Oprah began the charity in 1998 and encouraged both her celebrity friends and her legion of fans to donate money to the charity. She paid the administrative costs so that all funds raised went directly toward the appropriate causes. Nearly 150,000 donors have given money to the network and according to the Angel Network website the charity has awarded funds to hundreds of organizations in the United States and in more than 30 countries around the world.
Oprah's new cable network, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, will continue to highlight charitable organizations in the years ahead. Oprah's two private philanthropies, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation will both remain active. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that Oprah Winfrey donated more than $41 million last year and was ranked No. 25 on The Chronicle's most-recent annual Philanthropy 50, which compiles the total annual giving by America's biggest philanthropists.