It’s often said that when you give, you will also receive. It seems that the largest celebrity figures take the time to give generously to various causes. It’s no wonder why they continue to experience great fortunes in their wealth journeys. Charitable giving is a wonderful thing. As one accrues more wealth, they should take the time to give back to those in need. The Giving Back Fund recently reported the top celebrity donors for the year 2008. We’ll share that list with you:
Most Generous Celebrity Donors for 2008:
1 Paul Newman – $20,857,000 – Newmans Own Foundation, which distributed $13,971,000 million in grants to a very broad class of charities focused on education, the environment, health, human services, community development, international causes, emergency campaigns, and arts and culture. These gifts were distributed widely throughout the United States and abroad. Newman’s Own has been a large supporter of The Hole in the Wall Camps for ill children.
2 Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt – $13,420,688 – Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which distributed $2 million to the Global Health Committee for the Ethiopian Clinic project; $1 million to Human Rights Watch for Zimbabwe and Bhurma investigations; $1 million to Make it Right Foundation established by Pitt; $500k to Armed Services YMCA USA and more than $1 million to WildAid MJP Project in Cambodia.
3 Mel Gibson – $6,491,833 – AP Reilly Foundation for Holy Family Catholic Church in Agoura Hills, California.
4 Richard Childress and Family – $5,000,000 – Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center for a pediatric trauma institute.
5 Oscar de la Hoya – $9,500,000 – Oscar del la Hoya Foundation whose previous grantees include Los Angeles’ Green Dot Educational Projects and White Memorial Medical Center.
6 Oprah Winfrey – $2,400,000 – $1.4 million to the US Dream Academy to help build afterschool programs; $1 million to the Concerned Citizens of Whitesboro, Inc for the scholarship fund.
7 Sam and Lynn Waterston – $2,100,000 – Waterston Family Foundation with previous grantees including $50k to Refugees International and $50k to The American Institute for Stuttering.
8 Patricia Cornwell – $2,000,000 – $1 million to Harvard University to establish the Patricia Cornwell Conservation Scientist position at the Harvard Art Museum’s Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies. $1 million to the City University of NY to establish a Crime Scene Academy that will become the first and only international center for crime scene training for professionals, undergraduate and graduate degree students, as well as interested members of the general public.
9 Yao Ming – $2,000,000 – Yao Ming Foundation to help rebuild schools destroyed during the May 12, 2008 earthquake in China.
10 David Geffen – $1,725,032 – Geffen Foundation to support AIDS services, medical research, and arts organizations. Previous grants include $50k to Morehouse College and $800k to Save the Children.
11 Barbra Streisand – $1,670,295 – Barbra Streisand Foundation to support the Barbra Streisand Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Education Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
12 Marcia Carsey – $1,585,000 – Carsey Family Foundation, which distributed $520k to UC Regents Santa Barbara, $150k to Free Press, $115k to Music Academy of the West, and grants to numerous other grants.
13 Leonard DiCaprio – $1,500,000 – Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which distributed grants including $1,585,008 to the California Community Foundation and $10k to the literary magazine the Paris Review.
14 Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith – $1,486,000 – Will Smith Foundation, which distribtued grants including $200k to the Baltimore School of the Arts, $249k to Malaria No More, and $50k Make A Wish Foundation.
15 Leroy Neiman – $1,450,000 – Leroy Neiman Foundation, which distributed grants including $533,334 to support Arts Horizon Leroy Neiman Center in Harlem.
16 Dean and Gerda Koontz – $1,400,000 – Dean and Gerda Koontz Foundation from which $1 milion was distributed to Canine Companions for Independence
17 Marc Bulger – $1,342,000 – Marc Bulger Foundation to support varous St. Louis charities including the local Make-A-Wish-Foundation and the USO area at Lambert airport.
18 Bob Barker – $1,150,000 – DJ & T Foundation to support spaying and neutering programs at animal charities around the country.
19 Nicolas Cage – $1,076,800 – Nicolas Cage Foundation that distributed grants including $1 million to Amnesty International
20 Drew Barrymore – $1,000,000 - UN World Food Programme to help feed thousands of school children
20 Jenny Jones – $1,000,000 – The Jenny Jones Foundation to distribute grants of $25k or less to people to improve their communities.
20 Jimmy and Donna Dean – $1,000,000 – To Wayland Baptistst University for campus improvements and endowments. It was the largest gift the University has ever received.
20 Penny Hardaway – $1,000,000 – University of Memphis to help fund an athletic hall of fame on campus.
20 Roger and Chaz Ebert – $1,000,000 – University of Illinois toward the creation of the Roger Ebert Program for Film Studies Fund.
25 Isabel Allende – $905,532 – Isabel Allende Foundation to support charities that empower and protect women including $50k Global Women’s Fund and $48k to the Marin Education Fund.
26 Larry and Laurie David – $717,000 – The David Family Foundation that made grants including $360k to the NY Restoration Project and $167k to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.
27 Andre Agassi – $540,000 - Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation to underwrite the costs of the Andre Agassi College Prep Academy in Las Vegas.
28 Jeff Gordon – $526,000 – Jeff Gordon Foundation that distributed grants to the Riley Hospital for Children, Northeast Medical Center, Hendrick Marrow Foundation, and numerous other charities.
29 Leonard and Susan Nimoy – $510,000 – The Nimoy Foundation to support arts and education about the arts .
30 Cher – $500,000 – Cher Charitable Foundation which distributed more than $150,000 to Global Giving.
30 Jim Carrey – $500,000 – Better U Foundation that distributed grants to Generation Rescue and Michael Fisher Fund.
*Image courtesy of Steve Wisbauer.
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