Analyses of existing philanthropic activities rarely consider contributions made by recipients of aid, i.e. grassroots philanthropists. The authors of this paper advocate for the inclusion of grassroots philanthropists in social-public-private partnerships. Such partnerships engage local communities and indeed request their guidance on allocating aid. Using the grassroots health care organization Village Health Works as anecdotal evidence, the authors demonstrate the role of grassroots philanthropy and community-driven development in rural Burundi and the need to replicate the model globally.