1. Bill and Melinda Gates
The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is one of the top charities in the entire world. The couple uses their fortune and connections to support great ideas and spread them to the developing world. This is the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world and has helped fund numerous grants supporting education, malaria prevention and many other issues.
Once the front man of the hit band U2, this musician has used his talents and connections to help the global community. Bono has helped to organize countless charity concerts, one of the most notable being the Conspiracy of Hope concert for Amnesty International. He supports around 38 charities; some of the most prevalent include water.org, War Child, Amnesty International, Red Cross and Oxfam. He is also the founder of the ONE foundation.
3. Brad Pitt
This golden globe winning actor deserves an award for all the charity work he and his wife Angelina Jolie have been doing, with Pitt alone supporting 40 different charities. Pitt’s main focus is to build environmentally friendly and sustainable housing throughout the world. He has traveled throughout the world, from Darfur to Haiti, and even to the Katrina-ravaged Louisiana, to build houses for people facing hard times. Pitt, along with several other celebrity philanthropists, has been working with the charity Not on Our Watch, which aims to prevent genocide in the global community. According to tax information, Pitt and his wife Angelina Jolie donated $8 million to charity in 2006 alone.
4. Bill Clinton
This former U.S. president has made a huge impact on the world not only through his presidential actions but also through two charities that he oversees, The William J. Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Initiative. The Clinton Foundation promotes and provides for humanitarian causes and the Clinton Initiative, formed in response to the 2005 World Summit, focuses on reducing global poverty and religious and ethnic tensions. On top of the two that he oversees, Clinton is a major supporter of about 59 other charities.
5. George Clooney
World famous actor and husband to the renowned activist Amal Clooney, this actor has taken a page from his wife’s book and has become immensely active in the global community. Clooney is the co-founder of Not on Our Watch, a charity which combats genocide in Sudan, and is a major supporter of 35 charities. Clooney was also named the United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2008 and has been a major supporter of UN efforts and charity efforts worldwide.
6. Mark Zuckerberg
Founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg recently made a $5 million donation to The Dream U.S., a scholarship organization that donates money to children of illegal immigrants in the U.S. as a means of acquiring a good college education. Zuckerberg has also signed the Giving Pledge along with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, a pledge which states that he will donate at least half of his wealth to charity over time. This donation is one of the first for Zuckerberg, but the world community is excited to see what will come next.
7. Angelina Jolie
One of the most beautiful women in the world is beautiful inside and out. Angelina Jolie has donated to over 29 charities and has founded, along with her husband, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which is dedicated to eradicating extreme rural poverty, protecting natural resources and conserving wildlife. Jolie was the first person to receive the Citizen of the World Award and has continued to support and work for various charities worldwide.
8. Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher has just recently begun his adventure into the world of charity, but he is doing an amazing job. Kutcher and Demi Moore created the DNA Foundation, which aims to combat child sex-slavery by changing cultural stereotypes. Kutcher is also a big supporter of GEMS, which seeks to provide rehabilitation for girls and women who have survived the sex trade. In total Kutcher is funding 19 charities, and the global community is excited to see what more he will do.
– Sumita Tellakat
Sources: Look to the Stars, Forbes
Photo: Stanford Daily