Giving is not about riches. Many people, who are wealthy with millions, if not billions, of dollars in bank accounts, use their money for themselves only.
Reaching out to the needy in society, whether within our boundaries or assisting in far fledged countries, is a special calling but also one that ordinary people can get behind.
As a leading authority on philanthropy and social innovation, it has been an honor to help many and to work with some wonderful people in the field. As an orator, I use my persuasion skills to pull in celebrities for fundraising events that seek to tackle societal problems around the world. Inspired by personalities like former NFL Player Michael Strahanur, our annual philanthropy summits have engaged thousands of attendees each year to donate to worthy causes.
Although Strahanur (left) did not make the top 10 list this year, he is a celebrity television personality to watch. With his generous heart and likeability, he uses his growing platform in entertainment and sports to raise money to help youth in foster care and group homes on his website, The Compound Foundation.
Top Ten Philanthropic Celebrities
This actor, writer, producer has been recognized for his tireless efforts in the campaign aimed at stopping the Darfur war. He is also the co-founder of water.org to address the water crisis in Africa. Damon is also a board member of Tonic Mailstopper whose work is to try and stop the flow of junk mail and reduce the cutting of trees. He has supported the One Campaign in the fight against AIDS and poverty and became an ambassador of ONEXONE to improve the lives of children in Canada, the United States and around the world. Most recently, Damon has co-founded Industrial Revolution II, now operating its first business in Haiti offering employment and community support with its new socially-responsible garment factory.
Rated as the most philanthropic African-American personality, Oprah’s successful life has been an inspiration and help to many. She has given millions of dollars in her philanthropic work. Oprah’s Angel Network has encouraged ordinary people to help make a huge difference for people in need, including hurricane victims. Oprah is currently involved in supporting the Leadership Academy for Girls near Johannesburg in South Africa. In setting up the academy she invested $40 million.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
This superstar couple has been involved in building new homes for residents of New Orleans who were displaced by hurricane Katrina. Through Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation they have immensely contributed towards the reconstruction of New Orleans (GNN story here). Angelina has also been involved in assisting and advocating for the needy in society as a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The couple donated two million dollars to a Namibia Charity in 2011.
Affleck has put his best foot forward by tackling the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was involved with the United Nations in the release of a film that highlighted the refugees problems in DRC.
As a spokesperson for Frum Tha Ground Up, this singer songwriter has inspired American youth to achieve success. Keys is also the ambassador for Keep A Child Alive and has traveled to countries such as Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa, speaking to teens and young adults who have lost their parents to AIDS and are now the heads of their households.
The pop icon is well known for adopting a Malawian child, but her Raising Malawi foundation also provides water, food, schooling amenities and medical care in Malawi for hundreds of the country’s orphans.
Michael J. Fox
Fox has vigorously supported research for Parkinson’s disease. Through the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research he has raised over $100 million to date.
Sir Elton John
Elton John’s vast wealth has been used to support the fight against AIDS in the world. Through the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which he founded in 1992, he has raised more than $125 million to support programs in the world.
Bono’s RED campaign and charity concerts have advanced the alleviation of poverty and debt in third world countries. His calls for debt relief and AIDS awareness campaigns have benefitted millions and boosted groups such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International.
Chan has been actively involved in helping youngsters who are at risk in Hong Kong. He also made a huge donation to UNICEF for tsunami relief in 2004. He also donates money to the Chrysalis, a non-profit in Los Angeles assisting the homeless.
Michael Chatman helps celebrities raise funds for charitable causes. He is one of the most listened-to voices in philanthropy and social innovation with 270,000 followers on Twitter; provides market strategy for America’s leading thought leaders in philanthropy and social innovation, and positions their message to achieve greater social impact. Mr. Chatman, founder of Philanthropy Speakers Agency and host of #WHYiGIVE, is credited with building one of the most popular brands in the philanthropic sector. Follow Michael’s Twitter feed at @michaelchatman.