J.K. Rowling Donates $30 Million to Help Disadvantaged Children

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has donated the proceeds from the sale of her Potter spin-off, The Tales of Beedle the Bard — some £18.9 million (approximately $30 million) — to Lumos, a charity she established in 2005 to help children in Central and Eastern Europe who are poor, disabled, or from an ethnic minority, the Daily Record and Sunday Mail reports.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard was the biggest selling book of 2008, with 856,000 copies sold in the UK and some 10 million copies sold globally. In addition to the Harry Potter author's recent gift, Lumos's accounts show an additional £5.4 million in gifts from anonymous private donors — believed to be Rowling herself. To date, the charity, which works in Ukraine, Bulgaria, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Serbia, and Moldova, has helped return more than seven thousand orphans and disabled children to their families. Named for a magic spell from the Potter series, Lumos is looking to expand globally and will spend at least £18 million on programming over the next five years.

"This is possible as a result of countries in Central and Eastern Europe now demonstrating the political will to develop and implement plans for deinstitutionalization," the charity said in a statement. "The successful example of Lumos influencing [European Commission] funding is being used to target other major international donors. This year, work will begin to negotiate with the U.S. government and other funders, such as the World Bank."

Toby McDonald. "JK Rowling Donates £25 Million Harry Potter Book Money to Aid Eastern European Children." Daily Record and Sunday Mail 11/10/2013.