Fundraising trips with celebrities: A how-to guide

Celebrities and media on the red carpet. Photo by: Kyle Garrity / CC BY

LONDON — In today’s celebrity culture, a famous face has the power to transform a fundraising campaign and galvanize support for a cause. The British charity Comic Relief is an old hand when it comes to working with the stars and has raised millions of pounds for international and domestic causes by collaborating with entertainers on appeals.

But taking a celebrity on a fundraising trip to visit a project requires careful preparation and management, according to the organization’s travel risk manager, Beth Chandler. It also means striking a balance between using artists to raise publicity for a cause while avoiding insensitivities and stereotypes — such as the “white savior” stereotype, which the charity has been criticized for in the past. It is working to address this by collaborating with celebrities who have a “personal connection to the issue” and giving greater voice in its fundraising materials to people from the countries in question, a spokesperson for the charity told Devex.

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About the author

  • Edwards sopie

    Sophie Edwards

    Sophie Edwards is a Reporter for Devex based in London covering global development news including global education, water and sanitation, innovative financing, the environment along with other topics. She has previously worked for NGOs, the World Bank and spent a number of years as a journalist for a regional newspaper in the U.K. She has an MA from the Institute of Development Studies and a BA from Cambridge University.