Corporations and nonprofits recognize the value of celebrity endorsements in the form of increased sales or higher fundraising revenues. With poverty alleviation being one of the key areas of discussion among leaders across the globe, what role do celebrities play in building public support for international aid?
Researchers from Oxford University and Trinity College Dublin conducted a survey in Ireland to explore this topic. The results revealed a level of skepticism and cynicism among the 100 respondents. While the celebrities’ activities generated greater cause awareness, the celebrities were often perceived to be the primary beneficiaries of the publicity.
Was it a matter of trust or authenticity? When analyzing the findings, researchers Emma Samman, Eilish Mc Auliffe, and Malcolm MacLachlan noted that, “…clearly having credibility is not enough, as even those celebrities rated as highly credible only had a moderate influence of respondents’ reported views.”
The researchers acknowledge that celebrities can play a positive role poverty reduction, but further research is needed to explore effective approaches for celebrity involvement.
Citation to research findings:
Emma Samman, Eilish Mc Auliffe, and Malcolm MacLachlan. "The Role of Celebrity in Endorsing Poverty Reduction Through International Aid.” International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing. vol. 14 (May 2009) p. 137-48.
Find out more about poverty at home and abroad, as well as other key issues addressed at the Global Philanthropy Forum web site.