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A philanthropist is a lover of humanity, a person who looks towards the greater good of humanity. This is generally recognised by his deeds towards welfare (charity, public service etc.). The label is most often applied to someone who provides a large fraction of the money that supports the efforts in a particular category. Often a charitable foundation, a museum, or a specific activist organization is the direct recipient.
A philanthropist does not always find universal approval; common accusations include supporting the wrong cause (e.g. funding art instead of fighting world hunger), or a having selfish motivation (e.g. to avoid taxes or out of personal interest).

Some notable philanthropists:

See also philanthropy.