Rebel Wilson Wins Defamation Lawsuit, Will Donate Payout to Charity

Rebel Wilson Wins Defamation Lawsuit, Will Donate Payout to Charity

Jun 22

Last week, Australian actress Rebel Wilson won her defamation lawsuit against Bauer Media. Wilson, who is best known for her role in the Pitch Perfect movies, is set to receive a $5.93 million payout as a result of libel damages. It all started back in 2015 when Bauer Media published several articles that painted Rebel Wilson as a liar. Wilson said that she lost several employment opportunities as a result of those articles. But as far as money goes, she claims she’s just glad to have her reputation back. “It’s over in my mind,” Wilson said after winning her case. “The reason why I’m here is not for damages, it’s to clear my name, obviously. It’s just really not about the number … what I was hoping was that the jury would do the right thing and send a message.” But Wilson did more than just clear her name; she actually created an entirely new name for herself as a philanthropist. Yesterday, the actress announced via Twitter that she would be giving all of the money she received from her lawsuit to charity. “Re my defamation case win, any dollars I receive will go to charity, scholarships or invested into the Aussie film industry to provide jobs,” Wilson wrote. “I take being a role model very seriously.” It was an admirable decision, considering that no one would blame Wilson for rightfully pocketing the earnings from her case. But electing to donate the payout instead shows that she’s able to turn a negative situation into a positive one. More importantly, it shows that she’s socially conscious and generous. Here at Philanthropic People, we love writing stories about celebrities who use their fame and money to promote good in the world. Rebel Wilson, if you’re reading this, know that we love you and are very proud of all the work that you’ve accomplished! *Photo courtesy of Eva Rinaldi at Flickr Creative...

Charitable Giving in the U.S. Topped $390 Billion Last Year

Charitable Giving in the U.S. Topped $390 Billion Last Year

Jun 14

Here’s some good news: last year was one of the most charitable years in U.S. history. According to Giving USA’s Annual Report on Philanthropy, Americans gave $390.05 billion to charities in 2016—about a 3 percent increase from 2015. But what’s particularly impressive is that Americans were still generous despite a rocky election cycle. Aggie Sweeney, the chair of Giving USA, fully expected donations to drop off in 2016 due to all the political upheaval. But that’s not what happened. “Americans remained generous in 2016, despite it being a year punctuated by economic and political uncertainty,” Sweeney stated. “We saw growth in every major sector, indicating the resilience of philanthropy and diverse motivations of donors.” The report also shows that donations made by individuals are on the rise. Last year, individual contributions topped $282 billion—up 3.9 percent from 2015. Patrick M. Rooney, associate dean of academic affairs and research at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (which compiles the report), says that the increase in individual giving reflects the “democratization of philanthropy.” “In 2016, we saw something of a democratization of philanthropy,” Rooney stated. “The strong growth in individual giving may be less attributable to the largest of the large gifts, which were not as robust as we have seen in some prior years, suggesting that more of that growth in 2016 may have come from giving by donors among the general population compared to recent years.” But it’s not just individual contributions that are on the rise; donations from foundations also rose—to the tune of a 3.5 percent increase from 2015. Donations from corporations also increased by 3.5 percent. In fact, the only demographic that saw a decrease was giving via bequests, which fell by 9 percent. As for which causes people are donating to the most, religion remains number one with education coming in at a close...

Eric Trump Foundation Under Heavy Scrutiny Amid Allegations That Charity Money Went to Trump Businesses

Eric Trump Foundation Under Heavy Scrutiny Amid Allegations That Charity Money Went to Trump Businesses

Jun 08

A groundbreaking new investigation by Forbes suggests that the Eric Trump Foundation funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into Trump-owned businesses. If true, that would mean that donors were misled about where their money was actually going. To give some context, every year, the Eric Trump Foundation hosts a golf tournament at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York. It is a fundraising event that benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Since the event is hosted on a Trump-owned golf course, Eric Trump claimed that he was able to use the property for free. “We get to use our assets 100% free of charge,” Trump told Forbes. But that turned out not to be true, as tax filings show that the Eric Trump Foundation did in fact pay to use the family-owned golf courses—to the tune of $1.2 million. Ian Gillule, former membership and marketing director at Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, said that while the foundation used to be able to use the golf course for free, that all changed when Donald Trump got wind of it. “In the early years, they weren’t being billed [for the club]. The bills would just disappear,” Gillule told Forbes. “Mr. Trump had a cow. He flipped. He was like, ‘We’re donating all of this stuff, and there’s no paper trail? No credit?’ And he went nuts. He said, ‘I don’t care if it’s my son or not—everybody gets billed.'” But that’s not the only fib that Eric Trump told. Eric Trump also told Forbes, “Our expenses on a tournament that made us somewhere in the $2 million range every year was somewhere around 100 grand.” But tax records show that costs soared as high as $322,000. “They were wearing two hats,” said Patrick Langan, who worked at the golf club from 2006–2015. “You’re dealing with people talking about the event and the charity who also at the same time are thinking about it as a corporation and as a business. It’s a for-profit club. You know, they’re trying to make money.” To read the full story, click...

Tickets to Ariana Grande’s Benefit Concert Go on Sale Tomorrow

Tickets to Ariana Grande’s Benefit Concert Go on Sale Tomorrow

May 31

Singer Ariana Grande has organized a benefit concert in honor of the victims of the recent Manchester attack. The attack, which took place on May 22, 2017, killed 22 people and left an additional 120 people injured. Tickets to her “One Love Manchester” benefit concert go on sale tomorrow, Thursday, June 1 at 10 a.m. The concert will take place on June 4 at 7:15 p.m. Grande will be joined by several other musicians including: Justin Bieber, the Black Eyed Peas, Cold Play, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Take That, Niall Horan of One Direction, and Usher. Those who attended Grande’s original concert when the attack happened are being offered free admission upon registration. All other interested concertgoers can purchase tickets through Ticketmaster. Grande said she was “broken” upon first learning of the attack. Shortly after the attack took place, she tweeted, “Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so, so sorry. I don’t have words.” Most of the response from the public was positive, as Twitter users reassured Grande that the attack was not her fault. Then, on Friday, May 26, Grande released a lengthier statement on the matter. An excerpt from her statement reads as follows: “My heart, prayers, and deepest condolences are with the victims of the Manchester attack and their loved ones. There is nothing I or anyone can do to take away the pain you are feeling or to make this better. However, I extend my hand and heart and everything I possibly can give to you and yours, should you want or need my help in any way.” In addition to all the support being offered by fellow musicians, concert promoter Live Nation has decided to underwrite the costs of the event. Ticketmaster has also decided to waive its booking fees. Proceeds from the concert will go towards the British Red Cross Society. Organizers expect the concert to raise at least £2M. *Photo courtesy of covajana at Flickr Creative...

Boston University Students Climb Mount Kilimanjaro for Charity

Boston University Students Climb Mount Kilimanjaro for Charity

May 24

Typically, a charity fundraising event consists of a gala, an auction, a marathon, or maybe even a raffle. But a group of students from Boston University found a different way to raise money for charity. The students (11 women and one man) decided to scale Mount Kilimanjaro in the name of philanthropy. The group raised over $66,000 for their trip, half of which went towards travel expenditures; the other half went towards the Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to families of children with cancer. “One of our main missions is to raise awareness. The climb and the students from Boston University help us to further spread our mission,” said Carly Bergstein, program director of the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. “Here we have 12 students who before knew nothing about B+ and are now taking on this incredible trek. They’re going to the top of Kilimanjaro with B+ posters and banners and T-shirts. It’s incredible for us that students care so much and become so dedicated to the mission of fighting childhood cancer—while doing something really exciting for themselves.” The trip was organized by Alexa Nutter, who is currently enrolled in Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. For her, the issue of cancer hits close to home. “My grandma has cancer,” Nutter stated. “I’ve worked with kids who had cancer and coached special needs hockey at my high school. It was something I’ve done for a really long time.” With the exception of two students who had to drop out due to altitude sickness, the group completed the 19,341-foot trek. It took them a total of eight days (six up and two down). While Nutter and her fellow comrades admit that the hike was a challenge, they maintain that their efforts were worth it in the...