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...

The Man Who Thwarted Global Ransomware Attack Will Donate $10,000 Reward to Charity

The Man Who Thwarted Global Ransomware Attack Will Donate $10,000 Reward to Charity

May 17

At just 22 years old, Marcus Hutchins is already a hero. Hutchins, a British IT expert, was the man responsible for thwarting last week’s WannaCrypt (commonly referred to as “WannaCry”) ransomware virus. The virus has already infected an estimated 200,000 computers in Europe alone, with an additional 40,000 Chinese organizations affected as well. If not for Hutchins, the malware would have infected thousands more. But despite all this, Hutchins maintains that he not a hero. Rather, he claims that thwarting the attack was merely “the right thing to do.” “I’m definitely not a hero,” Hutchins told The Associated Press. “I’m just someone doing my bit to stop botnets.” But here at Philanthropic People, we beg to differ. It’s not just the fact that Hutchins stopped the attack, but rather what he did afterwards that has us buzzing. HackerOne, an organization that rewards “ethical hackers” for finding cyber security flaws, gave Hutchins a $10,000 (£7,800) reward for successfully foiling the attack. But instead of keeping the money for himself (as he would have every right to do) Hutchins instead decided to donate it to charity. “They [HackerOne] got in touch to offer the bounty, which I decided to claim and donate to multiple charities, as well as save a bit for helping people looking to get into security have access to educational resources,” Hutchins told The Telegraph. According to NBC News, Hutchins thwarted the attack in just a matter of hours. He was able to stop the virus from spreading by locating a website address within the malware code that acted as a kill switch. He then registered the website domain, which essentially deactivated the virus and kept it from spreading. Hutchins plans to hold a vote to help him decide which charity to donate to. Those who want to get into contact with him can find him on Twitter...

New Report Illustrates Trends in Philanthropy Based Off Gender and Age

New Report Illustrates Trends in Philanthropy Based Off Gender and Age

May 11

Fidelity Charitable has just released a new study on giving trends as it relates to gender and generation. One of the most notable findings is that 72% of Baby Boomer women are satisfied with their charitable giving, compared to just 55% of Millennial women. “Boomer women, whose age and life experience make them more seasoned givers, report significantly more satisfaction with their giving than Millennials do—suggesting that giving gets better with age,” a statement from the report reads. “Meanwhile, Millennial women, who are still building wealth and discovering their philanthropic purpose, are more impulsive; 71 percent said they give in the moment, compared with 48 percent of Boomers.” The study also found that Millennial women are more motivated to give from their heart versus their head. Official figures point to 75% of Millennial women giving from a place of empathy versus just 62% of Baby Boomer women. This led researchers to conclude that by and large, Baby Boomer women are more logical when it comes to giving. But when it comes to differences across gender, the findings show that men are overall more likely to give from a place of logic versus a place of emotion. Only 53% of men said that they are motivated to give from their heart, versus 64% of women. And there’s a similar contrast when it comes to strategic giving. 40% of men said that they are motivated to give “in the moment” versus being more strategic. Compare that to 51% of women who prefer to give in the moment. But when it comes to seeking advice, the study concluded that women are far more likely to seek counsel from experts while men are more likely to seek guidance from personal contacts. Official figures point to 61% of women who prefer receiving advice from experts compared to just 47% of men. To read the full report, click...

Franklin & Marshall College Establishes Revolutionary New Educational Program, Thanks to Generous Gift By Alumnus

Franklin & Marshall College Establishes Revolutionary New Educational Program, Thanks to Generous Gift By Alumnus

May 05

Franklin & Marshall College has introduced a radical new program that is designed to help students develop the characteristics that are most often associated with success. The program, called the Mehlman Talent Initiative, is funded by Ken Mehlman, who earned his B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College in 1988. Throughout his many years as a successful businessman, Mehlman has found that grit is the number one attribute that all successful people have in common. And he’s not alone in this theory. An article published in The Muse lists “resilience” as the number one quality that all successful people have in common. Even Business Insider credits “persistence” as a collective trait that the world’s most successful people share. But how does one teach the qualities of resilience and persistence (commonly referred to as “grit”)? That’s what Mehlman is trying to figure out. The entire focus of the Mehlman Talent Initiative involves studying the ways in which high-achieving, disadvantaged students have overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges. These challenges range from poverty to disability to illness and even discrimination. “At a time of increased global competition, accelerating technological evolution, and rapidly shifting business, political, and social environments, resilience and the ability to rebound and reinvent are critical,” Mehlman stated. “Young men and women who have already overcome adversity bring different life experiences and are well positioned for 21st century success, but they need practical tools to flourish. This initiative will support these students and provide a framework for the rest of us to learn from them.” Daniel R. Porterfield, president of Franklin & Marshall College, couldn’t be more excited about the program. He praised Mr. Mehlman’s dedication to the project, and even likened it to an empowerment program. “As a Trustee, Ken Mehlman has been deeply involved in our collective decision-making to pursue an expanded financial aid strategy for talented students that has reshaped the College dramatically in the past decade, making an F&M education available to many more first-generation, lower- and middle-income students from all across the country,” Porterfield stated. “With this tremendous gift—half of which is dedicated to financial aid—he further enables the College to cultivate the greatness of high-achieving students so that they will be empowered to achieve big goals in their lives and make disproportionately positive contributions to society. The Mehlman Talent Initiative will continue to make F&M a stronger school and help us create an...