What spurs celebrities to support charities - is it altruism or self-interest and image promotion?

Emma Gregory
Employer Engagement Executive | Quartet Community Foundation
29th April 2019
Member roleInitiative member

What spurs celebrities to support charities – is it altruism, or self-interest and image promotion?

Recent debate ignited around the Notre-Dame tragedy has thrown the topics of fame and philanthropy into the international limelight.  Mega media outlets, including The New York Times and Reuters as well as the Twittersphere, have joined the world-wide debate revealing frustration about the unfairness of multi-million pound donations to Notre-Dame whilst other disasters, such as the Grenfell Tower fire and the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, failed to attract similar support.

The quick succession of donations from powerful business people and celebrities proved the ‘domino effect’ is alive and well. Tax inequities and reputational boosts for these wealthy donors may jar with some.  As the New York Times reports, “Anonymity on large gifts is also fairly easy to arrange.” “It’s a business negotiation,” said Jared Feldman, the partner in charge of the private client group at the accounting firm Anchin.

Along with the negative, money donated to Notre-Dame has also succeeded in raising hope. Nearly $1 billion was raised for the restoration within just two days, suggesting that, as Rob Hansen, founder of Goodnation says, “…if that can happen in 24 hours, the resources are there to take on major issues…”.

Now people in Bristol have the chance to engage in the discussion as Quartet Community Foundation’s annual philanthropy event digs behind the issues of fame and philanthropy.  Two influential TV personalities – Professor Alice Roberts and Miranda Krestovnikoff – are giving us all an evening of stimulating conversation at The Bristol Hotel on 13 May.  Thanks to sponsorship from CCLA, you'll be greeted with a drinks reception, enjoy the stimulating discussion and afterwards socialise over a delicious supper. Tickets cost £25 and are selling fast.


Come armed with your views and prepare to be entertained.

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