I like all of my guests, of course. But one of my favorites recently returned to the Fried On Business show to discuss some issues related to celebrity philanthropy.
Handler Thayer attorney Andrew Morton does good by helping other people do good.
What do I mean by that? Well, Morton handles philanthropy law, non-profit compliance, best practices, and philanthropic branding for sports and entertainment personalities.
More than the trappings that come with fame, Morton wants people to care about the causes that are important to the celebrities.
“It’s a frustrating situation that somebody who is doing good may not get the same attention as somebody who is famous and is doing good, but that’s the world in which we live and we’re taking advantage of it and trying, as I like to say, ‘Leverage that celebrity into philanthropy,'” he said.
Morton wants to make sure the philanthropic organizations are run in a professional manner so they can accomplish their goals.
In that regard, Morton has teamed up with a couple of university programs to teach his concepts:
– The Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate program at George Washington University is geared toward professional teams and high-profile athletes.
– The Miami Executive MBA for Artists and Athletes at the University of Miami School of Business Administration is designed for professional athletes, artists, musicians, actors and their advisors. It prioritizes the topic of philanthropy.
As you might imagine, Morton knows people. A lot of famous people. He helps them get their charitable organizations off the ground and keeps them moving in the right direction.
– Morton helped launch a foundation for Caitlin Jenner, who donated a Porsche GT3 for auction to jump-start fundraising.
– Morton has also been working with basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to boost education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through the aptly named Skyhook Foundation.
– He is working with NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who co-founded PROJECT 375 to help promote awareness of mental health, end the stigma, and raise funding for treatment.
– He has helped former New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes launch the III & Long Foundation to raise awareness to help fight Sickle Cell Disease and provide financial support and treatment options for families affected by the disease.
– He has worked with former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka in the launch of Gridiron Greats, which provides dire-needs grants to old-school football players who find themselves in financial hardship. He is also working with Ditka on the After The Impact Fund, which provides treatment to retired athletes and military veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury.
This was a fun and enlightening discussion. Click here to listen to the full interview with Handler Thayer attorney Andrew Morton.