‘Fandom Donations’ Spike in Pandemic Era | Be Korea-savvy

‘Fandom Donations’ Spike in Pandemic Era

This photo provided by the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement shows "RM Forest No. 1."

This photo provided by the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement shows “RM Forest No. 1.”

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Korea Bizwire)So-called ‘fandom donations’ in which fans of celebrities or public figures engage in acts of donation continue to expand every year, gaining a foothold as a new tier of donation practices.

The Beautiful Foundation, a South Korean charity group, and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy studied the size of fandom donations in South Korea over the past five years through data collected from internet use.

By searching for various keywords including ‘fandom donations’ or ‘fan club donations’ on the internet, the study categorized various press releases related to the subject published between 2016 and 2020, which showed that fandom donations in 2020 reached 3.45 billion won (US$2.88 million), four times more than in 2016.

Prior to 2019, fandom donations were either led by a philanthropist cause or encouraged by a celebrity.

In contrast, fandom donations after 2019 were increasingly led by the fans themselves, setting up independent donation objectives and participating in all phases of donation, the research team explained.

“Fans have gone from being a simple group of celebrity enthusiasts to become independent actors who reflect the will of their celebrities to come up with their own goals of achievement,” said Jung Duk-hyun, a pop culture critic.

“Now, it isn’t just about one-way love from fans to celebrities. It’s about the fans and celebrities engaging in a mutual relationship.”

Lina Jang (linajang@koreabizwire.com)

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