How to Get a Celebrity Involved with Your Charity or Non-profit Event

All American Speakers (an All American Entertainment brand) is a full-service talent booking agency.  We represent meeting and event planners to identify and secure talent for their events.  Our agency receives daily requests to assist with contacting celebrities for charitable or pro bono opportunities, so we’ve compiled the guide below to help walk you through the best practices.

Where should you send your invitation?

If you are working with a budget, and are not requesting a discounted rate or donation of time, please email your request to: [email protected].  

If you are requesting a deeply discounted appearance/speaking fee, or asking the celebrity to donate their time, we recommend tracking down contact information for the celebrity’s publicist and sending your pitch via email. This can be accomplished by doing a simple google search, or by using a paid service like Contact Any Celebrity.

What should be done prior to reaching out to the celebrity?

Prior to getting your heart set on a particular person, we recommend doing some research to determine the likelihood of that celebrity’s availability.  If you’re targeting an actor/actress, you should check whether or not they will be filming a movie or television show on or around your dates (IMDb can be a helpful resource) .  If you’re targeting an athlete, you should cross reference their competition schedule.  During these times, it’s very difficult for celebs to have the time, energy or even the permission to participate in additional side projects, even if there is not a direct conflict with the date.

Keep a working list of potential celebrities who could be a good fit for your campaign, so you don’t have to start from square one should your first option not work out.  Don’t forget to consider local and regional celebrities!

What info should you include when reaching out to the celebrity?

Start with a snapshot or summary of  the most important information, particularly if your invitation for involvement is longer than one page.  Make sure to include the following information:

Full details about your event or campaign, and your organization
→ Event and organization overview
→ Website
→ Date(s) and location(s)

Have any celebrities or notable people been involved in the past?  If so, who?

How does your event/organization align with the celebrity?

How would you like the celebrity to be involved?  What are your expectations?
→ What is the time commitment?
→ When and where would they be needed?

What can you offer, financially?  
→ Can you cover travel costs and accommodations?
→ Are you able to provide a donation to their charity, or an honorarium?

Having a specific plan with the information listed above is imperative to getting a favorable response.  If your event or campaign is still in the development stage, we strongly recommend waiting to contact the celebrity until you have more definite details, with solid dates and times.  While you can convey flexibility with regards to the celebrity involvement, approaching them without a specific plan makes it difficult for the celebrity or their representative to give it serious consideration.

What should you do after sending your invitation?

Don’t be offended if the response you receive is brief or if you receive no response at all.  It’s not a bad idea to send a follow up email 3-7 days after sending your initial email, ensuring they received the information (reattaching it, for ease).  

If you don’t receive a response, you can either send the pitch to different representative, perhaps a manager or assistant, or simply move on.  Make sure you don’t spend so much time reaching out to the A-list celebrities that you run out of time to secure talent for your campaign.  

We encourage you to consider reaching out to local and regional celebrities, and not limit yourself to the nationally and internationally-known celebrities.