Not much about the world of celebrity philanthropy surprises Stephanie Sandler anymore. For the past nine years, Sandler, senior vice president at the Giving Back Fund, a philanthropic consulting and management firm in Los Angeles, has helped celebrities set up their own foundations. Along the way, she's had first-hand experience in the not-always-truthful world of celebrity giving.
Why would a celebrity set up a foundation in the first place, and not just write a check to a charitable organization? " PR is high on the list. "The charitable purpose might be to give scholarships, but it also serves as a vehicle for promoting the celebrity's image," he says. Foundations may even provide an easy way to give a relative a place to work, he says.
To encourage celebrities to donate from their own pocket, the Giving Back Fund recently recognized celebrities who personally give the most. Forbes then used their research to rank the most generous celebrities on the Forbes Celebrity 100. While the list may miss private donations--which would be the definition of charity--experts in philanthropy noted that celebrities are very aware of the power of their image to bring in more donations and thus tend to be willing to publicize their giving.
[Excerpt of an article by David K. Randall, Forbes]