The release of George’s 1973 album entitled Living in the Material World coincided with the creation of his own charitable foundation. The royalties from that album – including the single “Give Me Love” – were donated by George in perpetuity, to the Material World Foundation.
George established the Foundation to encourage the exploration of alternate and diverse forms of artistic expression, life views and philosophies as well as a way to support established charities and people with special needs. In the autumn of 1973, the first project of the foundation was the Ravi Shankar Music Festival, which brought together renowned Indian classical musicians to perform and record compositions especially created by Ravi Shankar.
Since its inception, the Material World Foundation has supported hundreds of individuals and organizations many of which can be seen around this page. The Foundation in some cases has literally transformed people’s lives and in others has made life more bearable in the face of extreme suffering and adversity.
Even though George passed on from this material world in 2001, his charitable work has continued. In response to an outpouring of emotion by fans and friends, “My Sweet Lord” was re-released in 2002. The profits from that single benefited: Médicins Sans Frontières, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Macmillan Nurses, National Deaf Children’s Society, NSPCC and others.
Proceeds from the sale of the Concert for George DVD and CD have been (and will continue to be) donated to the Foundation. It was George’s wish that his music and legacy should carry on supporting the Material World Foundation and in turn help others.
Olivia and The Material World Foundation were honoured by The Achievable Foundation in Los Angeles on Saturday 19th October.
Olivia giving her acceptance speech at the Achievable Gala
Upon accepting this honour Olivia said: Achievable is a place for families. Its core goal is to help not only the individual, but the entire family, however large or small who need support and respite and advice and a caring environment. That is what Ted and Danise needed and they had to create it for their family and in turn, for others… They created a place where every effort is made to help each individual realise their own unique potential.… What they have created for this community I can only compare to the Buddhist practice that we don’t just pray for our own enlightenment but for the enlightenment of all sentient beings. What Danise and Ted have done is a perfect example of that dharma. It has been a lesson for me.
Artist Dane Capo presenting Olivia with a portrait of George alongside Achievable Foundation Vice President, Ted Tannenbaum
Achievable, a non-profit community health center focusing on individuals with developmental disabilities and other vulnerable populations, honoured Olivia and the Foundation alongside the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Fellow Honorees from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Find out more about Achievable here: achievable.org
On April 8th, Olivia Harrison returned to Brown University to meet three of the four student recipients of the Harrison Family Scholarship.
Established by The Material World foundation in 2002, the scholarship gives preference to international students, particularly those from India and Mexico.
Urmila Chadayammuri, Physics major – Class of 2013
Pathikrit “Po” Bhattacharyya, Geology/Biology Major – Class of 2014
Javier Flores Kim, Biology Major – Class of 2015
“I had a wonderfully stimulating afternoon meeting Po, Javier and Urmila,” Olivia enthused. “In the few hours we were together time and space were filled with vibrant conversation, weaving in, out and to the edge of their subjects; to life and the familiar but continually surprising realization: that we are all really connected.
I was truly inspired by their openness, curiosity, humour, gratitude and enthusiasm. These engaging students are taking every opportunity, as Javier expressed on their behalf, ‘to realize [their] potential’.
The Material World Foundation is proud of our association with Brown University and wish these students the very best for the future.”
CHARITIES WE SUPPORT