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To some people, a philanthropist is a person who gives an arbitrary amount of money to any charity or cause. However, being a philanthropist typically means that a person gives regularly to causes that matter to them. In addition, they give more than just money. They also donate their time to help a cause set up for an event, or donate non-monetary items to the cause. They may also contribute in other ways, with a philanthropist characterized by doing so in a consistent fashion.

Yet, what does it really mean to be a philanthropist? Different people have a variety of ideas about this very subject, however, there are some key points to keep in mind when it comes to understanding what it really means.

Without a doubt, a philanthropist is someone who gives their all for others in need. It does not matter how small or great the project, a philanthropist is passionate about making the lives of others better. They possess extraordinary amounts of people skills, and find great joy in bringing brighter moments and days to others. Such a person is often depressed, saddened, or distressed to hear of situations where other people have little or lost much, which attests to the giving nature of the philanthropist. The old proverb of “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself” isn’t just a proverb for philanthropists. It is a personal mantra. They live every day trying to love others through their thoughts and actions.

Some of the most heartwarming stories of philanthropy are about givers who, at one time or another had no money to give, but gave their time, personal talents, or donated items to help. Even when a giver has nothing to give but themself to a cause, you will find that they do exactly that. They may even give up something that is important to them just because they see others need something more.

An old Hollywood movie example of this is from It’s a Wonderful Life when the main character George Bailey is about to leave on his honeymoon but instead saves his family’s business and rescues the townspeople from financial ruin.