Politics and Philanthropy

Americans love giving. We see it everywhere around us: our philanthropic donations are up in recent years, we give to people, places, charities and causes that they believe in. But there is, and there always will be a certain level of politics to philanthropy–like I said we give to the causes we agree with, not the ones that go against our beliefs.

 

Whether you personally identify as a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian or a supporter any other third-party, there are a good deal of specific social, fiscal and environmental issues that you likely feel strongly about. These issues can not only shape the way you vote, they can shape the way you give.

 

Those who cast their vote in November based largely off of one political or social stance If you’re pro-life, there’s a good chance you’re going to avoid donating not only to places like Planned Parenthood, but to any organization that supports planned parenthood. Often, you’ll see tidbits on the news in which one person or company supports a particular charity, which is then held against them by those who disagree with their political orientation. Take, for instance, EpiPen creator Mylar, which recently was revealed to have supported the Clinton Foundation, a fact which many from the right were quick to point out when Mylar came under fire for questionable ethics in price gouging.

 

There is also a difference not just in the charities and causes different political followers donate to, there’s a strong difference in how charity in general is viewed. Generally speaking, according to the Huffington Post, those who fall on the left side of the political spectrum typically give less money to charity in a given year. Could this potentially because those who make more money typically lean right, yes. But another factor at stake could also be the propensity of those on the left to rely more on government help–tax cuts, social systems and the like–to help low-income people rather than individual donations.

 

But politics and philanthropy also intersect outside of just citizen voters, elbowing its way into our politicians and their platforms. Often, we see politicians using charitable giving to highlight the type of person they are. Typically, with a rise in role in politics and more security into your behavior, politicians tend to begin to donate more of their own money. Philanthropy clearly plays a large roll not just in our political affiliation and stance on issues, but in how our elected officials present themselves to the public.

 

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