Monday, 17 November 2008

Should we donate?

What is it with famous (and wealthy) people who set up a charity and then ask us, their adoring public, to pay into it?

Earlier this year it was Prince Harry and his Sentebale charity, now Madonna, reportedly one of the world's richest women, has asked her fans to give generously to her cause, building a girls' school in Malawi.

Why set up a new charity, when so many are already up and running? It must be far more efficient to donate money to an existing organisation, rather than setting up a whole new infrastructure. Could it possibly be another way of attracting good publicity? Why do such wealthy people ask the general public to donate to their own pet charity?


  1. It also begs the question, who don't the wealthy celebrities put a larger portion of their own money into the pot, rather than asking other people who have less?

  2. Harry does it because as royalty he cannot get into business as such, and needs good publicity.
    Madonna does it for publicity.
    Your point about the many existing charities is a good one. Princess Anne supports 'Save the Children,' why don't they do similar?

  3. You bring up a good point here. There are so many charities out there and I have found that it is not the wealthiest people who donate to them but everyone else. It seems as though celebrities do it for publicity. I'm generalizing here as there are exceptions but I agree with you that there are already so many out there. And, as in the case of Madonna, she's got more $$$ than she needs so why not just pay for it herself? Because she needed to publicize it.

  4. I don't know about prince Harry, but I will donate to Madonna's charity, just because of all her selfless work for children. Please consider joining me in this.

  5. You made a good point here. Ain't there enough Charities around that they can support or put their money into? Instead of putting money to set up a new one, would it be better they put that money to better use? Celebrities are in an unique position to garner their fans to do good and to make donation and they could have do it effectively by asking their fans to support a present charity.

  6. a, I couldn't agree more. As you know I try to give notice to charities that I feel are really putting the money where their mouth is. Perhaps these celebrities can be generous with their information on how much they are giving.

  7. It's sad really that celebrities feel they must, or are advised they must act in this way. Publicity is all it boils down to, and I suppose in some ways they could be doing far worse things in order to attract publicity, but so many of their efforts seem so misguided. Adopting designer babies springs to mind. I imagine it's the ones you don't hear about who are doing the really good work.

    Adullamite makes a good point, Princess Anne works hard for Save the Children, and they do excellent work at home and abroad. From that point of view, she sets a good example.

    Ettarose, I should have mentioned your blog and the good work you do there. For those of you who don't know, click on Ettarose's charity directory button in my sidebar.

    Relax Max, for those who don't know him, is very well aware of my feelings, and is merely trying to incite me to rage. He may well succeed.

  8. There should be kudos points awarded to celebrities who adopt unpopular causes. Did you know that a Devon donkey sanctuary get 13 million a year, more than mencap & samaritans combined (ta tim dowling via lynne guist)

  9. What I'd like to see celebrities do is offer to match the total of the rest of our donations to their charities. I'm sure a lot of them have the money to do so -- only they won't. :S

  10. With people lke Prince Harry, I tend to think it's his duty: he is required by his position to lead by example and I think that's a good thing. He promotes and propogates the culture of giving. As he should: he's a royal.

    But with Madonna? It's all ego. Her and her ilk are all the same, "Just see how wonderful and GIVING I am..." which is of course a load of old socks...she could buy that entire village a million times over, but she won't because it's HER money.

  11. I rarely hear of a celebrity giving actual money to a cause. Most of them hold concerts and give the money from tickets, put their names on something and get the credit, or like Faith Hill and Tim Mcgraw haul a truckload down to New Orleans and bad mouth the government. Rosie O'Donnel actually gave a one million dollar check to hurricane relief. She challenged other celebrities to match her, but as I understand it, got no takers.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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