Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Measley Charity Donations Under Scrutiny

February 8, 2012  |  

Time’s up on all the positive vibes that were being sent Jay-Z’s way after he became a father and dropped the single “Glory.” Shortly after, reports came out that he laid off half of the staff at RocaWear and now he’s being criticized for coming up short in the charity department.

In 2010, Jay-Z only reportedly donated $6,431 of his $63 million earnings to his own Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund, and Beyonce is being drawn into the mix too. Out of the $87 million she earned in 2010, not a single penny went to her husband’s foundation. According to Jay-Z’s representative, Jana Fleishman:

“Jay, along with his family, provided office support, overhead support, Mrs. Gloria Carter’s 100 percent effort and time [his mother], computers, FedEx expenses, accounting, and treasury function support,” she wrote in an email to The Daily, adding. “This was at no cost to the charity.”

But that office support didn’t add up to much that year. According to tax records, $1,209 was spent on office expenses, $1,401 for the telephone, and $4,696 for other expenses. Of the three charitable donations that were given to the Shawn Carter Fund that year, which totaled $218,849, Jay’s was the smallest.

All is not totally lost on Jay-Z, though. He just performed two back-to-back benefit concerts at Carnegie Hall and tickets, which went for several hundred dollars, are expected to bring in millions for his fund. Tracey Webb, Founder of BlackGivesBack.com, says this is the typical route celebs like Jay-Z go when it comes to charity.

“They tend to use their ‘celebrity’ to give back, instead of giving from their own pocket — such as using their name to promote awareness of a cause or to raise funds for their own nonprofit by using their time and talent. They count on their fan base to drive their charitable efforts.”

Still, Jodie Blum, co-founder and former executive director of Common’s charitable foundation, says while its commendable that Jay-Z throw a concert to help the underprivileged, he should do some of the giving himself.

“If celebs are going to start their own charity it’s their responsibility to write their own check. It’s not credible to ask other people to donate if they are not.”

What do you think about Jay-Z’s small donation to his own charity? Is it suspect or does it matter as long as the money gets donated somehow?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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  • liberals_steal_your_money

    Why are Jayz and Beyonce so greedy?

  • liberals_steal_your_money

    Jayz and beyonce are both worth $450 million each. Why don’t they give some of that money to the poor blacks?

  • freechoice64

    Really People did you not know that Democrats and specially Progressives and Liberals ones believes it is the governments duty to take care of the neighbor hoods they help destroyed while pushing drugs and being a gang member. He got his that is all that matters to them. Even the Crooked politicians it is all about while I am here I am going to get mine. Look at AL Sharpton who owes over 5 million in taxes and now his daughter is suing the city for 5 million you think that will go to pay his taxes no that is a slap at the system. It is all about let me get mine. That is the same attitude that is being pushed in the poor minority neighbor hoods. Black, White, Asians, Hispanic it does not matter the skin color. It is all about let me get what I can how ever I can legally or illegally. It is has nothing to do with morals and helping others or being part of a society. Yet when they need help, when they need the police or fireman and they do not show they complain. It is always someone else problem not theirs Most liberals rarely give anything!! They think it is the governments duty and mine is mine…

  • LaurenStar

    Beyoncé built an afterschool program for children in the Houston area, homes for Katrina survivors, gave her 4 million salary from Cadillac Records to a women drug rehab center and later built a cosmetology school to help them learn a skill, etc. Way before this article was written. She has her own charities that she gives to. I didn’t know she was required to contribute to her husband’s. Madame Noire, what a badly written article. Did you purposefully ignore things that Beyoncé has done? I’m sure if you did some research you’d find out Jay did more than what you claim also.

  • Bob

    It’s not just Jay Z and Beyonce being stingy with their money. It’s other celebrities and wealthy people. Look at Ophra. She is worth over $2billion and she gives a very small %. Look at Bill Gates, $60 billion and he gives very little compared to what he has accumulated. Warren Buffett, $40+ billion. America has been very, very good to people like these and they should do more and it should be noted and published. How else would we know?

  • Heather101

    This is for one year to one organization. Why not report all the charitable contributions and different organizations that Jay-Z contributed to that year? Maybe he didn’t donate much to his own charity that particular year, but did the benefit concerts to raise money for it. Why draw Beyoncé’s name into this? Maybe she has her own charitable causes, and she’s letting her husband handle his. Doesn’t mean she hasn’t ever donated in the past to his charities and vice versa. Beyoncé did start an after-school program for children in Houston, help build housing for people after Katrina, a cosmetology training program for previously drug-addicted women that cost millions of dollars to open, etc . I didn’t hear one person asking what did Jay-Z donate to those causes Beyoncé supported. Since some people want to poke in Beyoncé’s and Jay-Z’s charitable donations, has the media bothered to look into Angelina Jolie’s and Brad Pitt’s? Most of the time I hear about Brangelina lending their effort and time to stuff but not really money.

  • Eddie DonaHoo

    It’s always to other discretion in these matters the accumulative charity they’ll give as willing benefactors.
    I am not financially in this married coupled shoes.
    Anything to help the less fortunate is good.
    I personally like for the blessed financially to help other’s because not doin so is cognitively and sociological non con compassionate.

    The lack of compassion intentionally is satanic and convertly destructive so in conclusion I sincerely appreciate any donations thats given.

  • smsavoy

    Obama wants to do away with all charities lets hope he doesn’t

    • Carolyn Carter

      What? Where is that written?

      • liberals_steal_your_money

        On yo mama’s headboard.

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  • WOW! It isn’t anyone’s concern if or how much anybody donates to any charity. No one has to not even Beyonce or Jay Z (as if they have different requirements because they are rich or are celebrities…. they don’t) Good for them for doing anything. That is commendable.

    • liberals_steal_your_money

      Boot licker

  • Sam

    That is the most pathetic, measely, donation amount I’ve seen yet. I give a greater percentage of my earnings to charity, and I’m on minimum wage.

  • RealTruth

    He needs to open and support something for the kids in Brooklyn especially .Boys and Girls club or something such as. After all it was their parents that were hooked on the poison he was selling plus buying his 5.00 CDs.They gave him much support he should do the same.

    • DKELforAmerica

      When Jay Z was dealing in drugs, he cost the taxpayers a lot to fund hospitals, child support services for all the abandon and abused kids, schools increasing their budget to handle the crack babies and mentally impaired in special education, mental health centers to repair the fried brains, and city governments trying to fight the crime and clean up the area from the destruction created by his method of “getting paid.” It is sad that the HIP HOP crowd is not demanding that at least half of those funds are channelled back into the lives he help destroyed instead of pushing an agenda to increase taxpayers’ taxes in 2013 to take care of HIS responsibility.

      • bling bling is bull___t

        the hip hop crowd has no clue, if jay z and beyonce were white there would be a firestorm over this, sharpton and jesse would be leading their millions of minions down the street protesting. but the hip hop crowd thinks its ok to shoot your own brother sell drugs and buy bling bling . for me canada or any other country is looking good. my social security and pension will probably be gone when i retire in 2 years, but that’s ok i don’t want it, i want out of this shithole place start all over and never look black, oops , i mean back.!!

        • Bob

          Say you don’t want your Social Security check. Well be a sport and donate it to your favorite charity.

          • ADPLPH


          • ADOLPH

            Say you don’t want your Social Security check. Well be a sport and donate it to your favorite charity.


            Share ›



            13 minutes ago


  • Shay

    Do we know if he donated to any other charities?  I can’t believe that he didn’t donate to ANY charities that year.  I think people would have a lot to say if he donated a lot of money to his own charity and not others.  They would then claim he’s only doing it for the tax credit.  We hope that people with the means would do more, but we can’t tell people what to do with their money.  Celebrity or not.

  • Ddc12963

    I think that everyone has a responsibility to give back.  Regardless of who we are, there was someone that gave to us so that we can get ahead. Whether it is the local community center, a college scholarship or a teacher that gave you that extra push.

    By not be charitable Jay-Z  and Bey (& other wealthy people) come across as selfish, uncaring and greedy.  Compassion is a wonderful trait to have. You would think that many celebrities would have that trait especially when some of these individuals grew up in poverty, single parent households or were discriminated against because of their race, class or gender.

  • Amija

     JayZ has always struck me as a jerk.  When he made the Occupy tshirts and then pulled them instead of donating the proceeds, it was official.  But this has got to be wrong.  $63 million?  Donating $6000 to charity?  No way.  If I made that much money I would give back just because I am blessed.  JayZ needs to get it together.  

    Here comes my rant: 

    I’m not a Beyonce stan, but I like her.  I think JayZ is a butt hole and he just married her because she could put him on that next level.  I know she does more to give back than he does.  He doesn’t care about anyone but himself.  Maybe since she “had” their baby he will change and learn how to love. 

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    It’s a shame he’d rather rely on his fans to donate for his cause than reach in his own pocket. . .

  • Geena

    The first comment is on point. Who is surprised by this? Especially from Jay Z. I mean does anyone on this planet earth think that Jay Z cares about anyone but himself? I mean how many times does he have to slap you in the face with “I don’t give a f*Ck about anyone but myself and my dollars” attitude. He practically says it. On the other hand. It is their money and they can do as they please. However, I would never buy anything with a celeb name attached to it never mind giving to their charity. I figure why purposely go out of my way to make someone else rich. “shrugs”. As a person said a lot of times these celebs “charities” are really tax write offs or for publicity. I mean really, do you really need to announce to everyone what you are doing and how you are giving? Of course not. You just give and don’t give a damn if you get recognition or not.

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  • ShamikaMH

    Damnn, why does it matter??? Who cares how much they gave!! As long as they gave something, who T.F. cares?? Some people don’t give shiiitt.

    • Coleman4765

      They be the ones

    • Bob

      ShamikaMh. Yes it does matter. The poor people in Africa care. If JayZ, Beyonce, Ophra and any other Black person wants to call themselves an African-American, they can at least pony-up and help the poor people in Africa who have it Worse than the poorest Black person in America. Ophra is worth over $3 billion and she could do MORE to help her race. If you are a Black American, don’t call yourself an African-American until YOU send money to help your brothers and sisters in Africa. Otherwise, you are a damn hypocrite.

  • Carmelcup

    Roc A Wear is no longer his company ; he sold it for an amount that exceeds 50 million.

    I don’t support Mr.Carter in any way,shape, form or fashion. The charades that he and his wife play no longer suprise me. Reminds me of those dummy corporations that were created just to scam investors. (Similar to that of Mr.Madeoff). Giving comes from your heart; which makes you give! Good examples: Paul Newman, Oprah Winfrey, locs of Love!

    They are not interested in truly giving unless it has something to directly do with them being in the limelight! One day people will become wise to the foolery, and stop giving their money to people like this! Who jump on TV bragging about buying $70k tables and Islands (during a recession)…but if you ask them for a dollar, they turn around and “ask their fans to give it” Lmao…(in my KRS-One voice): “You Must Learn!”

    Moral to the story: If you don’t like it, don’t support them period! They sure in hell, don’t support you.

    • Luckycharms

      Not KRS One…lol

    • Coleman4765

      I agree with you 200%

  • R.

    In my experience of working with foundations/grantmaking, he was probably avoiding some kind of tax that the government was imposing on him so he paid it out to his charity. 

  • tastythoughts

    am i reading tht number properly….six grand? he made more than mili and can even give one million b ack? puhlease……and then there is beyonce who aint give a dime….but yall stans all over her

  • Sheryl

    The Bible says “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God/Heaven”…   hmmmmm  Jay Z, give, give, give.. your earnings will multiply

    • Business406


  • Kashbmaryd

    It’s one thing to say “i support (yada yada)”; it’s another to actually dig in your own account and give. Sounds like he doesn’t truly believe in his own cause.

  • Well.  The Bible teaches me to give my alms in private.  I question celebrities who put more effort in showing off their charities and philanthropy.   I remember after Hurricane Katrina, Kanye West was one of the only celebrities who came to Houston without cameras and the hoopla.  Kanye’s deeds were more honorable, than all the celebs (black celebs) that came to the Astrodome with cameras, and rushed off.

    I don’t know where Jay gives his money, but using the “operations and administrative” costs as an excuse for $6000 is odd! Most charities have operations and administrative costs. It IS his charity, and unless his billionaire friends aren’t funding those scholarships, I would think he’d do it. But, his money could go elsewhere. I don’t know the whole story.

    • smsavoy

      well why not show off a little its make u feel good and it goes for good cause at sometimes I would hate for anyone think that my charity came from a person I didn’t like

  • MixedUpInVegas

    Why wouldn’t he support his own charity?  If he wasn’t going to offer scholarships, why start a scholarship foundation?

    As to the question of whether it matters whether he shakes down others to fund a charity in his name as opposed to ponying up himself–Yeah, it matters!

  • Jus Sayin’

    its not for me to judge, but there is a book that talks about giving and heaven and rich people and the eye of a needle – if you believe that stuff!!

  • Doesntmatter

    Yes, that is rather small, but I didnt donate any money to a charity this year (although I am more than able to do so).  I have to call myself out for not doing it. 

    • thttp://madamenoire.com

      Exactly it’s easy for these hypocritical self righteous to criticized people who actually donate even though they don’t have to. Some of yall running it here have prolly never donated money or even ur time for a good cause it’s about how much you give or how much you earn. Its so easy to judge these people cos they are public eye know how much they earn but jour earnings are counted behind closed doors no one tells yall to donate. I don’t donate my hard earned cash to charities ran by these greedy people cos i know it won’t benefit my people. I donate to one African charity cos i see the jobs done to uplift my people sorry am only here for mines.

      • Bob

        So you don’t have a problem with Jay Z and Beyonce not giving to African American causes?They are their People. Judging people? Sounds like YOU are the one judging by only giving to African American charities. How do you know the charity you donate to is not run by Greedy people.