Editor's Welcome

Philanthropy and Culture


Philanthropy has arguably lived through its most dramatic revolution within our lifetime. This edition of Philanthropy NYU features a few of the infinite perspectives on how culture and philanthropy interact. As globalization and technology continue to change the social service landscape across communities, culture and philanthropy are constantly redefined. Culture makes up the world we live in - religion, social norms, traditions, and even climate, shape the way we live. In an effort to improve the world, philanthropy interacts with these areas of culture in a highly individualized way. The two work in tandem to aid public progress during a difficult time in our world's history.

Higher education and the arts are no longer exclusive realms of culture, philanthropy has enabled us to redefine accessibility. Civil liberties are no longer limited to corners of the world known for pioneering progressive thought. As a global community we are learning that while people need help, there are cultural boundaries we have to respect when offering aid. While some organizations in America rely on major gifts, others in France manage just as effectively through sophisticated direct mail programs. Philanthropic concepts that work for us here in the west, are not practical or sustainable in Asia.

Even within the United States, philanthropy has different meanings across communities of color. Giving circles shape the philanthropic identity of the South and a change in tax law can determine the long-term success of a planned giving program. As unique as culture can be, philanthropy manages to customize as its complement. 

On behalf the Philanthropy NYU board, I hope you enjoy this edition of the journal and consider publishing with us in the future.

Aashika Patel



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