TED Talks have covered a variety of topics since the program’s’ inception. One of the more common topics is that of philanthropy. Philanthropists have shared their thoughts on the topic and what it means to them to be able to do good in the world. In my opinion, some of the most inspiring of these talks are as follows:

Peter Singer And Altruism


In this Ted Talk, Singer discusses the idea of altruism which is the idea of being less concerned with one’s self and instead, more concerned with others. This can be related directly to philanthropy in the sense that money used to fund the needs of others will have a more positive impact than money used to meet a desire of one’s own wanting.

Michael Norton And Buying Happiness

The old adage goes that money cannot buy happiness. Michael Norton uses a TED Talk to disprove this idea. His talk goes into the psychology about what happens when a person spends money on themselves versus spending money on other people in the form of a gift or charity. The finding is that money does buy happiness but only when it is used for charitable giving. Conversely, spending money for a physical item makes individuals no less happy in the long run than initially.


Bill And Melinda Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates are one of the richest couples in the world. Their wealth is largely due to the founding of Microsoft and then investing the earnings from this massive business venture. Both of these business people have had a hand in dozens of businesses spanning many different sectors. That is why this TED Talk is even more incredible. In it, the wealthy couple discuss why the most fulfilling part of both of their careers has been giving away more than ninety percent of their wealth. The foundation that shares the Gates name has helped millions across the globe.

Philanthropy is not something that can only be done by the wealthy. By taking the advice of those who have done it for years, donors can make a very serious impact on a smaller scale that is no less impressive.