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A philanthropist, in the true sense, is anyone who devotes time, money and effort towards helping others.
However, when people talk about philanthropists they are usually talking about successful business people who have given very large sums of money to particular causes.
Despite their good works, some philanthropists receive criticism for the ruthless ways in which they made their money in the first place.
Case Study 1: Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)
Andrew Carnegie emigrated to America when he was a young boy. His family was so poor that they had to borrow the money to pay for the passage.
Together with a friend he invented the idea of the ‘sleeper’, a train on which people could sleep on long journeys, instead of getting off and staying in a hotel.
With the money he made, he started Carnegie Steel, and made a fortune.
He gave away most of his money for the building of libraries, schools and universities in Scotland, America and the rest of the world.
A Carnegie Library Carnegie’s birthplace A Carnegie University
Andrew Carnegie said:
‘ Man does not live by bread alone. I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of these millionaires to reach’
What did he mean by this?
List the things which can ‘sustain all that is human in man’, and the things which make us poorer. enrich impoverish
Case Study 2 : Henry Ford (1863-1947)
As a child Henry Ford was passionate about mechanics. By the age of 15 he had a reputation as a brilliant watch repairer.
He became interested in petrol driven engines. When he was 36 he invented the Quadricycle.
When his interest turned to motor racing, he founded the Ford Motor Company.
The company invested in a system of conveyor belts. Soon black Model T’s were rolling off the ‘assembly line’, and he made a fortune selling inexpensive cars to ordinary people who had not been able to afford them before.
He left most of his vast wealth to the cause of ‘human welfare’.
Henry Ford’s birthplace Model T Quadricycle
Henry Ford said:
‘ To do more than the world has done for you – that is success!’
List the people/things which have helped you make a success of your life so far, then think about what you give to others. inputs outputs
Case Study 3: Oprah Winfrey (1954 -)
Oprah’s grandmother raised her for the first 6 years of her life. She was often beaten. She used to interview her corncob doll, and the crows on the garden fence.
Later she ran away from her mother’s home at the age of 14, and she was sent to live with her father, who took an interest in her education. She won a scholarship to Tennessee University, where she did some work for a local radio station.
Oprah became a ‘News Anchor’, and later, a talk show host. Her show has the highest ratings in TV history.
Oprah’s ‘Angel Network’ has raised over 51 million dollars to make a difference to the lives of the under-privileged. ALL the money raised goes to the charity. Oprah pays all the administration costs.
As a child In South Africa The Oprah Winfrey Show
Oprah Winfrey Says:
‘ What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter.’
What are the things in life that really matter to you personally? What is unimportant to you? important unimportant
Case Study 4: Anita Roddick (1942-2007)
Anita Roddick’s Italian parents ran a café on the south coast of England. Her mother was very keen on re-cycling.
While working for the United Nations she travelled the world, learning a lot from other cultures.
While her husband was working abroad Anita founded the ‘Body Shop’ selling 15 cosmetic products to make a little extra money.
The Body Shop now has 1,980 stores and 77 million customers worldwide.
The Body Shop uses Brazil nuts from Amazonian Indian tribes in its moisturisers. A paper factory in Nepal makes their scented drawer liners. Body Shop soap is made in a factory in a depressed area of Glasgow, using workers who were previously unemployed.
Anita didn’t ‘want to die rich’. She set up a Foundation to give away her £51million. Donations are made to organisations committed to global justice, human rights and the environment.
Harvesting Brazil nuts One of the stores In Africa
Anita Roddick said:
‘ If you think you are too small to make an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.’
What does she mean?
Case Study 5: Bill Gates (1955- )
Bill Gates was born to wealthy family, and had the opportunity to work with computers at his exclusive school, which was unusual at the time.
While he was still at school Bill and his friend founded a company selling traffic flow data systems to state governments.
He dropped out of Harvard University to start his own software company.
His software package ‘Windows 3.0’ sold 10 million copies over 2 years.
As chairman of ‘Microsoft’ he has been named the richest person in the world 12 years running.
Bill and his wife Melinda have established a Foundation worth $29.2 billion. It provides life saving health care products and technology to the poorest parts of the world. It funds research in to Aids, mosquito nets (against the spread of Malaria), and vaccines against polio and diphtheria.
He has given away more money than anyone else in history.
Microsoft, Seattle Advertising Windows Promoting healthcare in Africa
Bill Gates says:
‘ Is the rich world aware of how the four billion of the six billion live?
If we were aware we would want to help out, we’d want to get involved.’
Do you think people want to ‘help out and get involved’? If they do, what’s stopping them?
Philanthropist – a generous donor, a good hearted person
Criticism – suggestions for improvement
Luxury – a treat, extravagance
Sustain – continue, keep up
Enrich – improve, develop
Impoverish – weaken, make poor
Activities to complete this lesson include : Rate this lesson here. Click on the image above to view and/or download learning activities.
calculating percentage of income given to charity
group research and presentation
If you enjoyed this lesson, why not try: It’s a Wind-Up How Trevor Baylis used his skills to design and build a wind-up radio. The importance of communication in the modern world. African art. Quake How individuals can use their particular skills to help in a disaster. How earthquakes happen. Descriptive writing.
http:// www.idealist.org/kt/index.html -and now it’s your turn! A site dedicated to children taking action including the stories of children and young people who have set up their own charities and projects, tips on how to take action and loads of information on the causes you care about!
http://www.wearewhatwedo.org/do_something/actionlisting.php?pid=s – a list of positive actions for schools, in schools and with children to change the world around you