The two-time Grammy winner, songwriter, musician, and fashion artist known as Lady Gaga is a creative “win-win” philanthropist, who throws the weight of her popularity behind donation projects.
Lady Gaga uses her huge popularity to leverage awareness and financial support for good causes
The American singer-songwriter, fashion artist and actress known professionally as Lady Gaga is renowned for her unconventionality and provocative work, as well as experimenting with new images, but what is not so well known about the flamboyant pop diva is the staggering number of charitable causes she supports, aside from setting up her own Born This Way Foundation, and the vast sums of her own personal wealth she has given to disaster relief funds.
Charity is important to the Catholic-raised former child prodigy
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born on March 28, 1986, in Yonkers, New York, to Cynthia and Joseph Germanotta. Now known as Lady Gaga — the inspiration for her name came from the Queen song "Radio Ga-Ga" — she has become an international pop star.
Gaga learned to play the piano by the age of 4, and at the age of 11 she was accepted to the Juilliard School in Manhattan. However she chose instead to attended a private Catholic school in the city, where she continued studying music and performing, writing her first piano ballad at the age of 13, and she held her first performance in a New York nightclub at the age of 14.
Fast-forward to the Lady Gaga we know today, and the growth of her talent has been matched by her popularity. She has been using this popularity as a leverage tool to rally support, both in awareness and financially, for a host of causes that mean somethoing to the star.
According to Gaga’s entry in Look To The Stars* —
Gaga partnered with Virgin Mobile on her Monster Ball national tour offering premium VIP tickets to fans who volunteer their time to homeless youth organisations which raised more than $80,000 in proceeds to support homeless youth, and generated 30,000 hours of community service for hundreds of charities across the country.
One of the recipients, The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH), is a nonprofit, non-partisan, organisation committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States. NAEH is partnered with the Re*Generation homeless youth organisation and Gaga supports and joined Re*Generation at a pre-concert visit to Eva’s Phoenix, a Toronto youth shelter, wearing her full stage out fit to the shelter. While there, she took a tour of the facilities and hung out with the kids, posing for photos and signing autographs.
Re*Generation partners include Green Chimneys, a non-profit organisation restoring possibilities and creates futures for children with emotional, social, behavioral, and learning challenges, including runaway and homeless youth, with specific programming for LGBTQ youth.
Other Re*Generation partners are STANDUP FOR KIDS, a non-profit charitable organisation dedicated to reaching out to counsel and guide homeless teens on America’s streets and Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group tackling tough social and environmental problems in an entrepreneurial way.
*Look to the Stars is the web’s number one source of celebrity charity news and information, covering what the top stars are doing to make a positive difference in the world. The site includes exclusive interviews and a database where fans can learn about their favorite stars’ good deeds.
Lady Gaga: Charity Work, Events and Causes
Lady Gaga is keen to harness entrepreneurial energy, as evidenced by the substantial sum her concert raised for Haiti. In the wake of the Haiti earthquake, she dug deep and donated all of her proceeds from the January 24 show of her current tour, the Monster Ball (ticket sales, merchandise, etc.), and from her online store; the total amount donated was over $500,000.
“We’ve raised over half a million dollars for Haiti already and we like to work specifically with charities that are based in Haiti itself. I donated all of the proceeds from one show worth of ticket sales as well as all the of the merchandise from that show and for 24 hours we had a ‘Gaga for Haiti’ day where everything that was bought on the Web site… every dollar went to Haiti,” Gaga said at the time. “We’re continuing to work on more projects and we’re supposed to go to Haiti later this year for a show, which is very exciting.”
She has also been very proactive with raising awareness with young women about the risk of HIV/AIDS. Along with recording artist Cyndi Lauper, Gaga teamed up with M·A·C AIDS Fund‘s VIVA Glam campaign, which raised over $160 million to fight against AIDS and HIV, and bring awareness about the diseases to women around the world. By purchasing VIVA Glam lipgloss and/or lipstick, all of the proceeds go directly towards the fund to aid those infected with the disease.
Lady Gaga has supported the following charities listed on the Look To The Stars website:
- Alzheimer’s Association
- American Foundation for AIDS Research
- Artists for Peace and Justice
- Born This Way Foundation
- CLIC Sargent
- Elton John AIDS Foundation
- GRAMMY Foundation
- It Gets Better Project
- Lupus Foundation of America
- M·A·C AIDS Fund
- Red Cross
- Robin Hood
- Sandy Hook Promise
- Stand Up To Cancer
- The Trevor Project
The star is also listed as supporting the following causes: AIDS & HIV, Alzheimer’s Disease, Bullying, Cancer, Children, Civil Rights, Creative Arts, Depression and Suicide, Disaster Relief, Economic/Business Support, Education, Family/Parent Support, Grief Support, Health, Human Rights, LGBT Support, Lupus, Miscellaneous, Peace, Poverty, Unemployment/Career Support, Weapons Reduction.
Giving like Gaga: 8 Simple And Easy Ways To Become More Generous
Being generous can have profound effects on people. When you give, you can greatly help others, and you feel better too. Even if you’re not wealthy, you can still make a lasting effect by being giving. If you’d like to increase your giving, here are some simple and easy ways to become more generous.