News & Updates


Wise Giving Wednesday: Celebrity Fundraising for Disaster Relief

Jul 24, 2019

Last week, our blog announced the release of the special Donor Trust Report: Disaster Relief Donor Expectations. The report provides the results of an online survey of 2,100 adults in the United States and 68 national and local disaster relief charities, and explores donor expectations related to disaster relief giving.

Among other things, this survey asked about celebrity (i.e., movie actor, TV star, famous athlete, etc.) fundraisers for disaster relief. Here are some highlights:

17.75% of respondents said that they contributed to a celebrity’s disaster relief fundraising effort during 2018. Being a fan of the celebrity was the most frequently cited reason to do so, following by trust in the celebrity to choose.

Men were more likely to contribute to such celebrity fundraisers than women (23% of men and 13% of women.)

Giving money to a celebrity’s disaster relief fundraiser is more popular among younger generations (31.75% of Millennials as compared to 5.53% of Baby Boomers)

83% of people who donated to a celebrity fundraiser said they would have otherwise donated the money to other relief efforts.

Survey results confirm that some donors are likely to put their trust in a celebrity to help those in need when disaster strikes. In our experience, however, some celebrity fundraising efforts raise money without defining how funds will be spent. For instance, by identifying whether specific charities will be supported with monies raised and how quickly funds will be disbursed to these groups. While these celebrity efforts have good intentions, this lack of preparation can sometimes result in delays in assisting relief efforts.

While we recognize the value of different types of disaster relief fundraisers, when it comes to celebrity appeals, we hope donors will support celebrities that are clear about partnering with an established charity and that they visit to verify if the charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

Video of the Week

This week’s video features Kitty Block, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (a BBB Accredited Charity) sharing her reactions and insights related to the Donor Trust Report findings and the work her organization does globally in the wake of disasters.

Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to if you are  interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO  
BBB Wise Giving Alliance