The development of human society is, to a significant extent, determined by the influence of philanthropy which traditionally plays an important role in the progress of the entire society. In fact, philanthropy constitutes an essential part of the life of the community and the more developed the philanthropy within the community is the higher is the level of the development of the entire community. In such a way, philanthropy can be viewed as an indicator of the cultural development of the community and its socioeconomic well-being. At the same time, the role of leaders in the community can hardly be underestimated. In this respect, it is possible to estimate that leaders performed the role of engine of the human progress because it is due to leaders human society could consolidate its leading forces for the sake of the common progress. At the same time, it should be said that nowadays leaders often focus on their personal well-being, while the gap between leaders and the rest of society grows wider. In such a situation, philanthropy becomes particularly important because, as a rule, philanthropy is initiated by leaders and promoted by leaders of the community, involving other members of the community and making philanthropy a part of the community’s life. At any rate, it is obvious that it is mainly the representatives of the ruling elite and upper classes of the community which are able to maintain philanthropy and, what is more, philanthropy becomes a kind of redistribution of the material wealth of a few individuals in the community into spiritual richness of the entire community because through support of art and culture the spiritual life of the entire community grows richer.
On analyzing philanthropy and the involvement of the community, it should be said that philanthropy is always present in any community in different forms. Obviously, philanthropy is more widely spread in communities which socioeconomic and technological level of development allows the development of philanthropy en mass. For instance, the modern society can develop philanthropic activities because the socioeconomic level of its development is high and material needs of the society are basically satisfied, while spiritual needs are still underestimated and often ignored by the majority of the society as well as by political and economic elite. At the same time, within the last few decades, philanthropy became an important part of the life of the modern community because leaders of the community feel their responsibility for the well-being of the community. They attempt to extrapolate their material well-being on the sphere of art and culture, which remained unconcerned for the most part of the 20th century. In fact, the growth of material well-being creates favorable conditions for the emergence of philanthropy.
At the same time, it is important to underline that philanthropy begins from the representatives of the upper-class of the community, since, as a rule, it is the most successful representatives of the community attempt to share their success with the rest of the community. In such a context, philanthropy becomes an excellent tool which allows successful representatives of the community to enrich the rest of the community and leave their own trace in the history of the community.
In a way, it is possible to view philanthropy as a sort of communication between philanthropists and the rest of the community. What is meant here is the fact that philanthropists actually have certain cultural values which they want to share with the rest of the community and which they want to make available to the mass audience (Russell, 196).
Hence, they develop philanthropy sharing their values with the community and receiving feedback from other members of the community. At the same time, philanthropists show a positive example to the community that stimulates the growing popularity of philanthropy and the larger involvement of the community in philanthropy, to the extent that it is not only representatives of upper-classes, but also representative of the middle-class who develop philanthropy.
However, the development of philanthropy is quite problematic in the poverty stricken communities, where people struggle for survival daily and pay little attention to art and cultural development. In fact, one of the most important problems of the contemporary world is poverty. At the present moment, even the most developed countries cannot totally solve the problem of charity, while in developing countries the overwhelming majority of population lives in poverty. In addition, there are different categories of people that cannot take care of themselves and need the support of healthcare and social services, for instance, disabled people and the old generation. At the same time, society cannot effectively use its material resources and organize social services to improve the position of people who are deprived of equal opportunities either because of their poor health or poor socioeconomic position (Brown, 232). In such a situation, leaders should focus on charity and get ready to organize the effective system of redistribution of wealth in such a way that all categories of population could have possibly equal opportunities.
However, the charity and organization of social services starts from companies and organizations which are headed by leaders. What is meant here is the fact that it is necessary to start with the formation of the positive organizational culture in order to shape the socially oriented values that can be accepted not only by the personnel of an organization but by the entire society. In this regard, leaders should show the example of positive and desirable behavior. They should be supportive and democratic in such a way that they could be able to assist their employees if they need help, for instance.
In such a way, leader can develop philanthropy in terms of social programs even in the poverty stricken communities. As a result, such communities get an opportunity to broaden their system of values and, being protected socially due to the assistance of the community’s leaders, they are more likely to accept positively philanthropy and efforts of the community’s leaders to develop art and culture within the community. Eventually, this leads to the larger involvement of the community into philanthropy and the community starts to respond to philanthropic initiatives of leaders. In such a situation, the involvement of community in philanthropy can be accompanied by the creation of public organization which support philanthropic initiative and help the community to develop philanthropy. For instance, philanthropic funds are created to support art, culture and even educational programs which can stimulate the development of art and culture within the community (Dessler, 188).
Consequently, philanthropy becomes an integral part of the life of the entire community/
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that philanthropy is an essential part of the life of the modern community. As a rule, philanthropy is initiated by the community’s leaders who what to share their success with other members of the community through the support of art and culture of the community. In such a way, they transform their material success in the cultural progress of the entire community. At this point, it should be said that contemporary leaders should be able to deal with a variety of problems and focus on the formation of a positive organizational culture, improvement of social relationships and cultural development. At the same time, the initiatives of the community’s leaders receive positive feedback from the community which grows more and more involved into philanthropy. As a result, many members of the community becomes philanthropists, while the rest of the community gets used to philanthropy and form specific cultural needs in philanthropy since people view it as a way to enrich their cultural and spiritual experience.