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Why Not-For-Profits Should Enlist Celebrity Spokespeople

Photograph by Rehes/Flickr

Angelina Jolie - Celebrity SpokespeopleCharities and causes have used celebrity spokespeople since the UN enlisted Danny Kaye in 1954 to educate the public about the plight of poor children abroad. Now every not-for-profit wants a Desperate Housewife to come to its gala — some settle for a Real Housewife — and every celeb wants a photo with a sick child to run in People. Dozens of stars have posed naked for PETA’s antifur ads. Irritable bowel syndrome even landed a wondrous spokeswoman; I’ll never look at Lynda Carter the same way again.

You know the best of these big-hearted boldface names: Angelina, Bono, Elton, and David … Arquette. Yes, David Arquette. If I were making a Celebs Gone Good list, he’d top it.

The typical celeb do-gooder needs car service, script approval, bottled water from Iceland’s glacial highlands, and artisanal acai candy hand-wrapped by Bolivian orphans. Not David. Two days a week, you’ll find him at an L.A. food pantry, cooking, cleaning, or doing whatever else he’s told to do. (Great training for his off-duty hours.) Often, he works with veteran volunteer Delfia Gonzalez. (He insisted I mention Delfia Gonzalez; now I’ve done it twice.) “Noncelebrity volunteers like her are the backbone of charities nationwide,” he says. “They deserve the praise, not me.”

But as long as we’re going to obsess about celebs, let’s focus on folks like David. His name may be B-list but his good works are A-plus. Here are five lessons from his partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s largest coalition of food pantries.

To see the list of how your charity can apply this please click this link to read the full article by Nancy Lublin – fastcompany.com


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