For Celebrities Giving To A Cause, A Small Gift Can Truly Change The World

Kevin Durant volunteers at The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Image via Sports Illustrated.

As giving grows, many of our favorite celebrities are starting to do their part and then some. And with more influence than ever, these artists, actresses, and athletes likely have more power than we know.

By: @MrScottMcElroy

Taylor Swift. Lebron James. 2 Chainz. Angelina Jolie.

Is it possible that these could be the type of catalysts we need to address many of today’s very addressable social issues? I think so, but before you call me crazy, hear me out. As the world becomes more and more connected, the influence and power of those in the spotlight is only increasing. This means that millions of people, especially younger people, will likely make their first ever gift due to their favorite influencer spreading the right message. In fact, there’s now several high-profile media companies dedicated to covering this type of positive news. These are headlined by RYOT, Attn, UpWorthy, GOOD, and Ashton Kutcher-founded A+.

Now, I’m not saying that celebrities giving to the right cause is some end-all-be-all solution to systemic global problems. No. That’s silly. However, celebrities, as one of our most powerful social influences, do have a significant opportunity to directly empower millions to give. And THAT is changing the world. And fortunately, it’s happening more and more often.

For example, Taylor Swift was recently crowned as the top ‘Celeb Gone Good’ by DoSomething.org for giving more than $150,000 (likely way more) in 2015. Not to be outdone, New York-based rapper, French Montana, just pledged $1,000,000 to youth in the South Bronx. Additionally, Actor Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife, actress Isla Fisher, just gave $1,000,000 in aid for Syrian refugees. And earlier this year, NBA All-Star, Lebron James, pledged a whopping $41,000,000 to send more than a thousand kids to college with a guaranteed four-year scholarship. Wow. And, fortunately, this list goes on and on…

OK, so celebrities are giving more. But what does it all mean?! Here are my three key takeaways.

  1. Nonprofits: partner with celebs who love your cause.

Actors, actresses, artists, and athletes have a lot of social currency these days. And as we’ve just seen, they want to give. Partnering with the right brand ambassador can introduce your cause to millions of the right potential donors, amplifying your social awareness and impact. And be creative. The biggest name is likely not your best (most cost effective) partner, so search for long term relationships that really believe in your mission.

2. Celebrities: give to a social cause that you care about.

What do you have to lose? Not only are you in a unique position to positively impact a lot of people, but giving is officially good business. Engaging your fans (customers) with the causes you care about is proven to make them think more highly of you (read: spend more with you). Change the world while you strengthen your personal brand and connect with your fans. It’s a legitimate win-win-win.

3. Donors: encourage your favorite influencers to give with you.

Yes, celebs have an ever increasing influence, but that’s only determined by you, the donor (consumer). Simply asking your favorite artist, actress, or athlete what they care about and why (especially on social media) can lead to significant social impact. These things often start as a conversation, so start the conversation. Most of our favorite celebs are genuinely cool people, who really want to help, but they don’t have a lot of time. So the easier you make it for them, the better.

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