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Sheila Marikar of ABC News posted an article today entitled ‘Celebrity Takes Up A Cause: Do Fans Follow?’, with the hook “When Stars Rally for Causes, Regular Folks Don’t Necessairly [sic] Open Their Wallets.”

The article presents evidence from a 2006 study that only 15% of American adults are likely to contribute to a favourite celebrity’s cause, and calls into question the effectiveness of celebrity charity endorsement.

When interviewed by the author, Sandra Minutti of Charity Navigator noted that some celebrity foundations are more effective in their giving than others, and offered common-sense advice: “What we tell our donors is not to give to something just because it has a pretty celebrity face on it. […] You have to do your research.”

By emphasising the variability of foundation management and reluctance of individuals to contribute personally, the article paints the same broadly skeptical picture of celebrity charity work that is so often seen in the popular and gossip press, but which is inconsistent with our experience at Look To The Stars.

We are delighted to take part in publishing the overwhelming flow of positive news about kind-hearted celebrities getting involved with worthwhile causes.

Detractors often criticise what they see as self-serving publicity around celebrity philanthropy, while forgetting that the same well-oiled publicity machines that build individual fame are also being turned to cultivate the non-profits involved.

If celebrity endorsement dramatically raises the profile of a charity, then that charity will inevitably enjoy increased public support, irrespective of the minority of fans that is moved to offer personal support.

It’s hard to see a downside, let alone a need for cynicism; our team of volunteers will remain happy to continue spreading the good news, and if you would like to help us, please get in touch.

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