The Clinton Foundation

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The Clinton Foundation is a Little Rock, Arkansas-based non-profit 501(c)(3) “operating foundation” (rather than a personally endowed “private foundation”) that accepts public donations and operates programs in more than 40 countries on six continents and in all 50 United States.

Since 2004 the Foundation has given $140,790,150 in eight major areas: Climate Change; Health; Economic Development; Workforce Development; Community Development; Sustainable Development; HIV/AIDS; and Malaria. The foundation does not respond to unsolicited applications for funding. Since a reorganization in 2001, the Clinton Foundation has raised close to $2 billion from “a vast global network that includes corporate titans, political donors, foreign governments and other wealthy interests,” according to a Washington Post review of public records. Critics have highlighted the foundation’s ongoing reliance on foreign governments’ support and question Hillary Clinton’s independence as secretary of state and as a possible president. The erratic actions of Chelsea Clinton since she joined the Foundation’s board in 2011 has further deepened concern about its legitimacy.

Most Clinton Foundation money stays in-house and little goes to charitable grants. Its 2013 IRS Form 990 shows only $8,865,052 for paid grants, while salaries, fundraising and internal expenses total $84,684,494; that is, only between 10 and 15 per cent of the Foundation’s spending goes for grants to charities. The Foundation’s much-admired projects are operated through hired staff and partnerships with like-minded individuals, organizations, corporations, and governments. The Foundation’s six highest paid officers receive total annual compensation of $2.9 million; 35 employees and 34 contractors are paid more than $100,000 annually.

Money

  • Clinton Foundation financial assets were $277.8 million in 2013
  • Clinton Foundation’s income in 2013 was $148.9 million.
  • Clinton Foundation’s grants paid in 2013 were $8.8 million.

Political Contributions Includes contributions from the foundation’s employees, their family members, and its political action committee.

  • Campaign Finance $85,190 given 1989 – 2014.
    • Hillary Clinton (D) $38,265
    • Alexander Giannoulias (D-IL) $7,200
    • Kendrick B. Meek (D-FL) $5,600
    • Barack Obama (D) $5,575
    • Jim Himes (D-CT) $4,750
    • Jay K. Footlik (D-IL) $4,300
    • Mark Pryor (D-AR) $3,000
    • Joe Lieberman (D-CT) $2,000
    • Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D) $2,000
    • Mark Murphy (D-NY) $2,000
  • Top PAC Recipients
    • DNC Services Corp $1,250
    • PAC to the Future $1,000
    • Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee $250

Power

  • The Clinton Foundation was mentioned in regulatory recommendations to 18 federal dockets

Background & History

The Clinton Foundation was originally founded as the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation in 1998 in Little Rock, Arkansas with $3,083,429 revenue and net assets of $2,930,220. Its purpose statement said, “The Foundation solicits and accepts gifts or bequests of money or property for the purpose of construction and initially endowing the Presidential Archival Facility, and for the purpose of constructing and maintaining related research and educational facilities and activities.”

In 2005, the name was changed to the William J. Clinton Foundation with $82,434,760 revenue and net assets of $161,751,743. Its new statement was, “The mission of the William J. Clinton Foundation is to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. To advance this mission, the Clinton Foundation has developed programs and partnerships in the following areas:

  • Health Security
  • Economic Empowerment
  • Leadership Development and Citizen Service
  • Racial, Ethnic and Religious Reconciliation.

In 2012 the name was changed to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation with $54,712,950 revenue and net assets of $183,590,035. Its new statement was, THE CLINTON FOUNDATION WORKS TO IMPROVE GLOBAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS, INCREASE OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS, REDUCE CHILDHOOD OBESITY, CREATE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AND GROWTH, AND HELP COMMUNITIES ADDRESS THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

An office was established in New York City.

The complex and tangled structure of the Clinton Foundation encompasses:

  • the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI, $39,078,681 income sincespun off into a separate but related organization in 2010),
  • the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI, $11,134,069 income since split off after 2009 but reintegrated after 2013),
  • Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU, income $1,196,356),
  • the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI income $8,311,000), t
  • the Clinton Development Initiative (CDI, no income data), the Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative (no income data),
  • the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (no income data),
  • the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI – no income data),
  • the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (no income data),
  • and the No Ceilings Project (no income data).

Financial Information

Foundation Network

The foundation has relied most heavily on seven donors that have each given more than $25 million, including the Radcliffe Foundation, established in Toronto, Canada, by Canadian mining and filmmaking magnate Frank Giustra; the national lottery of Holland; and Chicago-based Democratic donor Fred Eychaner. Major donors giving at lower levels run the gamut of industries and interests, such as the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, beverage giant Coca-Cola, and the governments of Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Foundation grants not including government, corporate or individual donations are substantial. IRS records show that 142 foundations gave 229 grants totaling $21,706,024 to the Foundation.
Ten top foundation donors:

Granting Foundation Total Amount
CLINTON FAMILY FOUNDATION $2,297,000
ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION $1,802,484
THE M.A.C. GLOBAL FOUNDATION $1,125,000
PRITZKER FAMILY FOUNDATION $1,110,000
GENERAL MOTORS FOUNDATION INC $684,455
GLOBAL IMPACT $532,147
DEUTSCHE BANK AMERICAS FOUNDATION $498,000
KRESGE FOUNDATION $300,500
WELLS FARGO FOUNDATION $200,000
ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY FOUNDATION $125,438

The Clinton Foundation has given 99 grants to 84 recipients totaling $140,790,150.
Ten top recipients of Clinton Foundation grants:

Recipient Total Amount
NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION $43,200,000
CLINTON BUSH HAITI FUND $37,188,311
BUSH CLINTON KATRINA FUND $30,082,400
AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION $4,352,233
CLINTON HEALTH ACCESS INITIATIVE $4,000,000
ALLIANCE FOR A HEALTHIER GENERATION $3,996,197
CLINTON FOUNDATION AIDS INITIATIVE $1,999,082
UNITED STATES FUND FOR UNICEF $750,000
JP HAITIAN RELIEF ORGANIZATION $500,000
GLOBAL FAIRNESS INSTITUTE $500,000

Network Interactions

Follow this link to explore the Clinton Foundation’s interactions with donors, organizations, activists and influentials.

Follow this link to explore foreign support for the Clinton Foundation.

Controversies

Hillary’s Senate confirmation hearing and conflicts of interest

In 2009’s Senate confirmation hearing on Hillary Clinton’s nomination as Secretary of State, then-Sen. Richard G. Lugar (Ind.), who was the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the foundation “a unique complication that will have to be managed with great care and transparency” and called on the organization not to take any new foreign-government money while Clinton was serving as secretary of state.

Then-Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), the committee’s chairman at the time, called Lugar’s concerns a “legitimate question.” Kerry, who succeeded Clinton as secretary of state, suggested the potential at least for appearance problems if her official duties seemed to coincide with her husband’s fundraising efforts.

“If you are traveling to some country and you meet with the foreign leadership and a week later or two weeks later or three weeks later the president travels there and solicits a donation and they pledge to give at some point in the future but nobody knows, is there an appearance of a conflict?” Kerry asked.

The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership’s collusion dispute

In June 2007, Canadian mining and filmmaking magnate Frank Giustra launched the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership with U.S. President Bill Clinton, an innovative partnership between William J. Clinton Foundation, the private sector, governments, local communities, and other NGOs.  Immediately after the partnership was established, at a meeting with Clinton at the Clinton Foundation’s offices in Harlem, Giustra and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim each committed $100 million to the Foundation.

According to the Nonprofit Quarterly, prior to the Giustra donation, Clinton secretly accompanied Giustra to Kazakhstan to broker an introduction for him to the country’s execrable near-dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev. During the trip, Clinton endorsed the spectacularly undemocratic Nazarbayev to head an international body to monitor elections and support democracy, boosting Nazarbayev’s scant democratic credentials, and subsequently Giustra landed a “monster deal” that gives his company exclusive rights to buy into the country’s burgeoning uranium mining industry. Clinton’s representatives said he did nothing in the meetings with Nazarbayev other than observe, but the sequence of actions is striking. Even then, Giustra followed up the Kazakhstan deal with a $31 million to the foundation.

Foreign Government donations

Donations from countries with complicated diplomatic, military and financial relationships with the U.S. government, including Kuwait, Qatar and Oman, were banned when Hillary Clinton became the U.S. Secretary of State. A review of foundation disclosures shows that at least two foreign governments — Germany and the United Arab Emirates — began giving in 2013 after the funding restrictions lapsed when Clinton left the Obama administration. Other nations that donated included Australia, Norway and the Dominican Republic. Some foreign governments that had been supporting the foundation before Clinton was appointed, such as Saudi Arabia, which had given between $10 million and $25 million, did not give while she was in office and have since resumed donating.

Nations visited by Hillary Clinton and donations to Foundation

Country Amount given
Australia (Australian Government Overseas Aid) $10 million to $25 million
Dominican Republic (COPRESIDA-Secretariado Tecnico) $10 million to $25 million
Norway $10 million to $25 million
Saudi Arabia $10 million to $25 million
Kuwait $5 million to $10 million
Brunei $1 to $5 million
China (Taiwan Economic & Cultural Office) $1 to $5 million
Oman $1 to $5 million
Qatar $1 to $5 million
Algeria $250,001-$500,000
Italy (Italian Ministry for the Environment) $50,000-$100,000
Jamaica $50,000-$100,000


Chelsea Clinton disrupts Foundation’s operation

In July 2013, the board of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation approved a salary of more than $395,000, plus bonus, for its new Yale-educated CEO, Eric Braverman, who had worked with Chelsea Clinton at the prestigious McKinsey & Company consultancy. The former first daughter pulled strings so Braverman could help her impose McKinsey-like management rigor to a foundation that had grown into a $2 billion charitable powerhouse.
Just a year and a half after Braverman arrived, he abruptly resigned, and Politico reported that his exit stemmed partly from a power struggle inside the foundation between and among the coterie of Clinton loyalists who have surrounded the former president for decades and who helped start and run the foundation. Some, including the president’s old Arkansas lawyer Bruce Lindsey, who preceded Braverman as CEO, raised concerns directly to Bill Clinton about the reforms implemented by Braverman, and felt themselves marginalized by the growing influence of Chelsea Clinton and the new CEO she had helped recruit. What played out over the past two years at the foundation was the story of Chelsea Clinton’s rise. Now 35 and with the official title of vice chair at the foundation, her power now cannot be overstated: no major decisions occur without her input.

George Stephanopoulos undisclosed $75,000 contribution to Clinton Foundation revealaed

In May, 2015, ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos admitted he had given $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation and did not publicly disclose it while reporting on the Clintons or their nonprofit organization, the On Media blog revealed. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, Stephanopoulos made $25,000 donations to the Foundation.

Charity Navigator adds Clinton Foundation to Charity Watch List

The New Jersey–based nonprofit charity watchdog organization, Charity Navigator, has demoted the Clinton Foundation to its Charity Watch List because there is no methodology to rate its unusual financial practices. An article in New York Magazine said The Navigator was dubbed the “most prominent” nonprofit watchdog by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and is a powerful and feared player in the nonprofit world. The Navigator was founded in 2002, now ranks more than 8,000 charities and is known for its independence. The Clinton Foundation objected, but Navigator editors said it needs to publicly address the revelations made by reliably-sourced media outlets if they ever want off the CN Watchlist.