Many types of people are involved in helping organizations or people. This kind of help is usually financial in nature, but other forms of help may also be provided such as clothing, housing, and others. A person who provides this form of help is referred to as a benefactor, given that a person or entity benefits from the help that has been given by him or her.
The word benefactor is derived from late Middle Engish terminology and the original Latin phrase, bene facere, which means to do good. Thus, the benefactor contributes largely to the community and world by “doing good”. Benefactors are not necessarily required to become benefactors. People become benefactors for a number of reasons.
Benefactors are often sources of loans, grants, or direct monetary funds to support people, organizations, or causes they support. There is no limit to how much a benefactor can provide. This lack of limitations also exists in terms of when a benefactor may choose to support an entity. One may continue to provide support even after death through a trust or will. Many benefactors provide trusts that allow their support to continue.
A wide variety of organizations and causes exist that are popular amongst benefactors. Most benefactors choose to support the arts by contributing their art collection to a museum or gallery. Some provide support to underprivileged individuals by providing education or the schools themselves. Other benefactors choose to support academic institutions to further develop areas of science, literature, math, and others.