The latest issue of Alliance Magazine contains an article that explores the terminology used for philanthropy in Germany, southern Africa, and the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).
For example, a Hindi word for philanthropy is paropkar which translates to “helping others – normally without any expectation of a return favor”.
The relevant terms in Chinese include shanxin (“kind heart”) and cishan (“compassionate benevolent”).
If you are in Germany, you might use the phrase gemeinnütziges Engagement ("activities benefiting the general public").
Andrew Milner, author of the article, writes, “So philanthropy, where it is not a complete stranger, has a different personality in different cultures.” As philanthropy is increasingly discussed in a global context, nonprofits need a strong understanding of philanthropy related terms that may have important local connotations.
Find out more about other terms and learn what they mean in Milner’s article, “The Game of the Name” (Alliance – December 2009).