Philanthropists of the Past
Directors, and TV Celebrities, Authors
Whether you're interested in history and want
to learn about Andrew Carnegie, or you're a sports
fan and want to read about the foundation that
Tiger Woods started, or you just want to find out
how people in the public eye use their wealth and
influence to promote causes they care about,
you'll find something here to satisfy your
Famous Philanthropists of the
Credited as the
founder of social work, Jane Addams (1860-1935)
was a member of the first generation of privileged
women not required to work or marry in order to
live well. Rather than taking it easy Jane Addams
devoted her life to social causes and activism,
founding Hull House, which still exists today.
Carnegie is considered one of the world's greatest
philanthropists and also one of the wealthiest men
who ever lived.
(1927-1993) was a noted civil rights activist,
labor leader, and social entrepreneur. As a
crusader for nonviolent social change, his life is
a testament to the fact that philanthropy is about
more than giving away money.
In addition to
establishing the Ford Foundation in 1936, Henry
Ford (1863-1937), founder of the Ford Motor
Company, made numerous charitable contributions,
including $7.5 million for the Henry Ford Hospital
in Detroit and $5 million for a museum in
Franklin, one of the most famous signers of both
the Declaration of Independence and the
Constitution, also gained fame for his
philanthropy and the general interest he showed in
causes such as libraries and hospitals.
Morgan's personal wealth was enormous, and during
his life he donated substantial portions of his
money to philanthropic endeavors such as
charities, churches, hospitals, schools, and the
John D. Rockefeller
Rockefeller also was one of the first major
philanthropists in the U.S., establishing several
important foundations and donating a total of $540
million to charitable purposes.
Madam C.J. Walker
Breedlove Walker (1867-1919), more widely known as
Madam C. J. Walker, was an entrepreneur, social
activist and philanthropist noted for her
charitable contributions to black colleges,
organizations and institutions including the
single largest gift made by an African-American
woman to the Indianapolis YMCA building fund.
created the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation to
provide recreational and educational opportunities
for at-risk boys and girls. The Foundation funds a
combination of emotional, physical and academic
programs designed to enhance a child’s character,
self-esteem, and career possibilities.
established the Troy Aikman Foundation in 1992
with the mission of providing financial support
for the physical, psychological, social, and
educational needs of children.
Armstrong founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation
to enhance the quality of life for those living
with, through, and beyond cancer.
The soccer legend and his wife,
Victoria, founded The Victoria and David Beckham
Charitable Trust to assist children and people
with special needs worldwide.
Burlsworth, the former All-American offensive
lineman for the Arkansas Razorbacks, was killed in
an automobile accident in 1999 shortly after being
drafted by the Indianapolis Colts of the National
Football League. The Brandon Burlsworth
Foundation, established in his memory, strives to
make opportunities available to needy children
speedskater received $40,000 for winning two
medals at the 2006 Olympics and donated all of his
winnings to Right to Play, a Toronto-based
humanitarian organization, to help Sudanese
refugee children in Chad. His challenge to Olympic
sponsors to match his pledge has resulted in over
$300,000 in donations.
gold medal-winning gymnast is the new president of
the Women's Sports Foundation, which recently
launched its three year, $10 million GoGirlGo!
initiative to fight the emotional and physical
health risks that result from physical inactivity.
Charities, Inc. raises funds in support of
innovative programs designed to encourage positive
youth development, strengthen families, and
prevent substance abuse.
tennis champion's foundation funds projects that
benefit disadvantaged children, especially in
South Africa, and programs that promote tennis and
other sports for young people around the world.
Doug Flutie and
his wife Laurie started "Dougie's Team" in 1998 to
honor their son Doug Jr., who has autism, and to
help other families facing childhood autism
through support and education.
All-Star forward from the Minnesota Timberwolves
launched 4XL - For Excellence in Leadership® in
early 2002 to connect minority high school and
college students with business leaders and
Internet-based guidance while preparing them for
business-related careers and entrepreneurship.
NASCAR Cup Series champion established his
foundation in 1999 to help organizations that
support children with serious and chronic
illnesses and their families.
Soccer star MIA
Hamm's foundation is focused on providing support
for two important causes: raising funds and
awareness for bone marrow diseases and continuing
the growth in opportunities for young women in
In 2005, the
Cleveland Cavaliers forward and his mother
established the James Family Foundation, a
charitable organization that sponsors events to
raise money for programs that benefit youth in
The New York
Yankee's founded his Turn 2 Foundation to support
and create programs and activities that motivate
youth to choose healthy lifestyles and "turn away"
from substances such as drugs and alcohol.
started his foundation in 1991 as a single-disease
organization that worked to raise funds for
community-based organizations dealing with
HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs.
Nancy Kerrigan Foundation
Nancy Kerrigan established a foundation to
support those with visual impairment in honor of
her mother who is legally blind.
Norwegian speedskater, who won three gold medals
in the 1994 Olympics, is now the CEO and President
of Right to Play, a Toronto-based,
athlete-driven, international humanitarian
organization that uses sport and play as a tool
for the development of children and youth in the
most disadvantaged areas of the world.
Colts' quarterback founded the PeyBack Foundation,
which funds agencies and organizations that
actively advance the welfare of disadvantaged
children, especially in Indiana, Tennessee and New
founded the Mark McGwire Foundation For Children
in an effort to expand our knowledge about the
complex issues surrounding child abuse.
Blues hockey player, Scott Mellanby and his wife,
Susan established the Mellanby Autism Foundation
in honor of their son, Carter. The foundation
funds autism research, special autism programs,
and support for parents of autistic children.
With his wife,
Amy, the PGA golfer donates money for each birdie
& eagle he makes to efforts to adapt or build
accessible homes for soldiers returning to the
U.S. with serious injuries or disabilities. The
couple also partners with ExxonMobil to offer a
five-day Teachers Academy for 200 third- to
fifth-grade educators to improve their skills in
motivating students and in teaching math &
In 2005, Olympic
Medalist and World Cup Champion skier Bode Miller
and his family established the Turtle Ridge
Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting
health, diversity, and sustainable living in our
local communities. His foundation also supports
organic farming and organizations that protect
nature’s precious resources.
basketball player created Zo’s Fund for Life to
raise money for Columbia University's Glomerular
Institute, one of the U.S.'s leading centers for
research and clinical studies on kidney disease.
His charity also raises funds for nonprofits
serving at-risk children and youth.
Heat All-Star center frequnetly donates time and
money to charitable causes, including $1 million
to the Boys and Girls Club of America to create
technology centers in Clubs nationwide, in
partnership with Microsoft Corporation.
catcher for the New York Yankees, established the
foundation that bears his name to support athletic
programs for children in New York and Puerto Rico,
and organizations that work with children who
suffer from craniosynostosis.
baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals started his
own family foundation in 2005 to support charities
for children with Downs Syndrome and assist
impoverished families in the Dominican Republic,
his native country.
Cal Ripken, Jr.
their father's teachings, work ethic and love for
baseball, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Bill Ripken intend
to use the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, started in
2001, to reach out to millions of underprivileged
kids. The Foundation is dedicated to "building
character through baseball the Ripken
The New York
Yankees' star hitter and third baseman works
extensively with the Boys & Girls Clubs of
Miami. In 2002, he donated $3.9 million to the
University of Miami to fund an annual scholarship
to a Boys & Girls Club member and to build a
The Jalen Rose Foundation was
established to show Jalen's appreciation for the
communities where he has lived and played
basketball. Grants are distributed in Detroit,
Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, and Indianapolis,
tackle Max Starks established a fund at The
Pittsburgh Foundation in 2005 to promote childhood
literacy and education. At age 23, he is one of
the youngest donors to create such a fund.
defensive end Grant Wistrom created a grantmaking
public charity in 2002 to positively affect the
lives of children, especially those with cancer,
through fun and recreational activities.
Tiger Woods and
his foundation actively promote parental
responsibility and involvement in the lives of
World Sports Humanitarian Hall of
This museum on the campus of Boise
State University in Idaho celebrates all that is
good in sport and honors athletes who have given
back to their communities.
gold medal-winning figure skater established the
Always Dream Foundation in 1996 to fund programs
"designed to inspire and embrace the hopes and
dreams of children and adolescents."
Singers and Musicians
The singer and performer
is the national spokesperson and major donor for
the Children's Craniofacial Association, whose
mission is "to empower and give hope to facially
disfigured children and their families." She also
supports and promotes Get A-Head, which aims to improve
the quality of life for people with head and neck
Dave Matthews Band
addition to performing at benefit concerts, the
musicians established the Bama Works Foundation to
carry out their commitment to charitable works,
both close to home and worldwide. With his sister,
Jane, Dave Matthews also created The Horton
Foundation, a private foundation that focuses on
small organizations working on specific
humanitarian, educational and environmental
projects here and abroad.
Teammates For Kids Foundation was set up in 1999
to engage baseball, hockey players and others in
supporting programs for kids.
The singer founded
the Ray of Light Foundation, which gives primarily
to Kabbalah Centers but also to medical research
and health associations, particularly associations
for musicians who are facing health problems.
works with the Make A Wish Foundation, the Fresh
Air Fund, and supports a variety of other
charities listed at this site.
artist and founder of Jazz for Peace promotes
music education in schools and donates musical
instruments to underprivileged children around the
Willie Nelson, and many other artists sing in
these annual concerts to raise awareness about the
loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep
farm families on their land.
co-founded Witness, an international human rights
organization that provides equipment, training,
and support to local groups to produce and use
video in their human rights advocacy campaigns.
Since 1992, the
Elton John AIDS Foundation has distributed more
than $30 million internationally to support
HIV/AIDS prevention, the elimination of prejudice
and discrimination against HIV/AIDS-affected
individuals and direct services to those living
The Quincy Jones
Listen Up Foundation supports programs that meet
the healthcare and educational needs of children,
and works to bridge the gap between privilege and
poverty for young people around the world.
struggling with his own heart-related illnesses,
Brian Littrell, from The Backstreet Boys,
established a club to encourage pediatric heart
health. The Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for
Kids offers education, exercise, nutrition, and
counseling to children ages 8-12 who suffer from a
heart condition or have a strong disposition
towards developing heart disease.
Singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan's foundation
is "dedicated to the advancement of music
education and in particular, to the musical
education and appreciation of disadvantaged youth"
entertainment leader Russell Simmons, co-founder
of Def Jam Records and Phat Farm Clothing,
established the Rush
Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Hip-Hop
Summit Action Network, nonprofits for youth to get
involved in arts and social causes.
started by Britney Spears is focused on helping
children in need. The philosophy behind the
foundation is that music and entertainment have a
healing quality that can truly benefit these kids.
Sting and Trudie Styler
The mission of the Rainforest Foundation
started by Sting and his wife Trudie is to support
indigenous peoples and traditional populations of
the rainforest in their efforts to protect their
environment and fulfill their rights.
U2 and Bono
U2 and Bono
have been involved in many issues throughout the
years and they support the work of Greenpeace, War Child and Amnesty International. Most
recently Bono has worked with Jubilee Plus to erase third
world debt to wealthy countries.
Directors, and TV Celebrities, Authors
In response to
the many letters she receives from girls seeking
advice, Tyra Banks created T-Zone, a summer
camp designed to build the self-esteem of young
The Irish TV
and film actor supports and promotes environmental
and children's organizations from around the
The martial arts movie star is a
Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS and UNICEF to help
arrest the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The film actor/producer leverages his
celebrity and donates money for disaster relief
and other causes, including The One Campaign to Fight Global AIDS
To honor the
memory of their son, Cosby and his wife Camille
formed the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby
Foundation to support programs that educate young
children with learning differences.
National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance
(NCCRA) is dedicated to the eradication of colon
cancer by harnessing the power of celebrity to
promote education, fundraising, research and early
in 1998, the movie actor's foundation has actively
fostered awareness of environmental issues,
placing particular emphasis on the issues of
global warming, alternative and renewable energy
sources, and the preservation of the planet's
actor, director, and one-time mayor of Carmel,
California, is also a major supporter of film
preservation and archives.
The actor and political
activist supports reproductive health and
education. Among her activities: Emory University
named their adolescent reproductive health
center after her, and she founded the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent
Pregnancy Prevention in 1995 where she remains
an active donor and board member.
Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox
created the Foundation for Parkinson's Research,
which is dedicated to ensuring the development of
a cure for Parkinson's disease within this decade
through an aggressively funded research agenda.
Gere's foundation primarily contributes directly
to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan
community-in-exile to aid in the cultural,
religious, health and educational survival of the
actor, director and producer donated $10 million
in October 2004 to two Los Angeles hospitals to
provide care for needy children from foreign
countries. Since 2000 his family has given $17
million to Healing the Children, a nonprofit that
serves young people with serious yet correctable
actor has favored The
James Fund for Neuroblastoma Research at Sick
Kids and serves as the American ambassador for
Foundation, which provides wind-up radios to
the world’s poorest populations, especially
children living on their own.
After her death in 1993, the
Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund was created to
continue Audrey's international appeals on behalf
of ill-treated and suffering children around the
The film actress and Goodwill
Ambassador for the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) uses her fame
and fortune to raise awareness and funds for
UNHCR's programs, which currently assist 20
million refugees in approximately 120 countries.
talk show host Jenny Jones is empowering
individuals to make a lasting impact on their
community. Through her foundation, Jenny is giving
away $2 million of her own money. Her Jenny’s Heroes program awards
grants of up to $25,000 to individuals who submit
the best ideas for tangible, lasting community
projects chosen for their significant long term
In 1993, the
late night talk show host started his foundation,
which was formerly called the DL Foundation. Now
called the American Foundation for Courtesy and
Grooming, it gives primarily to children's
services and education.
The star of the
sixties police drama "Hawaii Five-0", who died in
1998, and his wife, Marie, who passed away in
October, have bequeathed $40 million to a dozen
Hawaii nonprofit organizations. The bequest will
create the Jack and Marie Lord Fund at the Hawaii
Community Foundation, which will generate an
estimated $1.6 million to $2 million a year to be
divided among the twelve organizations.
donates 100% of his after-tax profits from the
sale of Newman's Own products for educational and
After high school,
the stage and screen actor worked for his late
grandfather's Enterprise Foundation, a national
nonprofit that provides affordable housing for
low-income people in large cities. Norton now
serves as a trustee for the organization in which
his grandmother, a co-founder, still serves as
vice-president and secretary.
O'Donnell established her For All Kids Foundation,
Inc. in 1997 to provide financial support to
nonprofit programs serving economically
disadvantaged and at-risk children and their
playwright, director, actor, poet and political
activist, who received the 2005 Nobel Prize in
Literature, supports and promotes several human
rights and social justice organizations.
film and stage actor supports human rights causes.
With her brother, Colin, she formed the Peace
& Progress Party, a British political party to
campaign for human rights.
Reeve's Paralysis Foundation is committed to
funding research that develops treatments and
cures for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury
and other central nervous system disorders
children's author was recently named president of
One Parent Families, a U.K. nonprofit that
supports, educates and advocates for single
parents. Rowling, once a single parent herself,
has been one of the organization's major
supporters and ambassadors since 2000.
formed it in 1990, Martin Scorsese's Film
Foundation has been committed to fostering greater
awareness of the urgent need to preserve motion
With his friend,
Michael Sanchez, the TV/film actor founded Do Something, a nonprofit
online community site to help young people change
after filming Schindler's List, Steven
Spielberg established Survivors of the Shoah
Visual History Foundation with an urgent mission:
to videotape and preserve the testimonies of
Holocaust survivors and witnesses.
Stone’s foundation, Planet Hope, is involved in
sponsoring many diverse activities for children of
all ages and cultures.
The goals and
scope of Montel's MS Foundation are far-reaching:
they are to provide financial assistance to select
organizations and institutions conducting
research, to raise national awareness, and to
educate the public about multiple sclerosis.
The actor and
comic supports numerous social causes. Efforts
include performing in Comic Relief to raise money for
the homeless, and starting the Windfall Foundation
with his wife, Marsha, to support arts, education,
and social services.
The movie actor supports youth
causes through his private foundation. He also
actively supports the Screen Actors Guild
Foundation to encourage interest in acting.
announced Oprah's Angel Network on September 18,
1997, to inspire people to use their lives and to
reap the truest rewards that come from giving to
The mayor of
New York City and founder of Bloomberg L.P., a global
financial news service, also is one of the
country's most generous philanthropists, giving
millions to arts, education, health care, and
foundation started by Bill & Melinda Gates is
dedicated to improving people's lives by sharing
advances in health and learning with the global
Soros has been active as a philanthropist since
1979, when he began providing funds to help black
students attend the University of Cape Town in
apartheid South Africa. Today he is chairman of
the Open Society Institute and the founder of a
network of philanthropic organizations that are
active in more than 50 countries.