Our Philosophy

At the very heart of CoxNichols is the belief that true philanthropy occurs through a relationship of sharing and mutual nourishment. In fact, it is this belief that drives us to perfecting philanthropy as we work with our clients. The word, philanthropy, provides the basis for all that we do. It comes from the Greek words philia and anthropos, meaning “love for mankind.”

In Aristotle’s work, Nicomachean Ethics, he speaks of mutuality of care as it relates to philanthropy. According to Aristotle, philia, or “friendship love,” extends outward in concentric circles from family to everyone around. Philia originates in the parent-child bond and moves to all others. This mutual nourishment leads to the virtuous flourishing of both parties through a relationship of care and sharing without showing partiality to either party.


Aristotle states that “one friend loves the other for the other’s own sake.” Perhaps Aristotle’s thoughts were influenced by King Solomon who wrote, “a generous man will himself be blessed for he shares with the poor.”

Titus 3:4 provides an example of philanthropy found in Scripture. It says, “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us.” The word used here for loving kindness is philanthropos—the philanthropy of God. Acts 28:2 uses the same word concerning the care shown Paul when he was shipwrecked on the isle of Malta. It states that the “the native people showed us unusual kindness.”

CoxNichols strives to help our clients find this type of unusual philanthropy, based not on a charitable grant, donation, or gift, but rather upon a mutually nourishing relationship that results in the donor and recipient being fulfilled and flourishing. CoxNichols believes that “Philanthropy is a journey of joyful discovery that shapes us as we move from giving to sharing.” True philanthropic joy is not found in giving but rather in a shared, mutually nourishing relationship, where both the giver and the recipient are blessed through showing unusual philanthropy to each other. Together with our clients, we are working on perfecting philanthropy through a proactive model of sharing and mutual nourishment. We look forward to walking with you on your journey of philanthropic discovery.

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