About Philanthropy

History of Philanthropy

National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) created “A History of Modern Philanthropy” as a service to the public and to further it's mission to increase philanthropy in society. The timeline covers 500 years in approximately 200 entries and is designed to provide a narrative, if not exhaustive, view of history. Each entry was chosen carefully for its connection to a larger trend in philanthropy or giving practices. The goal of the timeline is to convey the breadth and possibilities of philanthropy by highlighting moments and events that represent the evolution of charitable giving around the world.

Types of Giving

People who want to make charitable gifts can choose from among multiple vehicles – from sending a text message or writing a check, to establishing a donor-advised fund or creating a private foundation.  Whether the gift is of cash, IRA proceeds, appreciated stock or assets like artwork or real estate, donors are increasingly using some combination of tools to make the greatest community impact. View list of different giving options.

Creating a Foundation

Consider your philanthropic goals, the ways you’d like to give your time, the impact you’d like to have in your community and any tax considerations as you select the appropriate vehicle for your giving. Whatever entity is ultimately selected, it will be regulated by state law, so it is important that you and your advisors ensure you comply with local filing requirements. After the organization is formed, its leaders must apply to the IRS for it to be recognized as a tax-exempt charity.  The IRS reviews the application and determines whether the organization should be considered a 501(c)3 charitable organization, and if so, whether it should be considered a private foundation or public charity.  Once the tax exemption is approved, the organization will not have to pay federal income tax and it will be able to accept tax-deductible gifts.  

Joining the PSO Network

GWP is a member of the United Philanthropy Forum, which is a national network of 60 philanthropy associations and networks across the United States, including regional philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) and national PSOs—such as national issue-based, identity-based and practice-based affinity groups. With deep regional roots and a broad nationwide reach, the Forum facilitates effective philanthropy to strengthen communities and improve lives throughout the United States.

Membership in the Forum greatly expands GWP’s capacity to serve its own members. Collectively, the United Philanthropy Forum members represent more than 7,000 primarily philanthropic organizations, making it the largest network serving philanthropy in America. Each PSO, including GWP, can easily connect its members with grantmakers elsewhere in the country that share similar priorities or have similar questions.  By connecting members in different regions, best practices and innovations in philanthropy can be readily shared.