Giving to charity is a common practice among celebrities, because it’s generally considered to be a good thing to do. And I don’t judge their motives — as long as they’re doing good, I don’t care if they’re doing it for selfish reasons. Here are eight celebrities who donate just a ton of money to charity!
Bill Gates is, according to Business Insider, the MOST GENEROUS PERSON OF ALL TIME. He’s given $27 billion to charity – 32% of his 84.2 billion fortune. He spends most of his time on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which gives money to causes like agricultural development, urban poverty, global health, emergency relief, AIDs research, and a lot more.
In 2008, Taylor Swift donated $100,000 to the Iowa Red Cross for disaster relief related to their flooding. In 2011, she performed a benefit concert that raised $750,000 for tornado victims in the Southeast. Last year she donated $50,000 to an 11-year-old fan battling Myeloid Leukemia as well as $50k to NYC public schools and $1989 to a fan trying to pay off school loans. Her gifts big and small made her the most charitable celebrity of 2015 — impressive for someone who’s only 26!
When people think about Miley Cyrus, they usually think about twerking and eye-catching outfits, but they don’t realize she’s one of the most charitable celebrities in the world. Last year, Miley’s charitable gifts were second only to Taylor Swift’s, as she donated $500,000 to AIDS research and turned her 20th birthday party into a fundraising event for a dog rescue. And on top of all that, her Happy Hippie Foundation helps provide services to homeless LGBTQ youth. But sure, tell me again how you don’t like her dance moves.
Beyoncé donates to 27 different charities and for her Formation World Tour, teamed up with three — The United Way, Chime for Change, and Global Citizen. She started her own charity organization, BeyGOOD in 2013, which works to help arts, women’s rights, clean water, and education organizations. In February, Beyonce and Jay-Z announced they would donate 1.5 million to Black Lives Matter as well as several other civil rights organizations.
Angelina has long been one of the celebrities most devoted to giving back — she became a UN Goodwill Ambassador in 2001 and has been speaking out for refugees ever since. Tax records showed that in 2006, she and Brad Pitt donated more than $8 million to charity, and around $40 million over the past decade through the Jolie-Pitt Foundation. Dedicated to eradicating extreme rural poverty, protecting natural resources, and conserving wildlife and providing aid in nearly 60 countries, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation hangs in limbo now that the couple is separating, but I’m sure philanthropy will remain a key part of Angelina Jolie’s life.
Elton John started the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992 after several of his friends died from the horrible disease. The foundation has raised over $125 million to fight AIDS and help those living with the disease in 55 different countries. Elton John has even been the most charitable celebrity in the world numerous times, including 2004, when he donated a whopping $43 million to various causes.
Bono, the lead singer of U2, is well known for his charity work, especially with (RED), the once-ubiquitous charity that raises money for AIDS research. He came under fire for in 2010 when it was discovered that only a small fraction of the money donated to his charity ONE was actually distributed, with most of it going to executive and employee pay. Then again, U2 donated $6 million of their own bucks, so is Bono a fraud or a humanitarian? I don’t know. I don’t know the guy. Maybe he’s both.
George Clooney has been invested in stopping the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, both giving his own money and raising money with his Ocean’s 11 co-stars through their charity Not On Our Watch. Clooney was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2008 and sat on the board of trustees of The United Way. He doesn’t make public how much of his own money he donates, but he’s married to Amal Alamuddin, a world-famous human rights lawyer, who is herself dedicated to philanthropy through her Amal Clooney scholarship for Lebanese girls.
Who’s your favorite charitable celebrity? Tweet at me and let me know! @erikaheidewald