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A comparative view of philanthropy

(1) Differently from the United States and some European countries, where philanthropy is part of the country's culture, (2) in Brazil only rarely do wealthy people donate their money to charities or create a foundation aimed at distributing it. (3) Several reasons could explain such a behavioral difference, but the cultural one appears to be a major one.

First, Brazilians (4) see their wealth as the result of their personal efforts. The money (5) accumulated throughout their lives is due exclusively to their own efforts. Americans (6) also acknowledge that their wealth also results from their work and entrepreneurship. However, unlike Brazilians, Americans are aware that society has played an important role within this process of enrichment. For instance, many of those (7), who eventually became rich (7) studied at excellent schools and universities and thus know that these social institutions paved the way for (8) their fortune accumulation.. Therefore, whereas Americans have the feeling that donating part of their fortune means giving back to the society that helped them to become rich, Brazilians normally do not relate their fortune (9) with (10) the society and its social institutions.

Secondly, the meaning of families and societies are perceived (11) distinctly in both countries. This (12) perceptive difference is helpful (13) to understand why philanthropy has become more common in the United States than in Brazil. (14) The American society is more individualistic, whereas (14) the Brazilian (15) one is more collectivist. Thus, in America, there is no such (16) a social imperative to leave the whole fortune only to (14) the family members. Americans feel freer to donate their money to charities, for example. This is seen (17) very (18) naturally by (14) the society. (19) In Brazil, by contrast, the family, rather than society, has a much more relevant meaning for individuals (20) so, it is expected that the fortune of one of the members of the family will be left to the others. If someone makes the decision (21) of donating his/her own money to a charity, this might be considered (22) as if he/she was neglecting his/her own relatives.

In (23) sum, philanthropy is not culture-free, but (24) determined by the cultural traits of each country. A comparison between the United States and Brazil illustrates how culture may be a useful concept in order to understand why citizens from both countries behave differently towards philanthropy. Understanding the meaning of individual, society and family is critical in order to grasp the reasons why philanthropy is more common among Americans than among Brazilians.


(1) Correction: You cannot begin with "Differently from." "Differently" is an adverb (modifies a verb, the action or meaning of a verb), but there is no verb on which it is operating. What you really meant was "in contrast to" or "unlike."
(2) Suggestion only: Let "in Brazil" appear after "wealthy people" instead of after "culture." By moving "in Brazil," you are able to make remove a pause (marked by a comma) and improve the "flow" (i.e., make the sentence less "stilted.").
(3) Suggestion only: I personally would break the last sentence of the first paragraph into two sentences as it contains two different thoughts. I would break just before "but" and replace "but" (a conjunction - used for joining clauses or phrases) with "However."
(4) Suggestion only: In the first sentence, "see" is acceptable. "Perceive" is better (more accurate).
(5) Suggestion only: I would insert "that they" (The money that they accumulated.).
(6) Suggestion only: "Also" appears twice in this sentence. Once is sufficient.
(7) Correction: Insert a comma to set off "who eventually became rich." The words modify (qualify) "many of those." It is a complete clause with subject and object. More importantly, it makes the entire sentence easier to understand (quickly). The primary use of punctuation is to aid the readers' comprehension.
(8) Suggestion only: Change "their fortune accumulation" to "the accumulation of their fortune." It sounds better to the native English speaker.
(9) Correction: Changed "with" to "to." "To" is the preposition that goes with "relate." (e.g., "I could not relate to her.")
(10) Correction: Delete "the."
(11) Suggestion only: A better choice is "differently."
(12) Suggestion only: Use "perceived" instead of "perceptive."
(13) Suggestion only: Try "in understanding" instead of "to understand."
(14) Correction: Delete "The."
(15) Suggestion only: It would be better to repeat the use of "society" than to use "one."
(16) Correction: Delete "a."
(17) Suggestion only: Insert "as" before "very."
(18) Correction: Change "naturally" to "natural."
(19) Correction: Change "In Brazil, by contrast," to "In contrast" and insert "on Brazil" after "for individuals."
(20) Suggestion only: Break the sentence here to form two complete sentences.
(21) Suggestion only: Change "of donating" to "to donate."
(22) Suggestion only: Replace "as if he/she was" with "to be."
(23) Suggestion only: One generally uses "sum" for "total." When you "summarize," (as in a speech, article, etc.) you can say, "In summary…"
(24) Correction: Insert "is" before "determined."

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