July 13, 2014

Celebrity Charities

Princess Diana’s Charity, the Halo Trust, Facing CEO Compensation Scandal

HTA charity dedicated to clearing land mines linked to the British royal family is in a mess concerning a secret deal to supplement the CEO’s salary with money to send his kids to a private boarding school.

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Disgraced Clippers Owner’s Philanthropy was More Hype than Reality

ClippersSouthern Californians were familiar with Donald Sterling’s full-page ads touting his generosity toward local nonprofits, but the numbers say he was not nearly as generous as he claimed.

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Sterling Just Can’t Stop Himself, Slams Magic Johnson’s Charity

Magic JohnsonL.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling now says he isn’t a racist and he loves the black people who play for his NBA basketball team and rent his apartments—but he seems to really dislike basketball great Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

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Athletes’ Charities Pay Off for Prolanthropy

AthletesThe Chicago Tribune has a fabulous article about some borderline management and fundraising practices of a firm called Prolanthropy in its dealings with the charities of a couple of dozen pro athletes. Although the article would make most people suspicious about the bona fides of some athletes’ charities, to us, it raises questions about for-profit firms increasingly drawn to charities as a reliable and lucrative profit center.

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William Shatner Honored by NASA for Good Reason

NewsImagine if Star Trek and Captain James T. Kirk hadn’t captured the imagination of youngsters in the 1960s, spurring them to get interested in science and space. NASA knows what Star Trek has meant to its mission to go where no man (or woman) had ever gone before, and just gave William Shatner a prestigious award for his public service to the agency and its cause.

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Native Americans Protest Dan Snyder’s Charity Golf Tournament

GolfDan Snyder is at it again. He appears to have co-sponsored a charity golf tournament in Arizona with the Navajo Nation, but only at the last moment did the other sponsors, such as the Native American Gaming Association and the Notah Begay III Foundation, learn about the top billing given to the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation. As a result, they pulled out.

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Will ScarJo Oxfam Controversy Hurt Philanthropy?

ScarJoActress Scarlett Johansson made and defended her choice of SodaStream over Oxfam. Shouldn’t defending their philanthropic and commercial choices be expected from intelligent celebrities like ScarJo?

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Charity Claims “Real Atlanta Housewife” Stiffed It—But Is It Even a Charity?

 

rhoa-leakesReality TV has some pretty odd depictions of charity, but the latest dust-up between NeNe Leakes and Kenya Moore on The Real Housewives of Atlanta has revealed just how nonsensical it all is.

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IRS Scrutinizes Hollywood Conservatives’ Nonprofit Organization

AbeAn organization of Hollywood conservatives has waited more than two years for the IRS to decide on its exempt status. What does the IRS want to know, and is it relevant?

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Greg Mortenson Explains His Downfall to NBC’s Tom Brokaw

MortTom Brokaw got Greg Mortenson to say he appreciated being exposed by CBS’s 60 Minutes and author Jon Krakauer back in 2011, but he didn’t say that meant he acknowledges that his books and his charity were built on tissues of lies.

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Zuckerberg Hands Over Another Billion to Community Foundation

ZuckerbergA community foundation in Silicon Valley is well placed for large investments from the likes of young Mark Zuckerberg, who just handed over stock worth a billion.

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The Disturbing Playing Field of Pro Athlete Charities

ProsThe Chicago Tribune has done a roundup of the problems of charities established by past and current Chicago pros, showing half are out of business and lots have had problems of accountability.

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Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang, but Unwilling to Help Imprisoned Kenneth Bae

RodmanFormer Chicago Bulls forward Dennis Rodman’s friendship with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is getting stronger all the time, but he doesn’t appear to want to risk his bro-mance by raising the question of Kenneth Bae’s imprisonment.

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Eminem and Chirpify Raise Money for At-Risk Detroit Youth

EminemEminem has a history of giving to Wolverine Human Services in Detroit, but for Giving Tuesday, he decided to get his Twitter fans involved as well.

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Red Sox “Beard Balls” to Be Auctioned for Charity (Ugh)

BeardShaving mogul Gillette is auctioning off souvenir lumps of Red Sox players’ facial hair to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues.

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Off-Field Charities of Wisconsin-Linked Athletes

NewsOf the 43 active charities in Wisconsin related to Wisconsin athletes and teams, none seem to be doing as poorly as the charities of sports stars Alex Rodriguez and Lamar Odom, but the Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team did find some problems of reporting and performance.

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McDonald’s and its Minimalist Funding of the Ronald McDonald House

McDonaldsWhen looked at closely, the super-sized promotion of the charitable efforts of the McDonald’s Corporation conceals giving efforts that pack more publicity than punch.

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Kanye West: Rock Star, Philanthropist, Performer for a Dictator

WestKanye West just declared himself a “creative genius,” which he is. He also has a charitable arm in Chicago, which is admirable. He also gave a private performance for the dictator of Kazakhstan, which isn’t admirable.

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Mary J. Blige’s Foundation Escapes Most of Bank Debt

BligeMary J. Blige’s foundation encounters more than a little drama in dodging a $322,000 debt owed to TD Bank. She has some unusual explanations in her defense for the loan default.

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Bill Gates Meets with New Generation of Giving

BGSome of Australia’s wealthiest youth will be meeting with Microsoft founder and legendary philanthropist Bill Gates this week to speak about the next generation of philanthropy.

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Bono, Clinton, Capitalism, and Aid

BonoThe Clinton Global Initiative is full of corporate bigwigs and wealthy donors pledging to make the world better. Much of what Bill Clinton’s philanthropic machine does is positive, but the message of some donors—including U2’s Bono and Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein—is that the largesse is due to the success and benefits of capitalism.

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Stevie Wonder and Crystal Advocate for International Disabilities Treaty

WonderDo Americans care about international treaties like the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities? Probably few do, but if they listen to Stevie Wonder, they might.

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The Press Scrutinizes the New Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation

ClintonsIt’s a journalistic lock: anything involving Bill and Hillary Clinton attracts lots of press attention. A front-page article in the New York Times examined the restructuring of the Clinton Foundation to include Hillary Clinton in its leadership and program direction, along with questions about the foundation’s operating deficits, travel expenses, and intra-personnel disagreements. With Hillary Clinton all but assured to be a presidential candidate in 2016, the Times investigation won’t be the last inquiry into the foundation’s operations.

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Lady Gaga “Immaterially” Naked for Abramović’s “Long Duration Art”

MAThe pop star famous for her eccentric sense of style starred in an art video for Marina Abramović’s nonprofit. Gaga yells, wears a yellow mask, and cuddles with crystals. Nothing new? Find out what the “Abromovitch ” method is.

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Video Games & Philanthropy: Bad for the Brain and for Giving?

GamificationThe use of game techniques and mechanisms in philanthropy can increase donor engagement, as measured by donations and direct actions taken. But does it negatively impact the donor’s brain?

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Terminal Diagnosis Doesn’t Slow Giving of “Simpsons” Co-Creator

SimpsonsSam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons, in the face of a diagnosis of terminal colorectal cancer, has redoubled his already sizeable charitable giving in the areas of battling hunger and rescuing animals, while continuing to work in the entertainment industry.

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Should Johnny Depp Purchase Wounded Knee?

DeppWho should buy the land where 300 Native Americans were massacred in 1890?

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Zuckerberg Plans Fundraiser for Cory Booker’s Senate Run

MZFacebook’s Mark Zuckerberg continues his involvement in New Jersey politics, as he supports candidates, like Cory Booker and Gov. Chris Christie, who back “free-market” approaches to education reform.

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"Gays Beware:" IRS Ties Up Status for Nonprofit Linked to Sitcom Star

JesseJesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays Mitchell Pritchett on Modern Family, founded a nonprofit for advocacy of same-sex marriage. But the organization found itself on the IRS’s infamous list for extra scrutiny.

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Are the Celebrity Trustee Fees in This Charity Kosher?

NewsJewels of Charity is a Type I Supporting Organization that lends its aid to the arts. But are the trustees’ annual fees of $260K kosher?

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