JENKINTOWN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The most detailed digital resource about the past 500 years of global philanthropy launched online today at HistoryofGiving.org. The digital exhibition highlights 200 moments in global philanthropy illustrated by almost 100 rare media assets, including documents, audio and video. Each entry is a building block that ultimately helps answer the question, “How did modern philanthropy begin and evolve into what we see today?"
“Philanthropy means ‘love of mankind.’ The History of Modern Philanthropy is an interactive resource about incredible acts of charity—in all forms—that are representative of mankind’s goodwill. These events shaped philanthropy as we know it,” said Eileen Heisman, CEO of National Philanthropic Trust, the site’s curator. “Today’s Philanthropy 3.0 is the result of centuries of societal benevolence. With the launch of this site and the unparalleled access it provides to historical documents and media, we hope to inspire thought, conversation, and action. The site is a digestible overview of the evolution of philanthropy—a $358 billion sector in the US—that touches everyone’s lives in one way or another.”
The free, open-source, permanent digital exhibition is organized into five time periods in the evolution of philanthropy: 1500 to 1749 “New Meaning in a Changing World,” 1750 to 1889 “Upheaval & Reform,” 1890 to 1929 “Lasting Change,” 1930 to 1979 “Redefining Philanthropy,” and 1980 to the current day “Global Outlook of Giving.”
Supplementing the 200 easy-to-read entries about important philanthropic moments are 95 historical images, videos, documents and audio clips, many rarely seen or easily accessed, including:
- Deed of Trust, dated 1552, that provided for the day-to-day operations of the Haseki Hurrem Sultan charitable complex in Jerusalem, which lifted the influence of female benefactors for the first time.
- Document from 1638 that memorializes the earliest known American fundraising effort making Harvard the first institute of higher education in the US.
- Audio file from 1918 of a song “The One Red Rose the Soldier Knows,” dedicated to the life-saving efforts of the Red Cross nurses; also a poster.
- Photograph circa 1960 illustrating the grass roots efforts of voter registration initiatives, funded by philanthropists, which sought to enfranchise African Americans.
- Audio file from 1995 of Ms. Oseola McCarty explaining why, immediately upon retirement as a life-long washerwoman, she donated $150,000 (half her life savings) to the University of Southern Mississippi to fund scholarships, proving philanthropy is not reserved for the wealthy.
“Despite the voluminous content online, a consolidated source that told the story of modern philanthropy didn’t exist,” said Heisman. “This lack of information presented an opportunity to create a well-researched resource that can grow over time. As our site tells the history of giving, we hope it also inspires new acts of charity and new philanthropists.”
Scope / Methodology: Each HistoryofGiving.org entry connects to a larger trend in philanthropy. The entries represent historical themes in philanthropy around the world and convey the breadth the sector. Similar to a brick-and-mortar museum exhibition, this digital exhibition tells a story using select moments that provide a digestible user experience, allowing visitors to filter entries by region, type or cause.
National Philanthropic Trust curated this exhibition with assistance from History Associates and Suka Creative. The History of Modern Philanthropy is open-source and invites collaboration on future phases.
Images and media summary collateral available upon request.
IN BRIEF SUMMARY: The first one-source global narrative about the last 500 years in philanthropy just launched at HistoryofGiving.org. Visit the digital exhibition to watch more than 200 moments in charitable giving history come alive with rarely or never-before-seen historical images, documents, and audio and video files. Curated by National Philanthropic Trust – one of the top grantmaking institutions in the US – and a team of historians, the project originally began in 2011 and took more than 1,300 hours to research and create.
About National Philanthropic Trust
NPT is the largest national, independent donor-advised fund charity in the U.S., raising more than $5.9 billion in liquid and illiquid asset charitable contributions since its founding in 1996. NPT ranks among the Top 25 largest grantmaking institutions in the U.S. and currently manages over $2.8 billion in charitable assets. It has made more than 136,000 grants exceeding $3.2 billion to charities all over the world, including grants to charities in 59 foreign countries. NPT annually publishes the Donor-Advised Fund Report, the industry’s most comprehensive resource. For more information, visit NPTrust.org.