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Traditions of Philanthropy: Giving as Relief

As we mark Independence Day this month, we’re taking a closer look at our nation’s traditions of philanthropy. Giving as Relief, or to alleviate suffering, is the longest-standing form of charity in the U.S., and it continues in many powerful forms to this day. Giving from the principle of compassion includes supporting food pantries, shelters, or crisis relief—like so many did through our Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.

Pros to this kind of giving include its inherently quick response, and the simple and accessible way it lets you do something in the face of urgent needs. Challenges, though, include its short-lived impact and its limitations in addressing root causes.

Taking time to think about how you're motivated to give can make you a more intentional donor. It can help you better connect your dollars to your values. Click here to learn more about the Four Traditions of American Giving.

Based on "Towards a Fourth Philanthropic Response: American Philanthropy and its Public" by Susan Wisely and Elizabeth Lynn