Susan Sarandon's Philanthropy: Activism, Yes. But Other Causes, Too

At age 69, actress Susan Sarandon has enjoyed a long career in Hollywood, starring in such films as Thelma and Louise, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Dead Man Walking, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She's amassed quite a bit of wealth over the years, too, with some estimates putting her net worth at $50 million. Sarandon has also been an outspoken liberal activist and received the Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award in 2006.

Sarandon's philanthropy reflects this, and the Susan Sarandon Charitable Foundation gives to quite a few outfits that work in areas such as women's rights, civil liberties, anti-poverty and more. The foundation isn't moving an overwhelming amount of money out of the door, however, with around $200,000 in grantmaking annually of late. In addition, the foundation doesn't have much of a web presence, and there's no clear way to get in touch with Sarandon or her children, who serve as vice presidents of the foundation. Still, this is another progressive philanthropist associated with the entertainment industry who is worth keeping an eye on. Here are a few must-knows:

1. Sarandon Supports Outfits That Work For Women's Rights and Civil Liberties

In the 1980s, supported by international women's organization MADRE, Sarandon traveled with a dozen other women and delivered milk and baby food to needy mothers in Nicaragua. A look at recent grantmaking by Sarandon's foundation indicates modest support of MADRE. Other support has gone to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Joyful Heart Foundation, and Women Make Movies, a "national nonprofit feminist media arts organization whose multicultural programs provide resources for both users and producers of media by women."

Funds have also gone to outfits working in civil liberties, such as Texas Defender Service, which describes itself as a "team of experienced death penalty attorneys who combat the systemic flaws facing the Texas death penalty," and NYCLU Foundation, "a comprehensive resource for civil liberties issues."

2. Grantmaking Has Also Involved Human Services and Youth

Recent money has gone to outfits such as City Harvest, Bowery Mission, Coalition for the Homeless, and Ohio Valley Opportunities (OVO), which "develops programs to meet the needs of the elderly, disabled and families with children in three Indiana counties." Funds have also streamed to outfits that work with youth, such as Reading is Fundamental, which "provides free books and literacy resources to economically disadvantaged communities in the United States."

3. Sarandon Supports Outfits That Operate on a Global Level

Recent grantees include Hiefer International, "a charity organization working to end hunger and poverty around the world by providing livestock and training to struggling communities." Sarandon supports Doctors Without Borders, Water for our World, Grassroots International, SOS Children's Villages, which provides "care, education and health services," and Mirembe Project, which "advances human rights and social justice, especially in the global south."

4. Sarandon Supports Health, Environment, Arts Organizations and Others

In health, Sarandon has recently supported Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and it's worth noting that Sarandon once played a woman dying from cancer in the 1998 film Stepmom. Support has also gone to environmental outfits such as NRDC, Sierra Club, Amazon Conservation Team, and American Farmland Trust and to arts outfits such as Still Point Theatre and Tisch School of the Arts.

It's worth noting that apart from the Susan Sarandon Charitable Foundation, Sarandon may have other more direct ways of giving, and important gifts might be missing from this rundown.

Related: Susan Sarandon