November 16, 2015
While many districts actively compete in formal grant programs, they often ignore a more lucrative source of funds: celebrities.
Many high-earning celebrities, including actors, directors, writers, entertainers, sports stars, talk show hosts, broadcasters and others sponsor charities, donate items for fundraising auctions, or make pledges to crowdfunding campaigns. Still others engage in “soft grants,” donating funds to projects that capture their interest. Soft grants tend to have no application process. All that is involved is a public or private appeal, and hopefully a check.
In fact, the award of a soft grant may depend more on the publicity value of the donation or whether it strokes the celebrity ego. Sometimes, a specific project may pull at a celebrity’s heart strings and compel him or her to open their wallets. At other times, a grant may be awarded to boost a tarnished image, or heighten a public profile. But in the end, it is the recipient who benefits most.