Posted: November 28, 2010 by tubridysean in Charity
Tags: , , ,

“Celanthropy” is a term used to describe celebrities who use media to promote the causes they are fighting for and to draw attention to the fact that they are donating.  The main criticism of celanthropists is that they are uninformed about the problems they are fighting against and offer superficial, simplistic solutions.  Likewise, people who listen to celebrity philanthropists and give to their causes are accused of being “star-struck” because the only reason they know or care about an issue is because a certain celebrity said to do so.

From the research our group has done, I would have to agree with this criticism for the most part.   I feel that most of the celebrities, when questioned, really would not know what is going on in Africa or other countries where they are donating.  While it is good that these celebrities are giving aid to others who are less fortunate, I think people would be more likely to listen to them if the celebrities were actually well-informed about the problems and issues that they are speaking about in commercials and on YouTube.

As for people who donate to celebrities’ charities, I would not jump to the conclusion to call them “star-struck”.  Many of the charities and organizations that provide aid to foreign countries I would not know about if it wasn’t for celebrities speaking about them.  While the commercials do get annoying, they also work to increase the reach of the charity.

With the help of new media, celanthropy will continue to gain momentum.  As the reach of information about charities increases, the legitimacy of celebrity charities and philanthropy will also increase.  Celanthropy is just beginning to become a trend thanks to forerunners Angelina Jolie, Bono, and Oprah.



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