The good deeds of athletes and other celebrities — as well as the bad ones — are often publicized in the media (click here, for example). Through the sales of his Newman’s Own food products, the late actor Paul Newman was responsible for raising more than $320  million that was distributed to a wide variety of charities.

Unfortunately, according to an ESPN Outline the Lines story, many athlete/celebrity charities are not fulfilling their stated missions:

“An investigation of 115 charities founded by high-profile, top-earning male and female athletes has found that most of their charities don’t measure up to what charity experts would say is an efficient, effective use of money. Using guidelines set by nonprofit watchdogs Charity Navigator, the Better Business Bureau, and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, OTL found that 74 percent of the nonprofits fell short of one or more acceptable nonprofit operating standards. The standards cover all sorts of aspects, such as how much money a nonprofit actually spends on charitable work as opposed to administrative expenses and whether there are enough board members overseeing the organization.”

“Some specific examples of what OTL found after conducting interviews and examining documents: NBA forward Lamar Odom’s charity that promised money for cancer research has not given a dime in grant money to any cancer entity in its eight-year history. Phone numbers listed for NFL receiver Randy Moss’ charities ring to a private residence in the Canadian province of Manitoba. New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez’s two foundations stopped filing tax returns about five years ago, leaving almost $300,000 from a fundraiser unaccounted for.”

Click the image to read more from ESPN.




7 Replies to “Is There Really Charity in Some Charities?”

  1. I happened to see this on Sunday, and it’s very unfortunate that this happens. I think a lot of people have had suspicions about this in the past, and now we know they’re confirmed. As bad as it is, I think the reason this happens is just so athletes can establish themselves as “good guys.” It’s more or less a front for a good reputation.

  2. It is very unfortunate to see that this is actually true. I agree with you Josh, that athletes do this charity work to market a positive image of themselves. Now their plan has backfired and will have some crisis PR to execute. I especially feel sorry for the charities and the specific people/service the charity was for. The representation of athletes and celebrities is a fantastic way to raise funding. It is too bad athletes weren’t keeping up with it.

  3. I feel like these stats prove that some players aren’t financially satisfied with just getting to play a game, they feel they have to demonstrate a good image to the public. In terms of being public, the sports players and their representatives are accountable on every level. It’s disgusting to know that these situations go on involving those same people because they only convey greed, unprofessionalism, and disorganization of business and brand image. As stated in the article, why else would someone have such a well-known organization that benefits many people if you’re not going to properly support and maintain it?

  4. I agree with all the comments before mine, athletes and other famous people do charities for the marketing and image of themselves as a person. It is really sad to think that the money that these people claim to make goes nowhere and does not really help the people in need. Even more sad is the fact that after reading this article, I definitely will not be donating to a “good cause”.

  5. In agreement with everyones comments, athletes get involved with charities to make them look good and create a positive image for themselves. However, after reading this article, these athletes must be accountable for the money that these charities never received to help the people in need. This just goes to show that even though the use of celebrities and athletes is a great way for fundraising charities, you can never be too sure that your donations actually are making a difference since charities may not even see any money at all.

  6. That is really such a shame that celebrities and athletes would do something like this. Pretending to do something for charity just to get attention and popularity is disgusting. They should really have to give the charities the money that they say they are giving. They make so much money the least they could do is give a little back. They also have so much young kids that look up to them and they should be setting a good example, and not be lying to the fans.

  7. I think that before any charities can be established and start raising money, an independent organization must be put in place to make sure that certain criteria and guidelines are followed; as well as making sure that the individuals running the organization are trust worthy and competent. Events like this are giving charity organizations a bad name since they encourage skepticism over all. By defeating their overall purpose by using the donors’ money for ulterior purposes, these so called “charity’ organizations have brought bad publicity but i hope proper measures will be implemented to prevent this unnecessary waste of money in the future. Not anybody should be allowed to raise money…there should be a screening process…and i think thats where the industry failed

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