Look To The Stars is proud to announce that our partners at the Giving Back Fund have announced their third annual Giving Back 30, a list of celebrities who have made the largest donations to charity according to public records.

Readers may have been surprised to learn that Paul Newman replaced Oprah Winfrey as the most generous celebrity of 2008. Oprah had occupied the number one spot by a wide margin for the first two years of the list.

Before his death, Newman made a donation of nearly $21 million to his self-named Newman's Own Foundation. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were second with a $13.5 million donation to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which distributed $6.4 million to charity, including a $2 million grant to The Global Health Committee for an Ethiopian clinic project, a $1 million grant to the Make it Right Foundation founded by Pitt, and $500,000 to the Armed Services YMCA USA.

“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 to enable them to serve as role-models to their peers and fans,” said Marc Pollick, President and Founder of The Giving Back Fund.

Also on the list: Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Mel Gibson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurie and Larry David and Drew Barrymore. Several authors made the list this year, along with representatives from the NBA, NFL and NASCAR. To see the complete list visit The Giving Back Fund’s web site at www.givingback.org.


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; polled more than 150 charities known for their celebrity associations; and contacted all of the major sports leagues.

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 Fund did not calculate giving as a percentage of the celebrities’ income because there are no public records documenting income. Re-directed income from sponsorship and merchandising deals to charity made by a celebrity was also not reported as it is not available to the public.

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 Giving Back Fund will be releasing a second list in early 2010 reporting on the dollar amount distributed to charities by public and private celebrity foundations, respectively. Charities may submit their 2008 990 reports for review to The Giving Back Fund at GivingBack30@givingback.org.

Source: Giving Back Fund

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