any other man, the English critic and social theorist John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) shaped the esthetic values and tastes of Victorian England. His writings combine enormous sensitivity and human compassion with a burning zeal for moral value.
John Ruskin's principal insight was that art is an expression of the values of a society. Though he sometimes applied this insight in a narrow, even bigoted way, it nevertheless gave him an almost messianic sense of the significance of art to the spiritual wellbeing of a nation.
The British Methodist preacher who founded the Salvation Army.
William Booth (1829 – 1912) was a British Methodist preacher who founded the Salvation Army and became its first General. Founded in 1865, the Christian movement spread from London to many parts of the world and is known today for being one of the largest distributors of humanitarian aid.
Thomas John Barnado
Irish philanthropist and founder and director of homes for destitute children.
Thomas John Barnardo (1845 – 1905), Irish philanthropist and founder and director of homes for destitute children was born in Dublin, Ireland. From the foundation of the children's homes in 1867 to the date of Barnardo’s death, nearly 60,000 children had been rescued, trained and given new opportunities in life. The work of Thomas Barnardo is continued today by the charity Barnardo's.
Click here to view a pdf about charitable giving in the last century.