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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Charities Benefit from Star Power

A recent ad campaign run by the A.S.P.C.A. raised an unprecedented $30 million for animals-in-need. The ad featured Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLaughlin in an emotional appeal that became the most successful ad in the organization’s history. While the A.S.P.C.A. campaign generated an unprecedented amount of revenue, it certainly wasn’t the first of its kind. Other examples of celebrity/charity ads include UNICEF with David Beckham and Stop Hunger Now with Jeremy Piven, Lance Bass, Vanessa Williams, and others.

You can see more charity-celebrity associations on our list of “Top Ten Celebrity-Related Charities.

Celebrity spokespeople are often featured in commercials that aim to raise awareness and support from the public. By harnessing “star power” and featuring pop culture icons in an ad or on a website, charities can quickly and effectively grab the attention of viewers to get their mission across. Adding authority and differentiating the appeal from a standard emotional plea are additional benefits of running a celebrity fund drive. Some well known celebrity-charity associations include UNHCR and Angelina Jolie, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and Mary-Tyler Moore, and A Hole In The Wall Gang Fund, founded by Paul Newman.

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