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The Moral Advantage by William Damon

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6 Philanthropy in Business: Doing It Right

The essence of philanthropy is compassion. The word itself, in its ancient Greek semantic roots, means “love of humanity.” For societies that are organized around private enterprise (and the United States is the most prominent example), philanthropy provides a bedrock of care for the needy as well as a pillar of support for such nonprofit organizations as educational and cultural institutions. People who dedicate their time and resources to philanthropy have good reason to believe that they are making crucial contributions to the well-being of their society.

The value of philanthropy is widely recognized throughout the business community. As I noted in Chapter 2, almost four-fifths (79 percent) ...

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