SEATTLE — J. K. Rowling is best known for authoring the Harry Potter book series, which were released between 1997 and 2007 and sold more than 450 million copies worldwide. Rowling is also exceptionally charitable; as someone who has risen from poverty to fame and fortune, she has made a point of giving back to those less fortunate. In her 2008 Harvard commencement speech, she stated, “[Poverty] is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear and stress and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships.” With this mindset, she has gone on to support numerous charities.
Facts About J.K. Rowling’s Charity Work
- J. K. Rowling achieved billionaire status because of her success with the Harry Potter series. However, she is no longer a billionaire because she has donated so much of her fortune to charity. In 2011, she donated 16 percent of her total net worth, equal to about $160 million.
- One of Rowling’s novels, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will be republished by Scholastic with the proceeds going to the charity Comic Relief and Rowling’s global charity, Lumos. Rowling will be adding a new foreword that is narrated by Newt Scamander and includes new details on the Wizarding World.
- Within the past year, Rowling’s charities have donated more than £8 million to various causes. Volant Charitable Trust gave more than £3 million to causes like the Disasters Emergency Committee, Save the Children and Christian Aid. Rowling’s other charity, Lumos, gave more than £5.2 million to aid orphans and children in perilous situations worldwide.
- Rowling’s charity, Lumos, is an international nonprofit organization whose main goal is to aid orphaned children in troubled situations in finding their families or otherwise provide them with a loving home. Over the past year, Lumos has helped to reunite more than 111 children in Haiti with their families.
- Another of the facts about J.K. Rowling’s charity work is that in addition to her own foundations, Rowling supports 14 organizations. She has served as an ambassador for the charity Gingerbread, and now holds the title of honorary president. Gingerbread advocates for single parents by providing them with support and advice.
- Rowling has shown her support for the charity Comic Relief, whose goal is to end poverty and social biases in the U.K., by writing two Harry Potter companion novels for the organization. The sales from Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have raised more than £17 million for Comic Relief.
- An additional charity Rowling fervently supports is the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, located at the University of Edinburgh. Rowling’s mother is the namesake for the clinic; she died in 1990 due to complications from multiple sclerosis.
Rowling is an avid humanitarian, and helps to support these organizations by providing personal donations and through her successful book sales. These facts about J.K. Rowling’s charity work are a testament to how Rowling’s hard work and prosperity have positively impacted the world around her.
– Alyssa Hannam