Celebrity Endorsements and Donations: How does it impact Philanthropic Giving?

There is something remarkable to be said about the overall impact celebrities have on the increase in donations for nonprofits. In fact, there has been significant growth in philanthropic giving in recent years. Indiana University’s The Philanthropy Outlook 2017 & 2018 reports a steady rise in philanthropic giving by individuals that is anticipated to follow an upward trajectory in foreseeable future. The reason for this incredible growth is because of a younger, more socially aware audience. 
To get a deeper look into the root cause, it is empirical to study the advertising message that is put out by marketers. A notable feature of nonprofit marketing is celebrity endorsement of their appeals for donations and celebrities acting as a “brand ambassador,” for the charitable cause. Organizations that have successfully used celebrity endorsers include well-recognized charities, such as Make-A-Wish and Silver Lining Foundation in service of children that need medical care. 

This article from Business Perspectives and Research investigates the effects of celebrity endorsers on donations and views of non-profits. The research in this articles focuses on two nonprofits that had two different and distinct agendas. Findings of the research indicate that ads that evoke positive emotions are more likely to convert to donations. Demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, and income also very important factors that affect donations. In some cases, it can also be seen that the nonprofit’s cause and advertising message were powerful enough to override the impact of the celebrity. 
These findings of this research can help marketers style their ads to evoke certain emotions, by using celebrity endorsers that will help them increase donations. Furthermore, understanding what drives donors will help nonprofits tailor marketing strategies. It is expected that by targeting their donor base effectively, non-profits will then witness an increase in donations.

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