Advice to Nonprofits for Partnering with Celebrities

Using celebrities to promote a fundraising campaign (particularly crowd-funding) has become a common practice for many nonprofits. Since this trend has become more popular, we have learned about several issues and best practices in partnering with celebrities.


Partnering with a well-known public figure often boosts campaigns, but knowing the most appropriate and effective way of doing so is increasingly crucial. You need to make sure any money spent on a partnership is responsible and in line with your organization’s budget and priorities. You must also be sure that the celebrity you partner with doesn’t present any conflicts with your organization’s constituents and beneficiaries, that the individual doesn’t have bad press or a controversial reputation. In addition to taking these key points into consideration, you should note the following pieces of advise, paraphrased from an interview with Ettore Rosetti, Director of Social Media and Digital Marketing at Save the Children.

  • A common challenge: dealing with fulfillment and perks can be difficult and time-consuming; be patient and have a cohesive plan
  • Let your spokesperson have ownership over the campaign, allow them a degree of creative control and do not be overbearing
  • Consider these three elements when selecting the right person: popularity among your audience, the individual’s displayed philanthropic activity and level of engagement (a smaller, more engaged celebrity can raise more support than a large, unengaged celebrity)
  • The perks for your audience need to be valuable and exclusive: one-of-a-kind items, personal recognition from celebrity, autographed items, etc.

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Nadia Doubiany is a senior at the University of Iowa earning a BA in International Studies with an emphasis in Human Rights, a Certificate in Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication, and a Minor in Spanish. She currently works as Program Coordinator for the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities – a local nonprofit, and looks forward to a career in Human Rights advocacy and Community Development.


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