According to Fidelity Charitable a philanthropist is a person who donates time, money, experience, skills or talent to help create a better world. Anyone can be a philanthropist, regardless of status or net worth.
What is Philanthropy?
Greek playwright Aeschylus coined the term philanthropy in the 5th century BCE. It meant “love of humanity.” Today, philanthropy means generosity in all its forms and is often defined as giving gifts of “time, talent and treasure” to help make life better for other people.
You can practice philanthropy by making a monetary gift, such as a donation to a cause you believe in. You can also practice philanthropy by giving your time—serving in a soup kitchen, tutoring a teen or engaging in any other volunteer activity that aims to improve lives. So the answer to “what is a philanthropist” is a person who exhibits these behaviors, regardless of how many resources (or how few) that person has.