DoSomething.org, one of the largest U.S. organizations that helps teens take action on causes they care about, released today its fourth annual ‘Top 20 Celebs Gone Good’ list.
Lady Gaga continues her reign as the star who uses her celebrity to do the most good. Known for her support of gay rights, AIDS, and poverty, she focused primarily this year on bullying, even taking her thoughts to the White House in December. She also announced the creation of her own charity, the Born This Way Foundation, which aims to empower youth and lead them to a brave new society where each individual is accepted and loved as the person they were born to be.
Making a meteoric rise to number two this year is Justin Bieber, up from number 10 last year. His fast rise is due to his prolific work with Pencils of Promise, an organization that builds schools in Laos and Guatemala. Justin is also a consistent supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, raised funds for charity with his fragrance and holiday album, and recently distributed $100,000 to Whitney Elementary School in Las Vegas.
“There are some interesting trends from this year’s list,” says Aria Finger, COO of DoSomething.org. “It’s dominated by young celebrities and we also see so many couples. Last year the list had its first power couple, Ashton and Demi, and this year there are a total of four couples. Doing good is definitely fun in groups.”
For the first time ever, DoSomething.org’s panel of social media and mobile experts incorporated Facebook voting to help them determine the impact of celebrities reaching an audience with their cause. The criteria stipulated giving money wasn’t enough to count as creating impact; instead, a celebrity needed to take an action others could emulate, like writing articles, building houses, or founding an organization. Facebook fans voted Sophia Bush as the first ‘Fan Favorite.’
The 2011 ‘Top 20 Celebs Gone Good’ list:
1. Lady Gaga
2. Justin Bieber
3. George Clooney
4. Will & Jada Pinkett Smith
5. Leonardo DiCaprio
6. Matt Damon
7. Ellen DeGeneres
8. Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie
9. Dwight Howard
10. Demi Lovato
12. Ashton Kutcher & Demi Moore
14. Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert
15. Nick Cannon
16. Lea Michele
17. Daniel Radcliffe
18. Miley Cyrus
20. Taylor Swift
“There are a handful of other celebrities who just missed the cut-off this year,” notes Finger. “We look forward to seeing what they will do in 2012.”
To determine the rankings, DoSomething.org used its research team and an expert panel, who focused on three elements: popularity, influence, and impact. The first two were calculated using each celebrity’s number of Twitter followers and Facebook likes, as well as their IMDB Pro Scores, Billboard Social 50 ranking, and number of ChaCha inquiries.
For full list and celebrities’ individual charitable impact, click here.