Celebrities Who Have Paid It Forward With Millions Of Dollars In Donations

Watching celebrities on the stage, screen, or television, it’s easy to forget there are real people behind the performances. And when these talented and successful humans find causes they care about they open their checkbooks without question. From Warren Buffet’s undying generosity to Bruno Mars’ unwavering support, celebrities with money love to give it back to deserving causes. Who needs another beach house when you can help youth in need, or people suffering from illness. The selfless celebrities you’ll read about have given millions of dollars to charity, oftentimes without thinking about their own bank accounts.

Elton John Donated $30 Million In 2016

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for BVLGARI and EJAF
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for BVLGARI and EJAF

The year 2016 was a big one for Elton John’s giving heart. In total he gave away $30 million to charity. Most of the money he donate goes to HIV research and support for people living with AIDS. He cares so much he even started his own foundation in the ’90s that has helped raise over $200 million!

On top of his foundation, portions of the proceeds of Sir Elton’s clothing line is donated. He also holds an annual Tie and Tiara charity ball. Excuse me while we run to the store and buy every piece of clothing from his brand!

Dr. Dre Wrote A $10 Million Check To His Hometown

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic via Getty Images
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic via Getty Images

In June of 2017, Dr. Dre gave back to the city that raised him, writing a $10 million check to Compton, California. With the money, the Southern California locale will build a performing arts center at Compton High School.

The arts center will provide the kids of Compton a place to be creative in a way that will help further their education, too. This isn’t the first time Dre has put his money where his mouth is. He also paired up with Jimmy Iovine in 2013 to donate $70 million to build an arts academy.

Oprah Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Donating To Charity

Shannon Finney/Getty Images
Shannon Finney/Getty Images

Oprah might be the nicest person in the world. Not only did she once give every member of her studio audience a new car, she has also given away over $40 million to charity through the Oprah Winfrey Foundation. The money she donates is used to help improve access to education and healthcare for women and children.

In particular, Oprah focuses on women in third world countries where getting an education is frowned upon. The scholarships she gives to young women in these areas are invaluable in the battle for equality.

Larry The Cable Guy Has Wired More Than Six Million Dollars To Good Causes

Mike Pont / Contributor
Mike Pont / Contributor

You might not take Larry The Cable Guy seriously, and that’s fine. He doesn’t want you to. His real name isn’t even Larry. Dan Whitney, the man behind the redneck, along with his wife Cara, have donated over six million dollars to families down on their luck. It turns out being funny pays.

Can you guess the name of the foundation Dan and Cara created to help those who need it? If you guess “Git-R-Done” Foundation, you’re right. Love him or hate him, it’s impossible to deny the amazing work he’s accomplished since launching the foundation in 2011.

Matthew McConaughey Was Inspired To Give After “The Dallas Buyer’s Club”

Gary Miller/Getty Images
Gary Miller/Getty Images

Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar for his role in The Dallas Buyer’s Club. The film focused on his character illegally selling AIDs medication to those afflicted. After the film, the actor founded the Just Keep Livin’ Foundation and has raised over $1.5 million.

Along with the foundation, McConaughey has has given generously to schools in Texas and Los Angeles, his two hometowns. As the son of a substitute teacher, helping improve the world of education is a cause very close to his heart.

Prince’s Generosity Was Revealed After His Death

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for NPG Records 2015
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for NPG Records 2015

Prince was one of the most popular musicians of the ’80s and ’90s. He was also one of the most charitable, a truth that wasn’t revealed until after his death.The man Reverend Al Sharpton once called a “sincere humanitarian” gave millions of dollars to several amazing causes.

Sharpton, using social media, revealed that Prince would quietly give money to people struggling, including the family of Trayvon Martin. A quarter of a million dollars was also given to a dance academy in New York. Prince gave a non-profit in Harlem one million dollars to help inner-city children living in poverty.

Taylor Swift Uses Her Millions To Help Aide Disaster Relief Efforts

Samir Hussein/Redferns via getty images
Samir Hussein/Redferns via getty images

Taylor Swift may get her heart broken a lot, but she also uses it to give back to those who have had their lives disrupted by natural disasters. In 2016, after 140,000 homes were destroyed by a flood in Louisiana, Swift donated one million dollars to relief efforts. She donated another $50,000 to a food bank in Baton Rouge.

That same year a wildfire devastated the state of Tennessee and Swift opened her checkbook again, giving $100,000 in aide. To top it off, when she found out one of her biggest fans missed a concert battling leukemia, the pop star gave her family $50,000 to help with medical expenses.

George And Amal Clooney Gave $3 Million To Syrian Refugees

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Turner
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Turner

When Hello Magazine offered to pay George and Amal Clooney three million dollars for their wedding photos, the couple happily took it, then gave it all away to 3,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The money was gifted to the children through local schools.

As if that wasn’t generous enough, the couple gave back to the United States in March. In support of the “March For Our Lives” campaign they donated $500,000 saying, “Amal and I are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School.”

Rory McIlroy Doesn’t Like Living With Lots Of Money

Ross Kinnaird/R&A/R&A via Getty Images
Ross Kinnaird/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

You would think a golfer as accomplished as Rory McIlroy would have a few houses and nice cars. If reports of his donations are to be believed, he probably drives a used car and lives in a small studio. In 2015, the golfer gave every cent of prize money he won to to charity.

In 2017, he went further, donating his winnings to the Rory Foundation, which took the money and distributed it to various children’s charities. He is also a top donor to Mencap, a charity that helps people with learning disabilities.

Jamie Oliver Gives Millions To Help Teens Struggling With Drug And Alcohol Abuse

John Phillips/Getty Images
John Phillips/Getty Images

Jamie Oliver may not be a household name to everyone, but the celebrity chef has had an incredibly successful career trying to get people to eat healthier. Oliver’s charitable ways began with the Fifteen Foundation, an organization he has used to help youths struggling with drugs and alcohol.

In 2017 alone, Oliver donated $2.3 million to help fund apprenticeships to keep kids in the kitchen and off the streets. Through apprenticeship programs, these teens learn how to work as a team together in a kitchen, helping them prepare for a possible career in the food industry. It always comes back to food.