She may be an unbelievably talented artist, but Beyoncé’s best trait is her giving heart.
With a net worth of $400 million, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter certainly has a lot of money to spare. Combine that with one of the entertainment industry’s biggest known bleeding hearts, and it’s a recipe for a philanthropic powerhouse.
Beyoncé won the Humanitarian Award at the 2020 BET Awards
Beyoncé’s one of the most philanthropic celebrities on the planet and is known to nobly donates millions every year. Her years of giving were honored in June of this year when she was awarded the Humanitarian Award at the BETs by former First Lady Michelle Obama. While presenting Beyoncé with the award, Obama thanked the singer-songwriter for her contribution toward the former FLOTUS’s Let’s Move! campaign. Beyoncé rewrote her Get Me Bodied! song for the campaign and made an accompanying video. In her acceptance speech for the BET award, the megastar humanitarian dedicated her award to the Black Lives Matter protesters and took the opportunity to urge viewers to vote.
Beyoncé’s done so much charity work it’s nearly impossible to list it all. Here are all her known charitable contributions in chronological order:
The Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth
Beyoncé’s charitable career began in 2002 when she built the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth at her childhood church of St. John’s Downtown United Methodist Church in her hometown of Houston, Texas. The church’s pastor, Rudy Rasmus, who is also the founder of the charity Bread of Life, says Beyoncé and her family may well have given up to $7 million in donations to the church over the years. He says of the family’s generosity: “Every time I’ve called on them for help, they’ve always helped.”
She sprung into action after Hurricane Katrina
Still a part of Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé was already leveraging her influence to give back to those in need. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she again teamed up with her parents and Kelly Rowland to create The Survivor Foundation to provide transitional housing to those displaced by the storm. Beyoncé personally donated $250,000, and the foundation raised $400,000 total.
The performer partnered with hunger charities early in her career
In 2007, the superstar partnered with several anti-hunger charities on her The Beyoncé Experience tour, her first solo tour in support of her second album, B’Day. While most musicians are pocketing every last penny from t-shirts and ticket sales, Beyoncé – then only 26-years-old – was thinking about how she could help feed the hungry from her concert’s profits. Now that’s a noble young artist if I’ve ever heard of one – and certainly worthy of praise for this thoughtful and generous deed alone. But that was merely the beginning of a long career of giving back.
The Movistar donated her entire $4 million Cadillac Records salary to a rehab center
One of Beyoncé’s biggest known personal donations over the years includes gifting her entire $4 million salaries from her 2008 role in the movie Cadillac Records to the Phoenix House, a rehabilitation center for drug addicts that has several locations all over the United States. Beyoncé spent time visiting with women at the drug treatment center in preparation for her role in her film as Etta James, the 70s singer who battled heroin addiction. One of the additions to the rehab center that was part of her donation was the Beyoncé Cosmetology Center at the Phoenix House Brooklyn location – a cosmetology school that she established with her mother and former beautician, Tina Knowles-Lawson, to teach recovering addicts employable skills and help them care for their appearance as part of their recovery. What an incredibly thoughtful gesture that I’m sure made a difference in the lives of so many on their road to recovery.
Bey started her own major charity, BeyGOOD
In 2013, Beyoncé founded her charity BeyGOOD during the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, which supported her fourth solo album, 4. BeyGOOD had given to countless charities since its inception seven years ago, all with the core purpose of setting an example to Beyoncé’s fans to give back to their community and those in need all over the world. Millions have received help in a multitude of ways from the directives initiated and supported by this charity.
Her Formation World Tour was basically a ginormous fundraiser
Beyoncé’s next massive charitable undertaking was in conjunction with her 2016 Formation World Tour, which promoted her sixth album, Lemonade. Beyoncé aligned with three major charities for the world tour through BeyGOOD to encourage fans to give back and “Stand in Formation” against injustice, gender inequality, and poverty.
First, Beyoncé’s nonprofit partnered with United Way – one of the world’s largest charities – to help those suffering amidst the Flint Water Crisis among numerous others in need. United Way was at every stop on tour to promote community involvement in local causes. This included shows in North America, Australia, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. United Way also partnered with CrowdRise to garner Beyhive activism online, where fans could make a donation in exchange for a chance to win VIP seats.
The second charity Beyoncé partnered with on her Formation tour was Chime for Change. Chime for Change is the fashion brand Gucci’s nonprofit organization founded by Beyoncé and actress Salma Hayek to alleviate girls’ and women’s gender inequality issues globally. Fans were also able to opt in to help Chime for Change in exchange for an opportunity to win VIP tickets online before the concert. To date, Chime for Change has helped hundreds of thousands of girls and women in 88 countries around the world through its crowdfunding efforts, no doubt largely thanks to Beyoncé’s undeniable influence.
The third charity Beyoncé decided to team up with for her 2016 tour is Global Citizen. This organization is on a mission to end extreme poverty by 2030 — what a commendable goal. Beyoncé also encouraged fans to donate to this charity when buying tickets to qualify for the prize of VIP seats at her show. The nonprofit’s goal is to give individuals the tools to make it easier for them to help those suffering in extreme poverty worldwide, eventually eradicating this horrible reality that so many have to face.
As if all this weren’t enough, several other smaller-scale charity events were arranged over the course of the Formation tour. In Houston, concertgoers were invited to attend an event to support the charities Bread of Life and TurnAround Houston. These charities are aimed at feeding the hungry and creating jobs in the city of Houston. In Compton, California, a charity event encouraged fans to become involved in the organization Urban Education Institute, which aids youth via music and the arts. And a charity event took place in Flint, Michigan, that was a celebration of the city and its resilient community.
The songstress started a new charity, bringing clean water to Africa.
Even after all the good that this one woman did with a single tour in a matter of months, she did not stop. Not even close. The following year, in 2017, she launched a spinoff of her charity called BeyGOOD Burundi, where, along with Unicef, safe water and sanitation is brought to the small East African country. A little known but wonderfully worthy cause that Beyoncé should be applauded for not only helping but shining a light on for the rest of us to learn about.
She steps up after natural disasters.
That same year, Beyoncé visited with Haitians, who were still reeling from Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. She met with a United Nations humanitarian representative there, observing the extreme conditions residents of the impoverished country lived in. Her visit surely lifted spirits by spreading love and showing those living in poverty that they’re not forgotten. She also started a new initiative that year to raise money for those affected by Nepal’s massive earthquake.
Beyoncé’s COVID-19 philanthropic work
Fast forward to this year, and Beyoncé has been hard at work doing everything in her power to help out those most in need as a result of COVID-19. The BeyGOOD foundation has partnered with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Start Small Fund to donate $6 million to mental health and medical services to essential workers in Houston, New York, Detroit, and New Orleans. The Start Small Fund was smart to join forces with, considering they donated $1 billion to pandemic relief the month prior. Specifically, the donations from Beyoncé’s initiative will go to UCLA, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, United Memorial Medical Center, Bread of Life, Matthew 25, Dia De La Mujer Latina, and World Central Kitchen, among other organizations. Outreach will focus on aiding and improving the quality of life in African American essential workers’ lives in some of the hardest-hit cities through mental health services, medical services, and much-needed food. UCLA will be providing a COVID-19 Care Package equipped with tools designed to alleviate anxiety and depression. And the directive of World Central Kitchen, an increasingly popular charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, works to resolve the pressing issue of food insecurity, which is becoming increasingly worse as the pandemic progresses.
BeyGOOD also separately joined forces with the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) this year to help out black businesses during the pandemic with the Black Business Fund’s creation. The singer’s latest charitable endeavor will be giving out $10,000 to black-owned businesses every month for the rest of the year. One of these grants went to the small black-owned business The Gift – a hemp and wellness brand based in Maryland. The company is looking to start a hemp farm, fiber processing plant, and educational campus. These grants to black-owned businesses are such a deserving and necessary cause in these trying times.
Along with husband Jay-Z, the couple has also made charitable donations to historically black colleges and provided scholarships.
Basically, Beyoncé’s the gift that keeps on giving. Literally.
Beyoncé supports dozens of charitable organizations, depending on the most pressing needs at the moment and what situation most touches her heart. She is quietly generous through anonymous donations and charitable gestures, such as visiting sick fans in the hospital. While not all her philanthropic work is publicly broadcasted, one thing is clear: this is one of the most charitable people ever to walk this earth. Her giving heart is just one of many reasons to love this talented, beautiful person, and it’s certainly inspiring for all of us to do what we can to give back and BeyGOOD.
Click here to learn more about Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD charity.