Laurence Fishburne, Kim Kardashian, Richard Gere, Ricky Martin, and Justin Bieber, have joined dozens of other entertainers and sports figures to sign the Hollywood Pledge, a new effort to enlist celebrities to use their fame to promote their favorite charities and encourage their fans to donate time and money to the organizations.
So far about 45 celebrities have signed the pledge, which is run by the Give Back Hollywood Foundation, and was created by the foundation’s founder, Todd Michael Krim, a former lawyer.
While the Hollywood Pledge was inspired by the Giving Pledge, the effort by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage billionaires to give at least half of their wealth to charity, it was not meant as a way to get celebrities to pledge a certain amount of their earnings to charity.
Instead, says Mr. Krim, the pledge seeks to spotlight celebrities who are involved with charitable causes and give them a central space in which to use their fame to encourage their fans to donate to charities.
He hopes celebrities will direct their fans to the Hollywood Pledge Web site using social networks like Facebook or Twitter. They’ll find the celebrity’s photo along with the logos of their favorite charities. When their fans click on the charity’s logo, they are connected to the charity’s Web site where they can donate money or time.
While the effort is intended to help good causes, Mr. Krim acknowledges that it does much to burnish a celebrity’s image. That is, of course, part of the draw for celebrities, but he cautions the program is meant to do more than “just to create a buzz” around the celebrities involved.
“This is an issue of the social capital that they bring” to charitable causes, he says, and he hopes charities will see it as a place where they connect with a celebrity to advance their missions.
Since the Hollywood Pledge effort is new, Mr. Krim does not yet know how much money has been raised through the site. He says he eventually plans to build a way to track donations made to charity and other features people use on the site.
The pledge site is supported by the foundation of the ABC television network, The Hollywood Reporter newspaper, and the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.