The photos, the Foundation, the philanthopy
September 25, 2006 12:00:00 Posted at September 25, 2006 12:00:00
Sorry. I was supposed to write the other day about the recent Jolie-Pitt Foundation announcement - the news that they have established their own charitable arm, with a first gift of $1 million going to Global Action for Children and another million being directed to Doctors Without Borders - money they received earlier this summer from the Shiloh photo sweepstakes, at the time pegged at over $4 million. Naturally, like any piece of news small or significant related to Hollywood"s First Couple, this revelation has prompted yet another round of debates with "Brangelina" haters asserting that the Pitts are simply spinning the same donation over and over again for publicity, attempting to pawn their pictorial earnings off as their own contributions under the guise of their own foundation. From a philanthropic standpoint however, coming from someone with a background in fund development, I can"t say this is a bad move, PR motivated or otherwise. No responsible multimillion dollar donor writes a quick cheque without considering the options. And assuming that charitable giving (and the press that comes along with it) will be a lifelong endeavour for the Jolie-Pitts, creating a foundation from which to distribute their karma-friendly treasure trove is a logical next step to ensuring the longlasting benefits not only of this gift but of many more to come. If the initial $4 million figure is to be believed, it means that they still have $2 million to go and as is the case of many philanthropists before them, endowing the other half through the foundation would mean a legacy of support for future causes, guaranteeing further contributions in perpetuity perhaps with a dollar figure greater than the original sum in question. So while I"ve never hesitated to call out the Pitts for their media-savvy manipulations, I"m not about to go anywhere but positive on their WorldWide Good Samaritan Tour. They are indeed putting other people"s money to very good use and whatever the ulterior objective, Angelina"s own open pledge of 30% in perpetuity is still more than almost ALL major corporations and the wealthiest income bracket on any continent, bar none. Which brings us back to a wish I expressed a while back: of matching funds and other creative campaign strategies to take the sting off of any accusations of fame exploitation levelled by their detractors, especially when they keep choreographing photo opps for photo cash… And now that they have their very own foundation to play with, adding a Matching Program with a pre-determined cap, dollar for dollar met by their own burgeoning bank account - can you imagine the Nobel catfight that will go down once Bono"s nomination gets threatened by the Chosen Ones? Sigh. Egos will prevail, non? Even with the best intentions. Story source - thanks to Cheryl.