In this day and age, more and more celebrities are using their platforms and fame to truly make a difference in the world. Whether they have founded their own nonprofits, are collaborating with other organizations or making donations to charities, these six A-listers are an inspiration to both the celebrity world and philanthropic world alike. Here, we present six of our favorite celebrities and the generous contributions they’ve made to both their own foundations and partnerships, as well as other nonprofits.
Kevin Bacon founded his nonprofit organization, SixDegrees, with the mission of “using everyday activities to connect people and causes” and “social networking for social good.” The organization calls for A-listers to use their “star power to benefit a cause” and enables them to submit their causes on SixDegrees’ website. Stars like Selena Gomez have contributed to the organization in truly incredible ways, from including fans in music videos to providing them with unforgettable VIP treatment at shows.
Lady Gaga founded her own nonprofit, the Born This Way Foundation, in 2011, with a mission of reducing bullying, fostering a more loving, supporting culture for teenagers, and creating a “braver, kinder world.” At the launch of the Born This Way Foundation, Make It Better Founder Susan B. Noyes was on hand to meet with the pop superstar and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, to support their goal of creating a safe place for all teens, without bullying and hate. The foundation has partnered with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the California Endowment and the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard to tackle issues such as teenagers’ self-esteem and well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development.
In 1990, Matt Damon founded clean-water nonprofit Water.org, which seeks practical economic solutions to the ongoing water crisis. This group works alongside organizations in communities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. All of their water projects are self-sustaining, so that communities can independently operate and maintain them.
Besides being one of the most successful and popular musicians in the world, Taylor Swift is also one of the most charitable. In 2016 alone she donated $100,000 to Dolly Parton‘s Smoky Mountains telethon that helped Tennessee wildfire victims. In that same year, she also donated $1 million to Louisiana after disastrous floods killed 11 people, gave $50,000 to the Baton Rouge Food Bank and donated to and visited her fans in hospitals.
Miley Cyrus‘ Happy Hippie Foundation‘s mission of “rallying young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations” has been helping young people since 2014. In November 2015, she donated $500,000 to AIDS research at a Los Angeles gala. She even turned her 20th birthday celebration into a fundraising event that benefited SPOT, a dog rescue organization.
Emma Watson has been one of the most vocal and philanthropic supporter of womens’ rights around the world since her skyrocket to fame from the iconic “Harry Potter” films. In 2014, she was appointed as a United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador. She’s taken philanthropic trips to Zambia, Bangladesh and Uruguay, and has been widely praised as one of the most feminist celebrities today.