With the advent of new media fundraising for non-profits has blossomed. Now causes are flooding facebook, twitter, flicker and the rest of the social websites. Arguments have been raised that there is a glut of charity and causes out there. With all these causes trying to get your attention nobody is getting heard.
Celebrity advertising is not new but it is one of the most effective ways to get your charities time in the spotlight. Many critiques have been leveled at celebrity fundraising: Being more about the celebrity, the stars do not care about the cause but they are just in it for the exposure, they get paid to attend and they do not really understand the causes they represent.
The arguments about the stars devotion to the cause can also be attributed to that fact that they don’t come cheap. There are booking agencies out there for sports, movie, political and movie personalities available for your next charity function. There is a mini industry available to the un-employed actor who will consider fronting a cause.
There might be something to these allegations but to be fair I think the celebrities have to be examined case by case. There are celebrity fundraisers that have been very successful because of devote stars. There are celebrities who care about the causes they represent: Elizabeth Taylor, Sting, Elton John are just a few that come to mind who have supported devoutly the same cause for years.
Whether your talking Angelina Jolie’s work visiting missions or George Clooney’s work as a UN Messenger of Peace there are many celebrities whose fame brings the spotlight to charities who could get lost in the crowd. Not only do they give time donations but part of their estates as well. “ Paul Newman has quietly turned over the entire value of his ownership in Newman’s Own — the company that makes salad dressing and cookies — to charity. Completed over a two-year period in 2005 and 2006, the amount of his donations to Newman’s Own Foundation Inc. comes to an astounding $120 million.” 1
According to USA Today: “Having a star at a fundraising event will almost guarantee more money for a charity’s coffers, sometimes boosting the take by fivefold or more.” 2 That fact alone will guarantee that celebrity fundraising is here to stay.
In my opinion I think that celebrity fundraising works. In the past I have posted videos and clips of movie stars and music personalities on my blog in conjunction with fundraising and charity ideas. The traffic generated by these posts generates a half to a third more hits depending on the celebrity.
Now you tell me, what’s your take on celebrity fundraising? Does it annoy you? Do you see it as a frivolous expense? Are you fascinated with a star that draws you closer to a good cause? Tell us what you think