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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