Celebrity and Everyday Giving

Last December, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds played for a sold out crowd at McCaw Hall in Seattle, WA. What made this concert different? For each ticket purchased, fans received a $150 “credit” to give to the charity of their choice—and could select one and conveniently donate to any of nearly 1.8 million charities on JustGive.

Over two nights, the concerts raised one million dollars for charity. In this Seattle Times article, Matthews said “The point is the act of giving and making the process available. I think it may make people feel a certain amount of power to see the ease of how you can give.”

Where did the money go? St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital was the top charity, receiving nearly $15,000 from 55 fans. University Cooperative School ($13,777) and Humane Society of King County ($13,024) were also popular choices.

Charities focused on health, education and animals made up the largest percentage. Local organizations were a big focus with donations to Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, Pacific Northwest Ballet Association and many, many more—with more than 1,500 charities receiving gifts from Dave and Tim fans.

This new twist on giving was designed to inspire musical fans to give—and it came from a commitment to help others. While Dave Matthews has raised money for particular tragedies and causes in the past (Haiti, Hurricane Katrina), this was a creative way to engage donors for broader social benefit. Matthews commented about the impact even a few donations can make, saying, “If $1,000 goes to a small SPCA that makes a big difference.”


Other celebrities in the spotlight for giving back:

–         Paul Newman became a household name as an award-winning actor, and is well known for created a legacy with his commitment to philanthropy. In the early 80’s he founded Newman’s Own, one of the first food companies to use only natural products. Net profits and royalties from the company—over $300 million to date—have been donated to charities in all 50 states and 31 countries.

–         Barbara Streisand recently endowed $5 million for The Barbra Streisand Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Education Program at Cedars-Sinai. At the dedication ceremony she remarked, “Many people still think heart disease is just a man’s disease, but in fact, it’s the number one killer of women in America.  That’s why it’s so important that women empower themselves and get educated about female cardiovascular disease.”

While many celebrities give back, Matthews approach was the first of its kind allowing fans to determine the charities to receive money. This is our hallmark at JustGive—to make it as easy as possible for you to find, select and support your charities of choice (whether you’re making a donation or purchasing a GiveNow charity gift card).


Everyday Philanthropy

Even without the celebrity-sized bank account, we can all become everyday philanthropists. JustGive staff member, Marina, shared her niece’s recent inspiring story. For her Bat Mitzvah, 12-year-old Augusta created the Pillow Project. She recruited crafty people to create ring pillows, then auctioned them off online for charity. She raised nearly $3,000 for American Foundation for Equal Rights, to fight same-sex couple’s right to marry.

That’s just one creative, everyday way to give … What’s yours? We’d love to hear! A charitable registry for your wedding? A donation for your Mom’s birthday to a charity that holds special meaning? Requesting donations for your birthday as gifts? A monthly donation made to help a needy charity in your community? Share your story with us on Facebook and Twitter. Together, we’ll inspire others.

Then help us spread the word about everyday philanthropy. And let’s get the giving going!