AuthorLazar, Adela
  1. Introduction

    In a time of worldwide increase in social inequality, there is a raising interest in the ways in which welfare can be delivered through social innovation, including entrepreneurial solutions that combine philanthropy and the activity of the non-for-profit sector (Maclean, Harvey and Gordon, 2013). Non-for-profit organizations can be vehicles through which the philanthropic dispositions could be put to work in socially innovative ways in order to fight social exclusion and poverty. Such initiatives should take into consideration however the cross-cultural diversity of philanthropic modes and attitudes that have been already described and theorized by Pennerstorfer and Neumeyr (2017), and could impact the effectiveness of diffusion of social innovation across various cultural milieus.

    Therefore, the article aims to bring light into understanding the differences in how people respond to the needs of other individuals through charitable giving by employing an international comparative approach. Understanding the philanthropic behavior lacks in great degree a contextual analysis and comparative approach of societies according to the typology of the philanthropic behaviors. Although the regional approach is often used in understanding human behavior, it is somewhat surprising that philanthropy is poorly represented in the literature from a comparative perspective (Schneider, 1996). Comparative information on philanthropic behavior in a global context is essential to correctly understand the causes behind these behaviors and the differences between them. On the one hand, this information is of real use to humanitarian fundraisers in choosing the right techniques and programs according to the philanthropic character of a country (Schneider, 1996). On the other hand, data on the degree of involvement in everything that a civic society implies provides us with valuable information on the values of a country, on the promoted and accepted behaviors, on the relationships among individuals, as well as on other latent issues such as trust, aspects of cultural, economic or political history (Casey, 2016).

    The aim of the present research is first to test the existing classification models of the EU countries for philanthropic behaviors, and to propose a classification that integrates recent empirical evidence with these classifications and other institutional and economic taxonomies. Secondly, our aim is to assess these taxonomies with regard to current theories of state vs non-profit sector relationships.

    The present approach, although using a relatively simple methodology (the classification of the individual philanthropic behaviors based on Jaccard distances, and then the classification of the countries based on the similarity of the philanthropy models), is innovative as it performs an empirical classification of all EU countries and tests the validity of this classification in relation to other social and institutional taxonomies. The secondary analysis of the data provided by the Eurobarometer 74.1 (2010) provides a clearer picture of the similarities and differences existing at the level of the EU countries on the predominant types of philanthropic behaviors. Compared to the Pennerstorfer and Neumayr (2017) seminal article, our article is an improvement as it employs a more valid operationalization of philanthropic giving and a different methodology in building the country-level taxonomy.

  2. Philanthropy

    As an organized form of helping out our fellow human beings, philanthropy is probably global. It is found in the Jewish and Christian religious traditions, but it is also present at the aboriginal people in Canada, for example, as a prerequisite of group life in a society (Wiepking and Handy, 2015). According to the World Giving Index conducted by the Charity Aid Foundation (CAF) worldwide in 2017, nearly 1 in 3 individuals donate money (30%), 21% volunteer, and half of the population help a stranger (Low, 2017). Given the fact that, globally, philanthropy and volunteering have become more and more present in the life of individuals in a society, the study of philanthropy has practically become a necessity.

    A short and concise definition of philanthropy was given over thirty years ago by one of the most well-known scholars in the field. He defined philanthropy as voluntary actions performed for the public good (Payton, 1988; Payton and Moody, 2008). Payton, the founding director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and one of the most dedicated and well-known authors in the field, said, 'philanthropy is essential to a free, open, democratic civil society' (Payton and Moody, 2008). Salamon, another established author in the field, proposes a more operational definition of philanthropy, namely 'the private giving of time or valuables (money, security, property) for public purposes' (Salamon et al., 1992), the main purpose being to help increase the quality of life of others (Van Til, 1990). Therefore, philanthropy means the gesture of contributing to the public good by voluntarily donating money, goods, time/actions, donations that can be made both by the individual and by organizations/ groups (Wiepking and Maas, 2009). Philanthropy can therefore be analyzed at the individual level, respectively at the level of organizations or society as a whole (Schuyt et al., 2010).

    Philanthropy and charity are both institutionalized aspects of generosity, and are often used interchangeably, in practice being very difficult to determinate and delimitate them (Wright, 2001). Charity, originated in the sphere of religious obligations, refers to a short-term reaction, usually based on feelings, being the help given momentarily in response to a person's need, necessity or suffering. The primary purpose of charity is to eliminate or rather alleviate a person's current suffering, while the primary objective of philanthropy is a more strategic, long-lasting one, acting at the level of the cause of social problems as to improve the quality of human life (Bremner, 2017; Friedman and McGarvie, 2003).

  3. Non-profit organizations

    The concept of social infrastructure is correlated to the concept of philanthropy, and it is one of the organized forms by which individual charity is transformed through philanthropic activity (donations and volunteering) into concrete actions of support for the categories in need. Social infrastructure includes all philanthropic non-profit organizations and groups referred to in scientific and common language under terms such as: non-profit/non-governmental sector, volunteering, third power, independent sector, civil society (Salamon et al., 1999b; Salamon et al., 2017).

    The Johns Hopkins University Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project (Salamon et al., 1999b), initially involving 22 countries, is the first systemic attempt to conceptualize the non-profit sector in countries around the world. According to the study, in 1995 the non-profit sector in the 22 countries involved accounted for an average of 4.6% of the gross domestic product (GDP). The authors continue with the idea that if the non-profit sector was considered a separate national economy, it would be the eighth largest economy in the world (Salamon et al., 1999b).

  4. Philanthropy. Conceptualization and measurement

    Researchers' interest in philanthropy is growing. One talks about a restructuring of philanthropy, considering that today's philanthropy, the so-called 'modern philanthropy', differs from 'the traditional philanthropy' for having extended its objectives to causes such as nature conservation and health, compared to the causes of traditional philanthropy--poverty, well-being and education (Schuyt et al., 2010). This evolution is clearly parallel to the increasing relevance of post-materialist ideologies and to the emergence of new social movements (Hanspeter et al., 2015; Inglehart, 2008).

    Conceptual analyses of philanthropy identify several aspects. When an individual notices the need of another individual, or is asked to help, the individual may offer not to help at all, may offer token help, or may offer serious helping. This general classification of the helping behavior is described by Bendapudi et al. (1996), who believe that the decision to get involved depends on the cost-benefit analysis. On the other hand, the awareness of need as a real one, asking for help, reputation and self-image, the values of the individual, altruism and the awareness of help as effective are other mechanisms to explain the degree of involvement and help to those in need (Bekkers and Wiepking, 2007). Inspired by the theories of consumer behavior (Howard, 1969), Peloza and Hassay (2007) propose a taxonomy of charitable behaviors according to the degree of involvement. Thus, the authors divide the helping behaviors into two broad categories: behavior with increased levels of involvement, respectively with low levels of involvement. The first category includes civic behaviors (volunteering, recommendations/recruitment, gifts in kind), financial contributions (gifts) and charitable purchases (participation in charitable events, purchase of products sold for charitable purposes--services/raffle, charity campaigns).

    Thus, when individuals decide to help, they can either offer help that involves minimal involvement--token help, or act with a high level of involvement--serious help.

    In order to operationalize these forms of individual philanthropy, various scales are used in the studies undertaken. In this regard we recall Gordon's scale (1960, beside Schuyt, Bekkers and Smit, 2010), which assesses altruism, and which in various adjusted forms is also used today.

    Schuyt, Bekkers and Smit (2010) draw attention to the importance of the particularities of the society in which we study philanthropy. They consider that there should be a close link between the scales chosen to operationalize philanthropy and the society in which it...

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