National Philanthropy Day

Observed on the 15th of November every year, National Philanthropy Day is a holiday in which people are encouraged to recognize the contributions that philanthropy has made to the world and to become more active in charitable acts.

It was first designated by Douglas Freeman in the 1980s and has become more widely observed in the years since. On this day, communities all over the world can celebrate the importance of this holiday and work towards making the lives of the less fortunate better.

The History of National Philanthropy Day

This holiday was first established by Douglas Freeman during the 1980s, and the first official celebration of this event was held after U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the NPD Proclamation in 1986. This day is coordinated and supported internationally by the Association of Fundraising Professionals—otherwise known as the AFP.

The History of Philanthropy

Even though some people think that philanthropy is a product of modern society, the fact of the matter is that philanthropy has been around since the dawn of civilization. Philanthropic organizations existed in Ancient Greece and Rome, and also in the Middle East. This trend continued through the 17th and 18th centuries when merchants found organizations to support worthy causes all the way to the modern philanthropists of today.

Interesting Facts About Philanthropy

Before we talk about some of the ways that people can observe this day, we would like to give all of our readers some interesting facts about philanthropy that are sure to change everyone’s perception of giving.

  • Every year, Americans give over 450 billion dollars to various organizations.
  • Between 2018 and 2019, corporate gifts increased by approximately 13.4%, raising the total to 21 billion dollars.
  • Approximately 90% of households with a high net worth give to charity.
  • Studies have indicated that adults are more likely to give to charity if a parent gave to charity.
  • In the U.S. alone, there are over 1.5 million charitable organizations.
  • In 2019, 29% of charitable giving went to religious organizations.
  • In 2019, organizations dedicated to education and human services received 14% and 12%, respectively, of all charitable donation dollars.
  • In 2019, organizations dedicated to health received 9% of total charitable donations.

Observing National Philanthropy Day

Leading up to this day, people wishing to celebrate it can make their nominations for people they would like to see get recognized at the National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon. This luncheon often gives awards for Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year, Youth in Philanthropy, Corporate Philanthropist of the Year, and Leadership Fundraiser of the Year.

People can also use this day as a springboard to kick off their own philanthropy efforts and either donate, raise money for, or volunteer for their favorite organization. Anyone looking to broadcast their intention of observing this day can also use the hashtag #NationalPhilanthropyDay on their social media accounts as well.

When is it?
This year (2024)
November 15 Friday
Next year (2025)
November 15 Saturday
Last year (2023)
November 15 Wednesday
Awareness & Cause