News and analysis
May 26, 2010

Oprah Winfrey Closes Charity She Created to Spur Others to Give


Oprah’s Angel Network, a charitable organization created by Oprah Winfrey that has distributed more than $80-million, stopped accepting donations this week. It plans to close once it has distributed all the money in its coffers, according to a news release on the group’s Web site.

Ms. Winfrey created the Angel Network in 1998 to encourage other celebrities and her fans to donate money to charity. Ms. Winfrey paid all the administrative costs of Oprah’s Angel Network so that all money donated to the network from others could go to charitable causes.

The network grew out of her fans’ desire to help others. According to the news release, approximately 150,000 people donated to the network from the time it was established. Although the network will shut down, its Web site will remain online and active.

The news release does not say why Ms. Winfrey decided to close the network, and Ms. Winfrey was not available for comment on the move. The announcement comes after she said the Oprah Winfrey Show will end in 2011 after it will have aired for 25 years.

A spokeswoman confirmed that Ms. Winfrey has no plans to close her two private philanthropies—the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.

Ms. Winfrey is one of the most generous donors in the United States. She donated more than $41-million last year and ranked No. 25 on The Chronicle’s most-recent annual Philanthropy 50, which compiles the total annual giving by America’s biggest philanthropists. She was also on the list for five consecutive years from 2003 to 2007.