Celebrity 'no make-up selfies' raise cash—for wrong charity

Mar 25, 2014

A social media craze involving women around the world posting selfies while wearing no make-up has raised millions of pounds for a British cancer charity—despite some money accidentally going to the United Nations children's fund.

Several celebrities including R&B superstars Beyonce and Rihanna and British model Cara Delevingne joined the grassroots #nomakeupselfie movement on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

It is unclear how the hashtag first started trending, but it took off last week and grew organically. It then became associated with awareness, and users began making spontaneous donations.

Finally the charity Cancer Research UK set up a text number to make donating easier, and announced on Tuesday that the trend had sparked an "unprecedented increase" of donations that raised £8 million ($13.1 million, 9.5 million euros) in the space of six days.

The charity said the money would be spent on clinical trials.

"We've been overwhelmed by the support people have been showing us through the #nomakeupselfie trend," said Harpal Kumar, the charity's chief executive.

It later emerged that some people intending to donate to the charity had accidentally sent their cash to UNICEF instead.

Others had mistakenly enquired about adopting a polar bear with the World Wildlife Fund.

All three charities allow people to donate via the same British SMS number, but using different words. Those texting "donate" instead of "beat" to the number found their money sent to UNICEF, while those texting "bear" accidentally made adoption enquiries of the WWF.

Mike Flynn, director of individual giving at UNICEF UK, said there had been a "genuine mix-up" and that it was working with Cancer Research UK to transfer £18,625 which was donated by mistake.

Explore further: New Amazon shopping site supports charity

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Zuckerberg donates $500 mn to charity

Dec 19, 2012

With Christmas just days away, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced a donation of about a half-billion dollars worth of his company's stock to charity in Silicon Valley.

Zuckerberg tops US donations with $1 bn

Feb 10, 2014

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was America's most generous donor in 2013, giving nearly $1 billion of his fortune to charity, according to a magazine report on Monday.

Social giving makes us happier

Aug 20, 2013

People usually feel good when they make a charitable donation, but they feel even better if they make the donation directly to someone they know or in a way that builds social connection. Research to be published in the International Jo ...

Recommended for you

UK: Former reporter sentenced for phone hacking

3 hours ago

(AP)—A former British tabloid reporter was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence Thursday for his role in the long-running phone hacking scandal that shook Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

Evaluating system security by analyzing spam volume

3 hours ago

The Center for Research on Electronic Commerce (CREC) at The University of Texas at Austin is working to protect consumer data by using a company's spam volume to evaluate its security vulnerability through the SpamRankings.net ...

Surveillance a part of everyday life

4 hours ago

Details of casual conversations and a comprehensive store of 'deleted' information were just some of what Victoria University of Wellington students found during a project to uncover what records companies ...

European Central Bank hit by data theft

4 hours ago

(AP)—The European Central Bank said Thursday that email addresses and other contact information have been stolen from a database that serves its public website, though it stressed that no internal systems or market-sensitive ...

Twitter admits to diversity problem in workforce

7 hours ago

(AP)—Twitter acknowledged Wednesday that it has been hiring too many white and Asian men to fill high-paying technology jobs, just like several other major companies in Silicon Valley.

Social Security spent $300M on 'IT boondoggle'

18 hours ago

(AP)—Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims.

User comments : 0