Major fortunes have emerged from the entertainment and media industry in recent decades, and many top figures in this sector are engaged in philanthropy. Some have established professional grantmaking foundations with clear guidelines and application processes, but many have not, and connecting with these people can be difficult.
Like all our guides, this one is constantly evolving and expanding as we add new profiles and update existing information. So if you have news or a tip, please share it with us. Also, make sure to visit IP's Glitzy Giving blog to see the latest news and developments that we're writing about.
The director/producer and his wife Katie McGrath have an active foundation that has given for education, policy, human services, the arts, and more.
Alda's foundation focuses on early childhood, youth development, violence prevention, and microenterprise organizations that serve the needs of women and families. Alda also has an interest in making science more accessible to the general public.
The author's foundation primarily supports nonprofits in California and Chile that provide vulnerable women and children with access to reproductive rights, healthcare, education and protection from violence.
Music legend Alpert has been a major supporter of music education for the past two decades through the Herb Alpert Foundation, but has also supported other causes in the arts and human services.
The bestselling author has long focused his philanthropy on supporting family and adult literacy across the country.
A steady giver with a foundation, Baldwin has a number of interests, including environmental causes, education, youth, health and more.
Barker's main focus is funding low-cost spay/neuter clinics and voucher programs to relieve animal overpopulation, but he also gives toward other animal-related work.
Beyoncé's philanthropic efforts focus on girls and women, as well as poverty and other causes.
Bing doesn't have a foundation and is best known for his past political giving. But he's given millions for environmental causes and human services over the years.
The longstanding foundation of the crooner focuses on at-risk women and children, including support to prevent domestic violence.
While Bono is a leading voice for the world’s poor, particularly those in Africa, and donates a lot of time to philanthropic causes, it’s difficult to track his own personal giving.
Brodsky, a founder of Comcast Corp., and family support arts and culture, Jewish causes, education and youth, environment.
Buffett's charitable vehicle, Singing for Change, primarily funds projects that serve children and families, the environment and disenfranchised groups.
If Bruckheimer is giving, he’s doing so quietly. He’s hosted fundraisers and produced public service announcements for several organizations, but he hasn't yet turned to large-scale giving.
Funding interests of the top television executive and his wife include education and youth, environment, arts and culture, health and human services.
Cameron is passionate about the environment and exploration, and is just starting to build a foundation to support environmental causes in particular.
The TV producer has a foundation and a record of giving toward public policy issues and the media.
While the movie star is best known for his work on Darfur, he's also been involved in other humanitarian and anti-poverty efforts.
The music and fashion artist-businessman is a strong supporter of education and youth in his philanthropy.
The telecommunications business leader funds education, arts and culture, human services, environment and animals, and health.
Couric's charitable work has been shaped by family tragedy, which led her to co-found the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance in honor of her late husband.
The music producer and songwriter has heavily focused his philanthropy on higher education, particularly on university music and music industry programs. But he's given to other causes, too.
Curtis and husband Guest have supported education, the arts, health, and environmental causes, with Los Angeles as an important region of giving.
The record producer has given to NYU for a music institute that bears his name. But health, particularly cancer research, is another interest.
The Hollywood Golden Age actor is a pioneering activist for animal rights. Her foundation sends support nationwide in the form of modest grants.
Diaz moves her philanthropy through Begin Today For Tomorrow, a philanthropic vehicle that supports several causes. She funds health, global and environmental issues.
The movie star has a singular focus on the environment, and has been donating to environmental causes through the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation for more than 15 years.
Diller and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, are active philanthropists who have given away tens of millions of dollars to a wide variety of charitable causes through their family foundation.
The cable television industry billionaire's funding interests include health (pancreatic research), human services, education and youth, arts and culture, and religion.
The screen legend and his wife have an active foundation that supports various health projects, funds human services outfits and more.
The immensely successful recording artist, record label mogul, and audio electronics executive Dr. Dre (and business partner Jimmy Iovine) donated $70 million to the University of Southern California, among other giving.
The former Disney chief has a robust foundation focusing primarily on the underserved children and elderly of Los Angeles County, but he's given to many other issues, as well.
The rap musician-songwriter-producer funds education and youth, human services and health, and Detroit community causes.
The singer's philanthropy focuses on Miami, with health, human services, youth, and animal care outfits receiving support.
The billionaire Fertitta brothers made their money through UFC fight promotion. Giving interests include education and youth, health, human services, arts and culture, and veterans. Las Vegas is a focus.
Fonda's interests include youth and education, adolescent reproductive health, human services, and the arts.
Fox established the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000, which has become the largest and most recognizable funder of research toward treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
The actor's philanthropy focuses on Mississippi, where he resides, and grantmaking mainly involves support of education and the arts.
Geffen is a major donor to LGBT and AIDS causes, and his foundation gives extensively to the L.A. area. But his biggest contributions have been to UCLA.
George's foundation makes artistic grants to unpublished fiction writers, poets, emerging playwrights and to organizations benefiting disadvantaged youth.
The actor's activism and giving have been mainly focused on Tibet, with a few exceptions, including homelessness.
Gifford's philanthropy focuses on religious causes and institutions, children, health and more.
The Motown Records founder supports education and youth, arts and culture, health and human services.
The philanthropy of the bestselling author mainly focuses on Mississippi and Virginia, but he's given some money to national justice groups and global causes.
Cable and communications executive Hauser and his wife have shown funding interest in foreign affairs, education, arts and culture, and community causes.
The TV and radio host and his wife fund work in children and youth, human services.
The studio exec is best known for his environmental giving, but he backs education, the arts and other causes, too.
The cable TV billionaire funds arts, climate and clean energy, education, and global causes.
The director and his wife Cheryl have a foundation, making modest grants that reflect a variety of interests, including the environment, global development and film.
The late Playboy publisher was a philanthropist for decades; his foundation funded projects related to "First Amendment rights and rational sex and drug policies."
Katherine Heigl and her mother founded the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, whose aim is to "is to eliminate the needless suffering inflicted on animals by human cruelty, indifference and ignorance."
Hughes, the first African-American woman to chair a publialy held company founded the Radio One media giant and runs it with her son, Liggins. Their philanthropy has included gifts to education, and arts and culture.
The Disney chief and his wife Willow Bay have a foundation that supports education, youth, and other areas. Health is another interest.
The actor and his wife Deborra-Lee have a family foundation and are very interested in children's welfare, including adoption, as well as the arts and global humanitarian concerns.
Top actor and film producer supports causes in health, education and youth, and African American arts and culture.
Most of Elton John’s charitable energy has gone into the Elton John AIDS Foundation, but he’s still found time to raise money for a variety of other causes.
Johnson supports arts, education, and youth. She's given particularly large sums to higher education, and some of this work supports arts education.
The mega-successful music producer and film/TV composer has amassed a long history of support for humanitarian and youth causes, and arts education.
Jolie and her ex, Brad Pitt, have donated around $30 million through their foundation over the past decade, mostly to health, education, conservation and sustainable development efforts.
The rock star's philanthropy focuses on housing and poverty issues in his home state of New Jersey.
Tartikoff Karatz devotes much of her time and energy to raising funds for cancer research.
Katzenberg’s giving is extremely well rounded, though he's been especially interested in health-related issues, particularly AIDS, and organizations that work on behalf of children.
The film financier/producer and founder of Relativity Media gives to causes in children and education, animals, medical research, and Jewish causes.
The Ethiopian-born supermodel and her foundations are active in maternity health and global development, with a particular interest in Africa.
The film producer is best known for his major giving toward cancer research, but he has also given heavily to the arts and education.
The horror writer's philanthropy focuses on the state of Maine, giving to libraries, higher education, and health.
The cable television businessman funds education and youth, environment, arts and culture, and health causes.
This bestselling author tends to keep his philanthropy close to home in Orange County, California. He supports charities that serve critically ill children and people with severe disabilities.
The celebrity chef and restaurateur and his wife Alden focus their philanthropy on children's education, wellness and arts.
Lear and his wife Lyn give to a range of causes, with interests in civil liberties, education, arts, media, and more.
Letterman's philanthropic interests include education, global development and humanitarian efforts, and local causes, mainly in Indiana and Montana
Leno and his wife Mavis have interests in education, women's rights, animals and more. But public grantmaking has been modest so far.
The Lopez Family Foundation supports increasing the availability of quality health care and health education for women and children.
Lucas has long been a major supporter of education, and funds an organization in this area, though lately, he’s been focused on building the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum.
Lumpkin, a telecommunications executive, supports environmental causes, health, education, and the arts. His giving has a strong regional focus on East Central Illinois.
Lynch's giving is laser-focused on transcendental meditation, which he believes is a powerful tool that can transform education, positively impact on people's lives, and ultimately lead to world peace.
Lynton and his wife Jamie mainly fund schools in the Northeast, but they have given for human services, health, and other causes.
Madonna's Ray of Light Foundation supports organizations around the world working to promote peace, equal rights and education for all.
Important sites of giving are Los Angeles and Denver. Causes include human services and health, education and youth, arts and culture, environment, and global needs.
The media mogul gives mainly to higher education, programs for gifted K–12 students and conservation.
Through his charitable foundation, Martin mainly gives for arts and culture, but also supports the environment and health.
The giving of the Clear Channel co-founder is quite diverse, mostly focused locally in Texas.
McCartney is known primarily for his support of animal rights and environmental organizations, though he’s also championed a number of humanitarian causes, and supports charities that fight cancer.
The Clear Channel co-founder and his wife focus their giving in Texas. They give major amounts to higher ed, but also to arts and culture, and human services and health.
The actor's foundation is focused on youth well-being and fitness. It also funds health causes.
The wrestling promoter and his wife Linda provide support for youth and women, focusing mainly in Connecticut; they also fund human services outfits and health.
This successful television producer/writer has interests in education, health and more. Giving tends to be focused on New York City and the greater Northeast.
Midler gives to the environment and civic space, arts and culture, health, education, human services and humanitarian causes.
The former music mogul gives away a million or more every year through the Moss Foundation, spreading his money out pretty evenly among a number of causes, including health, education and the environment.
Murdoch launched the Quadrivium Foundation with his wife Kathryn in 2013, endowing it with nearly $10 million in assets. They've set their sights on a variety of causes, most notably the environment.
Media mogul Murdoch has long been criticized for his lack of philanthropy, but his massive fortune has to go somewhere eventually.
The media mogul oversees a foundation engaged in substantial giving, with a range of interests that include higher ed, the arts, health, and human services.
Funding interests have included education and youth, health, veterans and soldiers, religious, human services and humanitarian causes.
The former Warner Bros. Records executive has a foundation that's given to various causes over the years, with money going to UCLA, the arts, and more.
The family's philanthropy focuses on New York City and the northeast, with education and the arts receiving high priority.
Novelist James B. Patterson's philanthropy focuses on youth reading and literacy, supporting libraries, reading programs and bookstores.
Perry's foundation aims to transform "tragedy into triumph by empowering economically disadvantaged youth, seniors, and families to overcome adversity by achieving a better quality of life."
Brad Pitt took the lead creating an organization to help rebuild New Orleans, and has been outspoken on marriage equality.
The founder of MTV and his wife give steadily through a family foundation for a number of causes, including poverty and the environment.
The family is active in the New York area Jewish community; Price serves on several key boards. Education and policy are other interests.
Puck is involved in food and hunger groups, and supports health and Jewish causes.
Much of Redstone’s giving is directed toward health-related causes. He also has a particular interest in helping children, based on the organizations he chooses to fund, whether they are working at a local or a global level.
Reiner uses his Hollywood status to speak out and raise money for issues he cares about. He's been most active in early childhood education, but his interests include a wide array of issues.
The singer-songwriter has funded veterans causes, and health and human services.
The Comcast CEO and his wife Aileen have given mostly to schools with ties to the family, but have also been involved in medical research efforts.
The bestselling author oversees a grantmaking operation with a focus on literacy. It also supports children's programs, arts organizations, and humanitarian efforts.
The Comcast founder and his wife support dozens of arts and community organizations, mainly in the Philadelphia area.
An Emmy award-winning TV host and reporter, Robinson's philanthropy focuses on girls. Her foundation supports work in STEM education, health, arts, and other topics, particularly for girls of color and underserved girls.
The director-producer of TV and film gives to arts and culture, health and medical research, education, environment and animals, global, women, and progressive causes.
The legendary singer has funded arts and culture causes, and health and human services.
Saban and his wife Cheryl have given millions to Jewish causes, hospitals, and women's empowerment, as well as the Los Angeles community.
Funding interests include arts and culture, Los Angeles community, and youth. Los Angeles is an important site of giving.
Chef and restaurateur Samuelsson directs much of his philanthropy into food, careers in the culinary profession, youth, and global causes. The health and well-being of people in Ethiopia, where he was born, is a focus.
The progressive actress backs outfits working in areas such as women's rights and civil liberties, but has other interests, too.
Domestic interests involve education reform in Philadelphia. Globally, efforts focus on livelihood opportunities, education, food and water access, and agricultural projects in Africa, India, and Central America.
Simmons supports efforts to combat slavery and sex trafficking, encourage young people to vote, and fight poverty in New York City. Arts education programming is another top cause.
Simon is a longstanding supporter of children's health issues but has also raised funds for groups such as amfAR, the Nature Conservancy, and Autism Speaks.
Along with his wife Jada, Smith supports education, health and social justice. Climate change is also an interest.
Snowdon, through his foundation, primarily funds arts and LGBT causes. Another interest is human services.
The Vampire Diaries star has a foundation that focuses on the environment and animals.
Spielberg does much philanthropy anonymously, making it hard to track. He has contributed to a wide range of causes, however, most notably Jewish causes and health-related issues.
Through his Thrill Hill Foundation, Springsteen's giving mainly focuses on human services and anti-poverty efforts.
Steel lost her son to mental illness, which is her main cause. But she's also given to homelessness.
Much of Sting’s passion and giving has gone to the Rainforest Foundation and Rainforest Fund, which he and wife Trudie Styler founded in 1989. But some gifts have gone to other causes.
Through her foundation, Streisand gives quite a few grants annually in a number of areas, including to progressive organizations.
Streep has been an active philanthropist for decades, with a foundation and interests in arts and culture, education, women, and more.
The film producer and New York Giants chairman gives to education, arts and media, youth, health and human services, and Jewish causes.
Education, arts and culture, health and human services. What are this Jeopardy host's giving interests?
His foundation gives modestly to health-related causes, as well as human services and other causes in New York City.
Turner supports environmental causes, famously giving a $1 billion gift to create the United Nations Foundation, and $250 million to the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Despite big giving, Turner still has plenty of money left.
Veteran actor well known for his work in the long-running Law & Order TV show is a supporter of the arts and environmental causes, including protection of fisheries.
Co-founder of Carsey Werner Television and co-owner of the Boston Red Sox. Funding interests include education and youth, health, human services, arts and culture, Jewish causes.
The bulk of Winfrey’s giving goes to education, including charter schools, programs that support African-American students, and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa.
The film producer and his wife Margo support education, scientific research, and the arts. Los Angeles is a major site of their philanthropy.
The actress is chiefly interested in autism but has supported other causes, as well.
Former Chicago Cubs pitcher and his wife have been active funders of children's charities.
The media tycoon has given extensively in education and STEM, health, and Jewish causes.