We’ve all seen celebrities endorse products, but some of the most lucrative relationships a celebrity can create are often with charities, rather than for-profit enterprises. By leveraging their fame and recognizable faces, celebrities can be a huge force for good when it comes to generating money for their favorite charitable causes. Here are some of the celebrities who have created great relationships with charities.
U2, and Bono in particular, have been hugely instrumental in creating publicity for ONE and (RED), two charities that fight communicable diseases in Africa, including HIV. Bono co-founded both charities, and funds raised are used to purchase drugs that fight AIDS, malaria, and TB. With his status as a worldwide music sensation combined with his British knighthood and his win as TIME magazine’s Person of the Year in 2005, Bono and his band have been instrumental (no pun intended) to the success of these charitable efforts. And according to Forbes, U2’s total publicity value for the ONE campaign alone is around $142,661,220, as of late 2011. When you think of celebrities who are dedicated to charity, Bono is almost always the first person to come to mind.
One of the first celebs to leverage her Twitter followers for the greater good, Alyssa Milano is widely considered one of the big guns of social media charitable giving. A great example of her power to bring awareness to this cause is her tradition of skipping her birthday to raise money for the organization, which funds clean drinking water projects for people in developing nations around the world. She started out with a modest goal of $25,000, which she quickly reached. She ended up increasing the goal to $50,000, and then to $75,000 after doing an interview with People magazine. She ultimately gave the organization a huge amount of free press and generated enough donations to build 18 water projects in Ethiopia. She was also awarded the VH1 Do Something! Twitter award for her efforts, proving that she brought a lot of attention to a cause that many people had not heard of before she got involved.
This former member of The Beatles has dedicated much of his career to making a difference while making music. And while many celebs opt to help PETA by wearing nothing at all for tasteful anti-fur campaigns, McCartney is such a big star that he’s created (according to Forbes estimates) over a million dollars in publicity for the organization, with his total publicity value topping out at a whopping $76,746,839. Few celebs can claim that they’ve been as influential in their charitable works.
Tyler Perry may be the butt of a lot of jokes about the quality of his TV shows and films, but there’s nothing funny about his contribution to the charity Covenant House. One of the largest privately funded childcare agencies in the U.S., Covenant House provides services to homeless and runaway youth. According to Forbes, Perry’s advocacy for this cause is worth over $21 million, as of late 2011.