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How philanthropic are Europe’s sports stars?

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Philanthropy in Europe

The latest issue of Philanthropy in Europe magazine reports on over fifty of Europe’s sports stars, past and present, and suggests that high paid stars are more generous than their city counterparts.

How much do high-paid sports stars give to charity? You might imagine that the answer is ‘not much’ based on media coverage of some sports stars lives. Yet Philanthropy in Europe magazine’s argues that the fat cat sports stars are in fact more generous than we give them credit for.

The magazine focuses on the giving of footballers, racing drivers, tennis players, boxers, golfers, athletes, cyclists and even Britain’s most famous balloonist Brian Jones. Not all have created foundations but a significant number have. There is for example the Franz Beckenbauer Foundation, the Victoria and David Beckham Charitable Trust, The Nadia Comineci Children’s Clinic, the Alex Corretja Fundació, and the Stefan Edberg Foundation.


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Not surprisingly, many focus on funding the development of sport, but there are some who have a braoder vision, supporting humanitarian, social welfare, educational and many other causes.

Karina Holly, Editor of Philanthropy in Europe, concludes that “as their salaries rise on a par with the most famous US athletes so Europe’s sports stars are beginning to play the philanthropic game.”