and Celebrity Philanthropists
Philanthropists of the Past
and TV Celebrities, Authors
Whether you're interested in history and want to learn
about Andrew Carnegie, or you're a sports fan and want
to read about the foundation that Tiger Woods started,
or you just want to find out how people in the public
eye use their wealth and influence to promote causes
they care about, you'll find something here to satisfy
Philanthropists of the Past
Credited as the founder of social work, Jane Addams
(1860-1935) was a member of the first generation
of privileged women not required to work or marry
in order to live well. Rather than taking it easy
Jane Addams devoted her life to social causes
and activism, founding Hull House, which still
Andrew Carnegie is considered one of the world's greatest
philanthropists and also one of the wealthiest men who
Cesar Chavez (1927-1993) was a noted civil rights
activist, labor leader, and social entrepreneur.
As a crusader for nonviolent social change, his
life is a testament to the fact that philanthropy
is about more than giving away money.
In addition to establishing the Ford Foundation
in 1936, Henry Ford (1863-1937), founder of the
Ford Motor Company, made numerous charitable contributions,
including $7.5 million for the Henry Ford Hospital
in Detroit and $5 million for a museum in Dearborn.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the most famous signers of
both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,
also gained fame for his philanthropy and the general
interest he showed in causes such as libraries and hospitals.
John Pierpont Morgan's personal wealth was enormous,
and during his life he donated substantial portions
of his money to philanthropic endeavors such as charities,
churches, hospitals, schools, and the arts.
John D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller also was one of the first
major philanthropists in the U.S., establishing
several important foundations and donating a total
of $540 million to charitable purposes.
Sarah Breedlove Walker (1867-1919), more widely
known as Madam C. J. Walker, was an entrepreneur,
social activist and philanthropist noted for her
charitable contributions to black colleges, organizations
and institutions including the single largest
gift made by an African-American woman to the
Indianapolis YMCA building fund.
Andre Agassi created the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation to
provide recreational and educational opportunities for
at-risk boys and girls. The Foundation funds a combination
of emotional, physical and academic programs designed
to enhance a child’s character, self-esteem, and career
Troy Aikman established the Troy Aikman Foundation in 1992 with
the mission of providing financial support for the physical,
psychological, social, and educational needs of children.
Lance Armstrong founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation to enhance the
quality of life for those living with, through, and
The soccer legend and his wife, Victoria, founded The Victoria and David Beckham Charitable Trust to assist children and people with special needs worldwide.
Brandon Burlsworth, the former All-American offensive
lineman for the Arkansas Razorbacks, was killed
in an automobile accident in 1999 shortly after
being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts of the
National Football League. The Brandon Burlsworth
Foundation, established in his memory, strives
to make opportunities available to needy children
The U.S. speedskater received $40,000 for winning two medals at the 2006 Olympics and donated all of his winnings to Right to Play, a Toronto-based humanitarian organization, to help Sudanese refugee children in Chad. His challenge to Olympic sponsors to match his pledge has resulted in over $300,000 in donations.
The Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast is the new president of the Women's Sports Foundation, which recently launched its three year, $10 million GoGirlGo! initiative to fight the emotional and physical health risks that result from physical inactivity.
Chris Evert Charities, Inc. raises funds in support of innovative programs designed to encourage positive youth development, strengthen families, and prevent substance abuse.
The Swiss tennis champion's foundation funds projects that benefit disadvantaged children, especially in South Africa, and programs that promote tennis and other sports for young people around the world.
Doug Flutie and his wife Laurie started "Dougie's
Team" in 1998 to honor their son Doug Jr., who
has autism, and to help other families facing childhood
autism through support and education.
The NBA All-Star forward from the Minnesota Timberwolves launched 4XL - For Excellence in Leadership® in early 2002 to connect minority high school and college students with business leaders and Internet-based guidance while preparing them for business-related careers and entrepreneurship.
The four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion established his foundation in 1999 to help organizations that support children with serious and chronic illnesses and their families.
Soccer star MIA Hamm's foundation is focused on
providing support for two important causes: raising
funds and awareness for bone marrow diseases and
continuing the growth in opportunities for young
women in sports.
In 2005, the Cleveland Cavaliers forward and his mother established the James Family Foundation, a charitable organization that sponsors events to raise money for programs that benefit youth in Akron, OH.
The New York Yankee's founded his Turn 2 Foundation to support and create programs and activities that motivate youth to choose healthy lifestyles and "turn away" from substances such as drugs and alcohol.
Magic Johnson started his foundation in 1991
as a single-disease organization that worked to raise
funds for community-based organizations dealing with
HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs.
Nancy Kerrigan established a foundation to support
those with visual impairment in honor of her mother
who is legally blind.
This former Norwegian speedskater, who won three gold medals in the 1994 Olympics, is now the CEO and President of Right to Play, a Toronto-based, athlete-driven, international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play as a tool for the development of children and youth in the most disadvantaged areas of the world.
The Indiana Colts' quarterback founded the PeyBack Foundation, which funds agencies and organizations that actively advance the welfare of disadvantaged children, especially in Indiana, Tennessee and New Orleans, La.
Mark McGwire founded the Mark McGwire Foundation For
Children in an effort to expand our knowledge about
the complex issues surrounding child abuse.
St. Louis Blues hockey player, Scott Mellanby and his wife, Susan established the Mellanby Autism Foundation in
honor of their son, Carter. The foundation funds autism research, special autism programs, and support for parents
of autistic children.
With his wife, Amy, the PGA golfer donates money for each birdie & eagle he makes to efforts to adapt or build accessible homes for soldiers returning to the U.S. with serious injuries or disabilities. The couple also partners with ExxonMobil to offer a five-day Teachers Academy for 200 third- to fifth-grade educators to improve their skills in motivating students and in teaching math & science.
In 2005, Olympic Medalist and World Cup Champion skier Bode Miller and his family established the Turtle Ridge Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting health, diversity, and sustainable living in our local communities. His foundation also supports organic farming and organizations that protect nature’s precious resources.
The NBA basketball player created Zo’s Fund for Life to raise money for Columbia University's Glomerular Institute, one of the U.S.'s leading centers for research and clinical studies on kidney disease. His charity also raises funds for nonprofits serving at-risk children and youth.
The Miami Heat All-Star center frequnetly donates time and money to charitable causes, including $1 million to the Boys and Girls Club of America to create technology centers in Clubs nationwide, in partnership with Microsoft Corporation.
Jorge Posada, catcher for the New York Yankees,
established the foundation that bears his name
to support athletic programs for children in New
York and Puerto Rico, and organizations that work
with children who suffer from craniosynostosis.
The first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals started his own family foundation in 2005 to support charities for children with Downs Syndrome and assist impoverished families in the Dominican Republic, his native country.
Inspired by their father's teachings, work ethic
and love for baseball, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Bill
Ripken intend to use the Cal
Ripken, Sr. Foundation, started in 2001, to
reach out to millions of underprivileged kids.
The Foundation is dedicated to "building
character through baseball the Ripken Way."
The New York Yankees' star hitter and third baseman works extensively with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami. In 2002, he donated $3.9 million to the University of Miami to fund an annual scholarship to a Boys & Girls Club member and to build a baseball stadium.
The Jalen Rose Foundation was established to show Jalen's appreciation for the communities where he has lived and played basketball. Grants are distributed in Detroit, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Steelers offensive tackle Max Starks established a fund at The Pittsburgh Foundation in 2005 to promote childhood literacy and education. At age 23, he is one of the youngest donors to create such a fund.
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Grant Wistrom created a grantmaking public charity in 2002 to positively affect the lives of children, especially those with cancer, through fun and recreational activities.
Tiger Woods and his foundation actively promote parental responsibility and involvement
in the lives of children.
World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame
This museum on the campus of Boise State University in Idaho celebrates all that is good in sport and honors athletes who have given back to their communities.
The Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater established the Always Dream Foundation in 1996 to fund programs "designed to inspire and embrace the hopes and dreams of children and adolescents."
The singer and performer is the national spokesperson and major donor for the Children's Craniofacial Association, whose mission is "to empower and give hope to facially disfigured children and their families." She also supports and promotes Get A-Head, which aims to improve the quality of life for people with head and neck diseases.
Dave Matthews Band
In addition to performing at benefit concerts, the musicians established the Bama Works Foundation to carry out their commitment to charitable works, both close to home and worldwide. With his sister, Jane, Dave Matthews also created The Horton Foundation, a private foundation that focuses on small organizations working on specific humanitarian, educational and environmental projects here and abroad.
Garth Brooks' Teammates For Kids Foundation was
set up in 1999 to engage baseball, hockey players
and others in supporting programs for kids.
The singer founded the Ray of Light Foundation, which gives primarily to Kabbalah Centers but also to medical research and health associations, particularly associations for musicians who are facing health problems.
Mariah Carey works with the Make A Wish
Foundation, the Fresh Air Fund, and supports a variety of other charities listed
at this site.
The jazz artist and founder of Jazz for Peace promotes music education in schools and donates musical instruments to underprivileged children around the world.
Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, and many other artists sing in these annual concerts to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land.
co-founded Witness, an international human rights organization
that provides equipment, training, and support to local groups to produce and use video in their human rights advocacy campaigns.
Since 1992, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has
distributed more than $30 million internationally
to support HIV/AIDS prevention, the elimination
of prejudice and discrimination against HIV/AIDS-affected
individuals and direct services to those living
The Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation supports programs that meet the healthcare and educational needs of children,
and works to bridge the gap between privilege and poverty for young people around the world.
After struggling with his own heart-related illnesses, Brian Littrell, from The Backstreet Boys, established a club to encourage pediatric heart health. The Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for Kids offers education, exercise, nutrition, and counseling to children ages 8-12 who suffer from a heart condition or have a strong disposition towards developing heart disease.
Singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan's foundation is "dedicated to the advancement of music education and in particular, to the musical education and appreciation of disadvantaged youth" in Canada.
Hip-hop and entertainment leader Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records and Phat Farm Clothing, established the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, nonprofits for youth to get involved in arts and social causes.
The foundation started by Britney Spears is focused
on helping children in need. The philosophy behind the foundation is that music
and entertainment have a healing quality that can truly benefit these kids.
Sting and Trudie Styler
The mission of the Rainforest Foundation started by Sting and his wife Trudie is to support indigenous peoples and traditional populations of the rainforest
in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfill their rights.
U2 and Bono
U2 and Bono have been involved in many issues
throughout the years and they support the work of Greenpeace, War Child and Amnesty International. Most
recently Bono has worked with Jubilee
Plus to erase third world debt to wealthy countries.
Directors, and TV Celebrities, Authors
In response to the many letters she receives from girls seeking advice, Tyra Banks created T-Zone, a summer camp designed to build the self-esteem of young women.
The Irish TV and film actor supports and promotes environmental and children's organizations from around the world.
The martial arts movie star is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS and UNICEF to help arrest the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The film actor/producer leverages his celebrity and donates money for disaster relief and other causes, including The One Campaign to Fight Global AIDS and Poverty.
To honor the memory of their son, Cosby and his
wife Camille formed the Hello Friend/Ennis William
Cosby Foundation to support programs that educate
young children with learning differences.
Katie Couric's National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA)
is dedicated to the eradication of colon cancer by
harnessing the power of celebrity to promote education,
fundraising, research and early medical screening.
Established in 1998, the movie actor's foundation has actively fostered awareness of environmental issues, placing particular emphasis on the issues of global warming, alternative and renewable energy sources, and the preservation of the planet's amazing biodiversity.
The long-time actor, director, and one-time mayor of Carmel, California, is also a major supporter of film preservation and archives.
The actor and political activist supports reproductive health and education. Among her activities: Emory University named their adolescent reproductive health center after her, and she founded the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention in 1995 where she remains an active donor and board member.
Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox created the Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which
is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure
for Parkinson's disease within this decade through
an aggressively funded research agenda.
Richard Gere's foundation primarily contributes directly
to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan community-in-exile
to aid in the cultural, religious, health and educational
survival of the Tibetan people
The film actor, director and producer donated $10 million in October 2004 to two Los Angeles hospitals to provide care for needy children from foreign countries. Since 2000 his family has given $17 million to Healing the Children, a nonprofit that serves young people with serious yet correctable medical problems.
The Oscar-winning actor has favored The James Fund for Neuroblastoma Research at Sick Kids and serves as the American ambassador for the Freeplay Foundation, which provides wind-up radios to the world’s poorest populations, especially children living on their own.
After her death in 1993, the
Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund was created to continue Audrey's international
appeals on behalf of ill-treated and suffering children around the world.
The film actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
uses her fame and fortune to raise awareness and funds for UNHCR's programs, which currently assist 20 million
refugees in approximately 120 countries.
Former national talk show host Jenny Jones is empowering individuals to make a lasting impact on their community. Through her foundation, Jenny is giving away $2 million of her own money. Her Jenny’s Heroes program awards grants of up to $25,000 to individuals who submit the best ideas for tangible, lasting community projects chosen for their significant long term benefits.
In 1993, the late night talk show host started his foundation, which was formerly called the DL Foundation. Now called the American Foundation for Courtesy and Grooming, it gives primarily to children's services and education.
The star of the sixties police drama "Hawaii Five-0", who died in 1998, and his wife, Marie, who passed away in October, have bequeathed $40 million to a dozen Hawaii nonprofit organizations. The bequest will create the Jack and Marie Lord Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation, which will generate an estimated $1.6 million to $2 million a year to be divided among the twelve organizations.
Paul Newman donates 100% of his after-tax profits
from the sale of Newman's Own products for educational
and charitable purposes.
After high school, the stage and screen actor worked for his late grandfather's Enterprise Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides affordable housing for low-income people in large cities. Norton now serves as a trustee for the organization in which his grandmother, a co-founder, still serves as vice-president and secretary.
Rosie O'Donnell established her For All Kids Foundation,
Inc. in 1997 to provide financial support to nonprofit
programs serving economically disadvantaged and at-risk
children and their families.
The British playwright, director, actor, poet and political activist, who received the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature, supports and promotes several human rights and social justice organizations.
The veteran film and stage actor supports human rights causes. With her brother, Colin, she formed the Peace & Progress Party, a British political party to campaign for human rights.
Christopher Reeve's Paralysis Foundation
is committed to funding research that develops treatments
and cures for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury
and other central nervous system disorders
The British children's author was recently named president of One Parent Families, a U.K. nonprofit that supports, educates and advocates for single parents. Rowling, once a single parent herself, has been one of the organization's major supporters and ambassadors since 2000.
Since he formed it in 1990, Martin Scorsese's Film Foundation has
been committed to fostering greater awareness of the
urgent need to preserve motion picture history.
With his friend, Michael Sanchez, the TV/film actor founded Do Something, a nonprofit online community site to help young people change the world.
In 1994, after filming Schindler's List, Steven
Spielberg established Survivors of the Shoah Visual
History Foundation with an urgent mission: to videotape
and preserve the testimonies of Holocaust survivors
Sharon Stone’s foundation, Planet Hope, is involved
in sponsoring many diverse activities for children
of all ages and cultures.
The goals and scope of Montel's MS Foundation
are far-reaching: they are to provide financial assistance
to select organizations and institutions conducting
research, to raise national awareness, and to educate
the public about multiple sclerosis.
The actor and comic supports numerous social causes. Efforts include performing in Comic Relief to raise money for the homeless, and starting the Windfall Foundation with his wife, Marsha, to support arts, education, and social services.
The movie actor supports youth causes through his private foundation. He also actively supports the Screen Actors Guild Foundation to encourage interest in acting.
Oprah Winfrey announced Oprah's Angel Network on September
18, 1997, to inspire people to use their lives and to
reap the truest rewards that come from giving to others
The mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg L.P., a global financial news service, also is one of the country's most generous philanthropists, giving millions to arts, education, health care, and social services.
The foundation started by Bill & Melinda Gates is dedicated to improving people's lives by sharing advances in health and learning with the global community.
George Soros has been active as a philanthropist since
1979, when he began providing funds to help black students
attend the University of Cape Town in apartheid South
Africa. Today he is chairman of the Open Society Institute
and the founder of a network of philanthropic organizations
that are active in more than 50 countries.
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