The Giving Back Fund has released its second annual Giving Back 30 survey, a ranking of the celebrities who have made the largest donations to charity in 2007 according to public records.

Heading the list was Oprah Winfrey, who donated $50.2 million to the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and Oprah's Angel Network to “support the
inspiration, empowerment and education of women, children, and families around the world and to encourage people around the world to make a difference in the lives of others”. Coming in second was Herb Alpert, who donated a total of $13 million to the Herb Alpert Foundation, followed by Barbra Streisand, who gave over $11 million to the Streisand Foundation.

To compile the most accurate rankings, The Giving Back Fund culled media reports of charitable giving by sports and entertainment professionals; reviewed PF-990 tax-forms; contacted more than 250 publicists, attorneys, agents, agencies, and managers for information about their clients; sent inquiries to more than 150 charities known for their celebrity associations; and contacted the major sports leagues.

“Our hope is that celebrities will begin to become more comfortable sharing information about their charitable giving - perhaps not disclosing everything they give, but sharing enough that they will serve as role-models to their peers and fans,” said Marc Pollick, President and Founder of The Giving Back Fund. “We know that many celebrities re-direct income from sponsorship and merchandising deals to charity, or help to raise funds in other ways. We are researching reliable means to report this information in a separate list.”

The Giving Back Fund did not include grants made by foundations in the list so as to avoid counting the same funds twice - once when the donor gave money to a foundation and again when the donor decided on a beneficiary for that money. The Giving Back did not calculate giving as a percentage of the celebrities income because there is no consistent way to calculate income when taking into account income from sponsorship and merchandise sales.

Donations to private foundations are disclosed in public documents. However, donations to public charities are not publicly disclosed and therefore may not be reported in the Giving Back 30.

The rest of the list included Paul Newman, who gave away over $10 million; Mel Gibson, who gave $9.9 million to the AP Reilly Foundation, the tax-exempt entity named for his late mother, which supports Holy Family Catholic Church in Malibu, California; Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who collectively donated over $8 million to good causes; and Lance Armstrong, who pledged $5 million to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Other celebrities listed included Michael Jordan, Rosie O'Donnell, Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Hefner, and Tiger Woods.

To see the full list of celebrities and their donations, see the Giving Back Fund website.

Source: Giving Back Fund

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