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Understanding how individuals can contribute to the community is fundamental. This can be done by studying the differences between philanthropy, charitable organizations, and nonprofits.

A significant factor that contributes to the development of the world is humanitarian aid and contribution. This can be seen in how individuals and organizations come together to help those in need. Nonprofits, charitable organizations, and philanthropy are all critical to communities because they can help improve the quality of life for people in their local areas.

According to the Giving USA report, charitable donations reached an estimated $410.02 billion in 2017. This is a significant increase from the previous year’s $389.64. It is the first time that the total amount of donations has exceeded $400 billion.

Although the term charity can be used interchangeably, the differences between philanthropy and charitable organizations are significant. While both of these organizations can be used to bring positive change to the community, their operations are different.


A charity is an organization that accepts monetary donations or short-term contributions to help those in need during times of crisis. It is usually supported entirely by the public.People tend to donate to a charity due to their connection to the cause or because they are emotionally affected by it. For instance, if they are passionate about animals, they can make a monetary donation to an animal shelter.

One of the most important factors people should consider when assessing the operations of a charity or charitable organization is the type of cause it supports. According to Score, a religious or educational organization should be considered a charity if it uses public solicitation to operate.

Examples of charitable acts that people can perform are donating food or money to a homeless shelter or an animal shelter. They can also make donations to the Salvation Army’s bell-ringers outside their local supermarkets during the holiday season.


Although both types of organizations can be used to support charitable acts, the difference between a charity and a nonprofit organization is the type of cause it helps. A charitable organization can be considered a tax-deductible entity if it meets specific requirements. On the other hand, a nonprofit organization can only be regarded as a charitable organization if it has to meet different needs.

The American Red Cross is a popular national nonprofit organization providing emergency assistance to needy people. According to its website, donations help strengthen the organization’s response to almost 64,000 disasters annually. In 2016, the Red Cross provided over 385,000 emergency services. 


While a charity may be able to provide immediate assistance to a specific community, philanthropy focuses on addressing long-term social problems. For instance, while a charity may be able to provide financial aid to a school, philanthropy would prioritize funding projects that will improve the quality of education.

Medium defines philanthropy as a long-term investment strategy that aims to transform communities and individuals by developing long-term solutions. Although some think a philanthropist is a wealthy individual who gives a tremendous amount of money to an organization, this type of philanthropist is dedicated to promoting human welfare.


Although there are differences between a charity and a nonprofit organization, the main thing is that these types of organizations are beneficial in building a more progressive and efficient world. Whether one becomes a philanthropist or a charity donor, what matters most is their contributions to helping those in need.