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It is more blessed to give than to receive.
…social advance depends quite as much upon an increase in moral sensibility as it does upon a sense of duty…
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
I will continue to distribute blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothing and food on a regular basis, in the hope that my modest efforts will give some comfort to those people we are able to help.
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
One must know not just how to accept a gift, but with what grace to share it.
To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.
Yet the true friend of the people should see that they be not too poor, for extreme povery lowers the character of the democracy; measures therefore should be taken which will give them lasting prosperity; and as this is equally the interest of all classes, the proceeds of the public revenues should be accumulated and distributed among its poor, if possible, in such quantities as may enable them to purchase a little farm, or, at any rate, make a beginning in trade or husbandry.
The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall: but in charity there is no excess; neither can angel nor man come in danger by it.
We are responsible for the world in which we find ourselves, if only because we are the only sentient force which can change it.
Every charitable act is a stepping stone towards heaven.
Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.
Every dollar makes a difference. And that’s true whether it’s Warren Buffet’s remarkable $31 billion pledge to the Gates Foundation or my late father’s $25 check to the NAACP.
I’ve always respected those who tried to change the world for the better, rather than just complain about it.
The truth of the matter is: you can create a great legacy, and inspire others, by giving it to philanthropic organizations.
We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.
Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won’t make people enjoy life more, and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa – and it’s about getting a balance.
The test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members.
We’re only here for a small amount of time and we want to see how much good we can do while we’re here and I always say that there’ll be… in the future, there would be many millionaires and they can take care of those problems but I’m here now and I’m trying to do what I can.
If you’re in the luckiest 1pc of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99pc.
A man there was, though some did count him mad. The more he cast away, the more he had.
When you stop giving and offering something to the rest of the world, it’s time to turn out the lights.
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.
Not what I have but what I do is my kingdom.
I resolved to stop accumulating and begin the infinitely more serious and difficult task of wise distribution.
Wealth is not to feed our egos but to feed the hungry and to help people help themselves.
The family that perseveres in good works will surely have an abundance of blessings.
We live in an interdependent world. Every time you cut off somebody else’s opportunities, you shrink your own horizons.
When wealth is centralized, the people are dispersed. When wealth is distributed, the people are brought together.
No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.
One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.
Nothing brings me more happiness than trying to help the most vulnerable people in society. It is a goal and an essential part of my life – a kind of destiny.
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.
It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.
Blessed influence of one true, loving human soul on another.
One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.
What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself… Serve and thou shall be served.
The only gift is a portion of thyself.
The highest use of capital is not to make more money but to make money to do more for the betterment of life.
How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.
A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.
Having emerg’d from the poverty and obscurity in which I was born & bred, to a state of affluence and some degree of reputation in the world, and having gone so far thro’ life with a considerable share of felicity, the conducing means I made use of, which, with the blessing of God, so well succeeded, my posterity may like to know, as they may find some of them suitable to their own situations, and therefore fit to be imitated.
He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.
I would rather have it said, ‘He lived usefully,’ than, ‘He died rich.’
Helping people doesn’t have to be an unsound financial strategy.
The premise of this foundation is one life on this planet is no more valuable than the next.
We started our foundation because we believe we have a real opportunity to help advance equity around the world, to help make sure that, no matter where a person is born, he or she has the chance to live a healthy, productive life.
Not he who has much is rich but he who gives much.
Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.
Wealth is not new. Neither is charity. But the idea of using private wealth imaginatively, constructively, and systematically to attack the fundamental problems of mankind is new.
Is the rich world aware of how four billion of the six billion live? If we were aware, we would want to help out, we’d want to get involved.
Charity looks at the need and not at the cause.
Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
The deed is everything, the glory naught.
Scatter plenty o’er a smiling land.
Generosity is the flower of justice.
I’ve always said that the better off you are, the more responsibility you have for helping others. Just as I think it’s important to run companies well, with a close eye to the bottom line, I think you have to use your entrepreneurial experience to make corporate philanthropy effective.
Charity is a supreme virtue, and the great channel through which the mercy of God is passed on to mankind. It is the virtue that unites men and inspires their noblest efforts.
There is a natural law, a Divine law, that obliges you and me to relieve the suffering, the distressed and the destitute.
The practice of charity will bind us…will bind all men in one great brotherhood.
Help thy brother’s boat across and lo! thine own has reached the shore.
Sometimes give your services for nothing.
By Jove the stranger and the poor are sent, and what to those we give, to Jove is lent.
It never was our guise to slight the poor, or aught humane despise.
If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.
Don’t just put it off and think about it!
As the purse is emptied the heart is filled.
My father used to say, ‘You can spend a lot of time making money. The tough time comes when you have to give it away properly.’ How to give something back, that’s the tough part in life.
The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
What the poor need is not charity but capital, not caseworkers but coworkers. And what the rich need is a wise, honorable and just way of divesting themselves of their overabundance.
Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
The raising of extraordinarily large sums of money, given voluntarily and freely by millions of our fellow Americans, is a unique American tradition… Philanthropy, charity, giving voluntarily and freely… call it what you like, but it is truly a jewel of an American tradition.
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Let no one be discouraged by the belief that there is nothing one person can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills, misery, ignorance, and violence. Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. And in the total of all those acts will be written the history of a generation.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
Life’s persistent and most urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’
Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.
They will question you concerning what they should bestow voluntarily. Say: ‘Whatever good thing you bestow is for parents and kinsmen, orphans, the needy and strangers and whatever good you do God has knowledge of it.’
Those who bestow their wealth in the way of God are like the grain of corn that sprouts seven ears, a hundred grains in every ear. So God multiplies for those whom he will.
Oh, believers, do not void your freewill offerings with reproach and injury as one who bestows of his substance to show off to men and believes not in God and the Last Day.
If you publish your voluntary offerings, that is good; but if you conceal them, and give them to the poor, that is better for you, and will acquit you of your evil deeds.
Whatever good you do, surely God has knowledge of it. Those who expend their wealth night and day, openly or secretly, their reward awaits them with their Lord.
You will not attain true piety until you voluntarily give of that which you love and whatever you give, God knows of it.
Being kind to others is a way of being good to yourself.
The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.
Shut not thy purse-strings always against painted distress.
Do your givin’ while you’re livin’… then you’ll be knowin’ where it’s goin’.
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God.
The proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in a state where he no longer needs our gifts…Thus a heavy task is laid upon Gift-love. It must work toward its own abdication. We must aim at making ourselves superfluous. The hour when we can say ‘They need me no longer’ should be our reward. But the instinct, simply in its own nature, has no power to fulfill this law.
When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad; and that’s my religion.
A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.
Not what we give, but what we share, for the gift without the giver is bare.
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three, himself, his hungering neighbor and me.
There can be little doubt that a certain amount of corporate philanthropy is simply good business and works for the long-term benefit of the investors.
The Levels of Tzedakah (Charity)
Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant
Giving when neither party knows the other’s identity
Giving when one knows the recipient’s identity, but the recipient doesn’t know the donor’s identity
Giving when one does not know the recipient’s identity, but the recipient knows the identity of the donor
Giving before being asked
Giving after being asked
Giving less that one should, but giving it cheerfully
To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is Godlike.
Instead of exhorting you to augment your charity, I will rather utter an exhortation, or at least a supplication, that you may not abuse your charity by misapplying it.
As I give, I get.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
A man’s true wealth hereafter is the good he does in this world to his fellow man.
Pity the sorrows of a poor man, whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door.
He who cannot give anything away cannot feel anything either.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Do good with what thou hast, or it will do thee no good.
Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.
Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it.
I was trained from the beginning to work, to save. I have always regarded it a as a religious duty to get all I could honorably and to give all I could.
The best philanthropy is constantly in search of the finalities—a search for a cause, an attempt to cure evils at their source.
Think of giving not only as a duty but as a privilege.
When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.
The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
We are, after all, only trustees of the wealth we possess. Without the community and its resources… there would be little wealth for anyone.
Seek always to do some good, somewhere. Everyman has to seek in his own way to realize his true worth. You must give some time to your fellow man. Even if it’s a little thing, do something for those who need help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it. For remember, you don’t live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here too.
I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.
The race of mankind would perish did they cease to aid each other. We cannot exist without mutual help. All, therefore, that need aid have a right to ask it from their fellow men; and no one who has the power of granting can refuse it without guilt.
Whatever we give to the wretched, we lend to fortune.
A benefit consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.
Let him that hath done the good office conceal it; let him that received it disclose it.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.
Tis not enough to help the feeble up but to support him after.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community. And as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thorougly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no brief candle to me; it is a sort of splendid torch, which I have got hold of for a short moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generations.
I’m not doing my philanthropic work, out of any kind of guilt, or any need to create good public relations. I’m doing it because I can afford to do it, and I believe in it.
My foundations support people in the country who care about an open society. It’s their work that I’m supporting. So it’s not me doing it. But I can empower them. I can support them, and I can help them.
He who has conferred a benefit on anyone from motives of love or honor will feel pain, if he sees that the benefit is received without gratitude.
To laugh often and to love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.
He who gives only what he would as readily throw away, gives without generosity; for the essence of generosity is in self-sacrifice.
An attitude of gratitude creates blessings. Help yourself by helping others. You have the most powerful weapons on earth – love and prayer.
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.
Philanthropy is almost the only virtue which is sufficiently appreciated by mankind.
The Americans make associations to give entertainment, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner, they found hospitals, prisons and schools.
It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will someday give shade to people he may never meet.
As I started getting rich, I started thinking, ‘what the hell am I going to do with all this money?’… You have to learn to give.
Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.
I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Being myself no stranger to suffering, I have learned to relieve the sufferings of others.
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
…the most useful and influential people in [America] are those who take the deepest interest in institutions that exist for the purpose of making the world better.
There is no cause half so sacred as the cause of the people. There is no idea so uplifting as the idea of the service of humanity.
I choose to rise up out of that storm and see that in moments of desperation, fear, and helplessness, each of us can be a rainbow of hope, doing what we can to extend ourselves in kindness and grace to one another. And I know for sure that there is no them – there’s only us.
It’s not just about being able to write a check. It’s being able to touch somebody’s life.
Give all thou canst; high Heaven rejects the lore of nicely-caluculated less or more.
On that best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.
When we plant a tree, we don’t plant it for ourselves but for our children.
With a generation of younger folks who have thrived on the success of their companies, there is a big opportunity for many of us to give back earlier in our lifetime and see the impact of our philanthropic efforts.