Our favorite kind of celebrity is one who uses their stardom for more than just personal ego-growing and advancement; we love the ones who use their celebrity for good causes. What is better, after all, than helping put a spotlight on important issues with one’s fame and fortune?
Today, we list the top five most generous celebrities we know and love. And to all of them, we say: good job!
1. Taylor Swift
Miss Swift was named number one on DoSomething.org‘s list of charitable celebrities for both 2012 and 2013. Not only did she donate a cool $100k to the Nashville Symphony instead of throwing a birthday bash for herself, she also gave $4 million for musical education to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
2. JK Rowling
We love that JK Rowling is no longer on Forbes’ Billionaire List- because she’s off the list for being “too generous to charities”. We say there’s no such thing. It’s estimated that, as of 2012, the previously penniless author has donated about $160 million to various charities.
3. Sir Richard Branson
Founder of Virgin, would-be spaceman, and all-around amazing person, Sir Richard Branson is a founding member (together with Nelson Mandela) of The Elders, a group dedicated to human rights. He has also worked with several African charities.
4. George Lucas
The Star Wars producer used over $4 million of his own money to start the George Lucas Educational Foundation, which helps students. When he sold his stake in Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, he put all personal proceeds to the same foundation.
5. Mark Zuckerberg
Whether you love or hate (or love to hate) Facebook, you can’t deny that founder Mark Zuckerberg has done much good with his own earnings from the enormously successful social network. His donation in 2013 of $970 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation was the largest charitable gift recorded that year.
You don’t, of course, have to be a celebrity to be charitable. Nor do your contributions have to be in the billions, millions, or even thousands. As all charities will tell you, every little bit helps. Some charities we believe are worth a look:
- The Aangan Trust, India. Helps girls in India gain access to better healthcare and education.
- The Isabel Allende Foundation, USA. Supports charities around the world that empower and protect women.
- Doctors without Borders help provide emergency medical assistance all over the world. This charity is also quite popular among many celebrities.
- The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants “wishes” to children with life-threatening conditions all over the world. Actors Will and Jada Smith recently donated $52,000 to Make-A-Wish.