Gatsby star raises $33 million for charity

By Vikram Barhat | May 16, 2013 | Last updated on May 16, 2013
2 min read

When charity and arts come together they can do wonders. They can save rainforests, and with a dash of celebrity support, even tigers in Nepal.

A Christie’s New York auction, which featured Leonardo DiCaprio barely out of his Gatsby garb, raised $33.3 million by selling 33 works, the proceeds of which went to the actor’s eponymous foundation. So reports the Wall Street Journal.

Read: Madonna auctions painting for $7.2 million

DiCaprio, who is known for his commitment to environmental issues, said, “We have to start thinking of nature as something to be valued as much as fine art,” the WSJ reports.

He used the auction as the backdrop to raise awareness and tweeted “Did u know less than 2% of charitable donations go to eco issues?”

A sea of supporters responded with more than 800 retweets and almost 700 favourites.

Read: Budget boosts charitable tax credits, LSVCCs phase out

On the other side of the pond, though, arts philanthropy is getting short shrift. As the British government scales back its funding for arts philanthropy, charity organizations in London and elsewhere are struggling to raise money for various causes they support, reports The Guardian.

However, the domain of donations is not limited to celebrities and state governments. It is increasingly becoming part of peoples’ financial planning considerations.

In Ontario, the federal and provincial combined tax credit has made charitable contributions even more rewarding for individuals.

Read: When to talk philanthropy

Those who donate up to $200 receive 20.05% in tax credit and 46.41% if it’s above $200. Moreover, first timers who donate more than $200 receive a credit of 71.41% under the First-Time Donor’s Super Credit (FDSC).

And financial advisors who have made strategic philanthropy part of their discussion have deeper relationships with their clients.

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Vikram Barhat