LOS ANGELES, California– Although celebrities are often criticized for negatively impacting society, many celebrities do much more than simply start the newest upcoming trends. One way in which celebrities have positively influenced people to act similarly is through their charitable acts.
According to a study conducted by Professors Erica Harris and Julie Ruth from the Rutgers School of Business, charities associated with celebrities typically receive 1.4 percent more donations, which equals about $100,000 every year. Celebrities offer charities credibility in the same way celebrities are used to sell products, which is one reason why these organizations receive more donations.
Below are the top ten celebrities who give to charity according to the news reporting website The Daily Beast’s “25 Most Charitable Celebrities of 2013” report ranked according to the number of charities they each support. Some of the celebrities on this list aren’t new to the philanthropic world, but some of them may be surprising!
1. Elton John
Musical legend Elton John donated $38.4 million to 48 charities throughout 2013. After founding the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992, he has since invited celebrities to his home every year for a “White Tie and Tiara” ball to raise money for EJAF.
2. Brad Pitt
Coming in second is Brad Pitt with his support of 39 charities, and he mainly focuses on worldwide efforts that construct architecture that is both sustainable and environmentally friendly.
3. Ellen DeGeneres
Along with giving out prizes and donations on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, TV host Ellen DeGeneres donated to 38 charities, and alongside Ben Affleck, she launched the “Small Change Campaign.”
U2 frontman Bono fights global poverty and hunger by donating to 36 charities and contacting world leaders and policy makers concerning these and other global issues.
5. Eva Longoria
ABC’s Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria donated to 35 charities in 2013 and has received dozens of awards for her charitable work within the Hispanic communities.
6. Paul McCartney
Not only has Paul McCartney given monetary donations to 35 charities, but he also has donated proceeds from his singles and entire albums to charities.
7. Susan Sarandon
Along with donating to 34 charities, actress Susan Sarandon currently serves as an ambassador for UNICEF.
8. George Clooney
Known for his philanthropic acts, George Clooney donated to 32 charities in 2013 and he founded the organization Not On Our Watch with Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Brad Pitt and Jerry Weintraub. The organization aims to stop genocide in Sudan.
9. Matt Damon
Besides Not On Our Watch, Matt Damon also founded H20 Africa, which later merged with WaterPartners to create Water.org, and he currently serves as an ambassador to ONEXONE, a nonprofit organization that supports, preserves and improves the lives of children at home.
10. Angelina Jolie
Together with Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie formed the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation in 2006 to help resolve global humanitarian crises, and she donates to 29 charities.
Other celebrities on this list include Tom Hanks, Madonna, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Underwood and Morgan Freeman.
The Daily Beast created this list of 25 charitable actors, musicians and athletes by following four criteria: the public’s perception of a celebrity’s activism and compassion, the number of charities each celebrity supports, a celebrity’s promotion of a charity in traditional media and a celebrity’s online promotion of a charity.
Each of these categories was worth 25 percent in the calculation of this list.
To view the full list of 2013’s most charitable celebrities, visit The Daily Beast List, and to search celebrities who give to charity filtered by supported cause, field, age, gender or country, visit Look to the Stars.
– Meghan Orner
Sources: The Daily Beast, Rutgers University, MSN, Look to the Stars, Look to the Stars 2, Look to the Stars 3, Look to the Stars 4, Look to the Stars 5, Look to the Stars 6, Look to the Stars 7, Look to the Stars 8, Look to the Stars 9, Look to the Stars 10
Photo: The Daily Beast