Celebrity Advocacy

May 11, 2012 • Volume 22, Issue 18
Do stars influence issues, politics?
By Kenneth Jost


Actress Angelina Jolie listens to an Iraqi woman (AFP/Getty Images/Boris Heger)
Actress Angelina Jolie listens to an Iraqi woman's story at a refugee camp northwest of Baghdad on July 23, 2009. Since being named a United Nations goodwill ambassador in 2001, she has met with refugees in more than 20 countries. (AFP/Getty Images/Boris Heger)

More and more, celebrities are using their star power to promote causes ranging from fighting poverty and protecting the environment to safeguarding human rights and working for world peace. More than 2,800 celebrities now support slightly more than 1,800 causes. In a celebrity-obsessed society, entertainers and athletes can help focus public attention on global trouble spots, raise funds for disaster relief or increase public awareness of little-known diseases or medical conditions. The idea of looking to celebrities to educate the public about important issues may seem paradoxical, but some celebrities work hard to master difficult issues. The singer Bono has met with world leaders on global poverty issues, for example, while actor George Clooney has helped document Sudan's war against the breakaway state of South Sudan. Celebrity advocacy is likely to increase, experts say, with social media such as Facebook and Twitter increasingly used to air views, raise money and engage supporters.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Mar. 08, 2019  Trends in Philanthropy
May 11, 2012  Celebrity Advocacy
Aug. 03, 2007  Corporate Social Responsibility
Dec. 08, 2006  Philanthropy in America
Jan. 22, 1999  Role of Foundations
Feb. 27, 1998  The New Corporate Philanthropy
Nov. 12, 1993  Charitable Giving
Dec. 23, 1988  Philanthropy: the Season for Giving
Dec. 12, 1986  New Faces of Charity
Dec. 03, 1982  The Charity Squeeze
Jan. 11, 1974  American Philanthropy
Mar. 05, 1969  Voluntary Action: People and Programs
Mar. 20, 1963  Tax-Exempt Foundations: Privileges and Policies
Oct. 12, 1955  Joint Fund Raising
Sep. 11, 1953  Charity Appeals
Jan. 05, 1949  Tax Exempt Foundations
Humanitarian Assistance