How much does the Clinton Foundation spend on charity?
The Clinton Foundation spends 87 percent of its budget on charitable work, as our latest audited financial statements from 2014 show. The Clinton Foundation is an operating foundation, which means our programs do the charitable work on the ground themselves – on economic development, climate change, health and wellness, and empowering girls and women. We are not a grant-making organization.
Unfounded accusations – that the Foundation only spends a small amount on charity – have been disproved many, many times over by a wide range of reputable media outlets, charity watchdogs, and independent fact checkers. Politifact, FactCheck.org, CNN, the Associated Press, Politico, NBC News, and many others have repeatedly rated these claims false for over a year.
Politifact rated claims that the Foundation doesn’t spend enough money on charity “False”:
“The Clinton Foundation spends between 80-90 percent on program services, which experts say is the standard in the industry to define charitable works. It spends the majority of its money directly on projects rather than through third-party grants.”
The Associated Press also debunked this:
“Rather than send funds to other charities, the Clinton Foundation tends to spend its money on its own programs.”
How do leading charity watchdogs rate the Clinton Foundation?
The top charity watchdogs - which include Charity Navigator, the American Institute of Philanthropy's "CharityWatch," and Guidestar - all give the Clinton Foundation top ratings.
- Charity Navigator has awarded the Foundation four out of four stars;
- The American Institute of Philanthropy’s CharityWatch awarded an “A” rating, noting that the Foundation spent 89 percent of its 2013 expenses on charitable programs and activities; and
- GuideStar has given the Foundation a Platinum rating and lauded the Foundation for our "commitment to transparency.”
Do the Clintons receive any income or personal expense reimbursement from the Foundation?
No. No member of the Clinton family has ever received a salary or personal expense reimbursement from the Clinton Foundation.
What happens to the Clinton Foundation if Secretary Clinton wins the election?
We have outlined a responsible approach for the Foundation’s future if Secretary Clinton wins the election. These steps include:
- Not taking new foreign or corporate donations;
- Having President Clinton step down from the Board;
- Transitioning our international programs to existing partners or independent organizations; and
- Changing the name to “Clinton Foundation.”
Two initiatives – the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative – have announced plans to formally separate from the Foundation, and spin off into independent entities. In addition, this year’s Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting was its last.
If Secretary Clinton wins the election, the Clinton Foundation would consist of the activities of the Clinton Presidential Center and Library in Little Rock, and limited domestic programs focused on health and education that can be successful under our announced changes. CGI University will continue, and CGI staff will continue to provide advice with respect to commitment development, and update progress on existing commitments. These actions will resolve legitimate questions about conflicts of interest and allow our important work to continue.
Why don’t you make these changes before the election?
Significantly scaling back the Clinton Foundation and our programs that are helping millions of people around the world – even before we even know the outcome of the election – would be needless and irresponsible. This suggestion ignores how global philanthropy works, and the reality that there are human beings around the world who are affected by these decisions.
Like our colleagues in the NGO sector, the team at the Clinton Foundation is concerned first and foremost with improving lives. Because of the work of the Foundation and our partners over the past 15 years, more than 11.5 million people in over 70 countries now have access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS treatment, over 20 million students in the U.S. enjoy healthier food options in their schools, and the more than 150,000 farmers in East Africa can better provide for their families through more advanced training and tools.
As others in the non-profit world understand, it takes a great deal of thoughtful planning to transition the work of a global organization. We have a serious responsibility to ensure that the women and children, workers and farmers, and countless others who rely on the Foundation will continue to receive help.
Why didn’t you take these steps when Secretary Clinton was at the State Department?
Quite simply, having a family member being President requires more restrictions than a family member being Secretary of State – first and foremost, because there is no one to appeal to. The steps we took in 2009 when Secretary Clinton joined the State Department – limiting foreign donations, regular disclosures, and structural changes – were appropriate. However, if anyone disagreed with our approach, they were able to appeal to the White House. As President, there would not be a higher authority to appeal to, which is why we're taking steps above and beyond what we took at the time.
Is the Foundation a partisan, political organization?
No. Both in legal standing as a 501(c)(3) organization, and in practice, the Foundation is apolitical. As the Boston Globe noted, “The ideological variety of the foundation’s supporters shows its work is seen by even the most political people as apolitical. Many things can be said to criticize Hillary Clinton. But using the Clinton Foundation to advance her run for president isn’t one of them.” We serve only the millions of people around the world whose lives we seek to improve. In fact, the Foundation has a long tradition of working across the aisle. This has included work, first with President George H.W. Bush and later George W. Bush, in response to natural disasters in the Indian Ocean, New Orleans and Haiti; the establishment of the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program with the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation; and countless commitment makers and featured speakers at CGI.
Why do donors give to the Clinton Foundation?
Our donors know what they support, and the public knows our donors. Contributors — even if they’ve only given a couple hundred dollars — know that their support is used to efficiently and effectively make a difference in the world by supporting the life-changing work of the Foundation’s programs.
Who contributes to the Foundation? Where can I find a list of Foundation donors?
We are proud to have more than 330,000 contributors; 90% of our donations are $100 or less. Like most philanthropic organizations, the Foundation depends on contributions to pursue our work around the world.
While not required by any law, but in keeping with a long-held commitment to transparency, the Clinton Foundation has for years listed all contributors dating back to the Foundation’s beginning on our website.
When does the Clinton Foundation disclose its donors?
The Clinton Foundation publishes its donors on a quarterly basis, here: https://www.clintonfoundation.org/contributors
The Clinton Foundation has a record of transparency that goes beyond what is required of U.S. charities, including the voluntary disclosure of contributions on the Foundation's website. As Politifact noted:
There are about 1.1 million public charities like the Clinton Foundation, but only a handful are linked to presidents and presidential candidates. Experts told us the Clinton Foundation is among the most transparent in this group of charities, which, for the most part, are foundations associated with presidential libraries. (The Clinton Foundation was initially focused on Bill Clinton’s library and evolved into the organization it is today.) Anthony Clark, author of a book on presidential libraries called The Last Campaign, told us the presidential library foundations follow basic disclosure laws and therefore are notoriously opaque. He agreed that the Clinton Foundation’s transparency was "unprecedented."
For maximum transparency, for multi-year commitments or pledges, we update our donor webpage each quarter that we receive the contributions.
Is the Clinton Foundation properly registered with states?
Yes, the Clinton Foundation is registered in all states that require registration where we solicit. A listing of those states is available on our Forms 990. As Politifact has affirmed, in New York specifically, state regulators have said that we have completed the forms in compliance with the directions provided.
Are women and men equally represented and compensated at the Clinton Foundation?
Yes. The charge of inequality was analyzed and disputed by PolitiFact – it found that the people making these accusations misrepresented the issue of pay equity, cherry-picked data and reached misleading conclusions. We take pay equity and equal opportunity seriously, from both a programmatic and an operational standpoint. The issue is important to us, and it’s important to billions of women around the world who deserve equal opportunity.
At the end of 2014 (the last year covered by the allegations), 64 percent of the Foundation’s U.S.-based employees were women. Our website publicly lists our senior leadership, and at that time, listed nine women and nine men. The pay ratio for those members of senior leadership was 0.91 — comparing the median salary for females in executive leadership to the median salary for males in executive leadership.
Does the Clinton Foundation operate programs within the United States?
Yes. The Clinton Foundation works across the United States to improve health and wellness in our schools and communities, give parents the tools to stimulate brain development in early childhood, strengthen our economic competitiveness, provide opportunities to volunteer and give back, and continue President Clinton’s legacy through the Clinton Presidential Center and Library in Little Rock. This work — and our commitment to improving lives here in the United States and around the world — continues each and every day.
Our domestic work includes:
- The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association, has worked with nearly 35,000 schools in 50 states to provide more than 20 million students with healthier foods and more physical activity;
- The Clinton Health Matters Initiative is working in Mississippi, Illinois, Arkansas, Texas, California and Florida to build healthier communities and close disparity gaps in health care. It’s also working to combat prescription painkiller misuse and prevent death from opioid overdoses by making Naloxone available to schools and first responders nationwide;
- Too Small to Fail works with the faith-based community, pediatricians, community and business leaders, and Head Start educators to provide parents with resources in everyday settings to support their young children’s early brain and language development. Through our programs, 835,000 books for young children were distributed by the end of 2016;
- The Clinton Foundation Day of Action program, which creates service opportunities and mobilizes volunteers to give back to their communities — has organized more than 30 Days of Action in the U.S. and abroad, mobilizing more than 6,500 volunteers donating more than 27,000 volunteer hours;
- The Clinton Foundation also runs the Clinton Presidential Center (commonly known as the Presidential Library) in Little Rock. The Center has helped generate over $3.3 billion in economic impact in the Little Rock community, according to an October 2014 study.
In addition to these programs, the Clinton Foundation also operated CGI America, which held its last meeting this year. CGI America brought together leaders in business, philanthropy, government, and nonprofits to develop solutions that encourage continued economic growth, support long-term competitiveness, and increase social mobility in the United States — leading to more than 600 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of more than 4.9 million people.
How was Secretary Clinton involved with the Foundation and its partners while she was Secretary of State?
Secretary Clinton was not involved in the work of the Foundation when she was serving as Secretary of State. During her time in office, she attended the Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative – as did many other national and international leaders, including heads of state, U.S. Cabinet members and President Obama himself.
How are Foundation salaries funded?
All Foundation employees are paid for work through the Foundation payroll. As a former President, President Clinton has separately allocated funding for a private office and for associated costs (rent, utilities, and salaries and benefits for staff). No Foundation staff are paid for Foundation work with taxpayer dollars.
CLINTON HEALTH ACCESS INITIATIVE
What has CHAI done to improve access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS treatment around the world?
CHAI was founded in 2002 with the transformational goal of helping save the lives of millions of people living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world by dramatically scaling up antiretroviral treatment. CHAI has worked alongside governments and other partners, to lower the costs of treatment and help build the in-country systems necessary to provide lifesaving treatment to millions of people.
How is CHAI different than the Clinton Foundation?
In 2002, as part of President Clinton’s commitment to combating HIV/AIDS, he began the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, to reduce the cost of HIV/AIDS medicines and tests, and to work with governments around the world to further turn the tide on the disease by building the systems needed to deliver care and treatment. In seven short years, under the leadership of Ira Magaziner, the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative made a substantial impact in the fight against HIV/AIDS: achieving breakthrough price reductions; helping millions of people stay alive with medicines purchased under CHAI agreements with manufacturers; and serving as a trusted partner to national governments, whose own efforts made possible tremendous gains in HIV/AIDS services and public health access.
As the program matured, CHAI expanded to assist efforts to fight malaria, by lowering prices and improving access to malaria medicines. CHAI also worked with a number of governments on improving the underlying systems needed to deliver comprehensive health care. Given CHAI’s expansion and growth, in 2010 the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative became its own nonprofit organization, affiliated with the Clinton Foundation, and changed its name to the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
Does CHAI disclose its donors?
Yes – all of CHAI’s donors are publicly listed on its website. The majority of CHAI donors had previously been disclosed on the Clinton Foundation website as they were contributors to the Clinton Foundation or CHAI prior to 2010.
CLINTON FOUNDATION IN HAITI
What did the Clinton Foundation do with the money it collected after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti?
The Clinton Foundation disbursed all earthquake relief money to Haiti in full, without taking any overhead. In the wake of this disaster, President Clinton worked tirelessly to secure as much immediate relief for the country as possible. This money, which the Foundation raised from thousands of individual donors in the immediate aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, has been fully accounted for and funds were disbursed to leading non-profit organizations to support emergency relief operations. Fact checkers, such as the Washington Post, have looked into claims that money was not delivered and found them totally false.
For over four decades, President Clinton has been committed to expanding opportunity for all Haitians. President Clinton’s efforts to help the country recover continue to this day, as the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative Haiti Action Network work to put people back to work, reduce poverty, and strengthen critical sectors identified by the Haitian Government, like health and education, over six years later.
In Haiti, what types of projects does the Clinton Foundation support?
We focus on a wide range of projects that are designed to help revitalize the Haitian economy and lift the entire country, based on the priorities of the Haitian Government. Most of our work has been directed toward supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs, and farming cooperatives. For example, we are supporting agricultural cooperatives to increase crop yields, reforest land, and improve livelihoods for farmers. One of the organizations with which we partner, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance, works with over 2,000 smallholder farmers who are revitalizing traditional crops such as moringa and limes, as well as planting staple crops for local consumption and food security. These projects will improve incomes and opportunities for Haitians living in rural and often neglected parts of the country.
We also work with Haitian non-profit organizations like GHESKIO to help underserved communities gain access to first class medical care, including Haiti’s first permanent cholera treatment center. We have worked with a variety of organizations to build and solarize schools in some of Haiti’s most impoverished areas like Cite Soleil and the Lake Azeui region. Through a CGI Commitment to Action, Digicel alone has built over 150 schools in all ten departments of the country which are currently serving over 50,000 students. We also work with international investors to develop responsible anchor investment projects such as hotels and manufacturing facilities that can bring more people to Haiti for tourism and investment, and serve as important sources of new jobs and training, which provide Haitians transferrable skills.
Does the Clinton Foundation profit from projects in Haiti?
No. The Clinton Foundation's Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP) and the Clinton Foundation Haiti team have created social enterprises in the agricultural sector of Haiti, which generate financial returns that are used to make these enterprises self-sustainable so they can continue to grow and reach more beneficiaries. Neither the Clinton Foundation nor its principals profit from any future financial success of the enterprises.
CLINTON GIUSTRA ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP
What is the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership?
The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP) is pioneering an innovative approach to poverty alleviation. As impact entrepreneurs, CGEP creates new enterprises to generate both social impact and financial returns by addressing existing market gaps in developing countries’ supply or distribution chains. CGEP works to provide underserved communities access to markets, jobs, and training by incorporating individuals into one of three market-driven models – Distribution Enterprises, Supply Chain Enterprises, and Training Center Enterprises. Through these models, CGEP seeks to help people work themselves out of poverty.
What is the difference between the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership and the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada)?
The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership is an initiative of the Clinton Foundation that works to advance innovative solutions to poverty alleviation on a global scale. As an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, the work of CGEP is executed by Clinton Foundation staff experienced in global economic development.
The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) is an independent Canadian charity, which financially supports the work of the CGEP initiative. Canadian philanthropist Frank Giustra established the entity in 2007 to provide Canadian residents an opportunity to support the initiative’s work and receive a charitable tax credit. The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) does not provide general operating support to the Clinton Foundation; instead, Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) contracts with the Clinton Foundation to execute specific programs based on the Foundation’s capacity, resources, specialized skill sets, knowledge, as well as established networks needed to successfully execute economic development activities in sometimes challenging environments, and provides ongoing instruction on the use of its resources, holding CGEP accountable for reaching established goals.
Does the Clinton Foundation disclose donations made to the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada)?
No. The Clinton Foundation lists all of its contributors on the Foundation’s website, including the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) and other charitable organizations that support the Foundation’s work. Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) is an independent organization and therefore its contributions are not disclosed on the Foundation’s website, and under Canadian law, Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) is prohibited from independently disclosing its donors. Many of their top donors are publicly disclosed, with permission. For more information on CGEP Canada's policies and donors, please visit their website here.
The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership was formerly known as Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative. Why did its name change?
The Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative began in 2007 with the goal of generating economic development and poverty alleviation at scale. In 2012, the initiative took a step back to evaluate its goals and achievements, and realized that the best way to lift people out of poverty was to create activities that generated more income for marginalized individuals and increase sustainable employment opportunities. And so, in 2013, the initiative changed its name to the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership to better reflect this new approach to economic development.
CLINTON GLOBAL INTIATIVE
What is happening to CGI?
The 2016 Annual Meeting was CGI’s last annual meeting; earlier this year CGI America held its last meeting. While there will not be any more convenings, some staff will continue performing a number of roles, including providing advice with respect to commitment development and commitment improvement, and updating progress on existing commitments. CGI University will continue.
What is a CGI Commitment to Action?
Each meeting, CGI members have made Commitments to Action – new, specific, measurable plans to address issues they care about and have the ability to affect. Through their own work, CGI members are providing better access to education and healthcare, creating jobs and improving infrastructure, protecting the environment, increasing opportunity for girls and women, and marshaling resources to fight infectious diseases like Ebola or to help refugees. Read more about the impact CGI’s commitments have had here.
How does CGI collect data from its members?
As each commitment is implemented, CGI asks its commitment-makers to provide a progress update every year on their commitment. Commitment-makers report cumulative impact on the specific target metrics set when the commitment was developed, in addition to providing a variety of other qualitative data related to the commitment (summary of progress, lessons learned, best practices, etc.). The CGI Commitments staff reviews progress reports and makes that progress publically available on the CGI website and relays this collected information in year-round meetings in order to create a shared learning community and help other members explore what works and what doesn’t in addressing global challenges.
Does the Clinton Global Initiative have any political affiliations?
No. CGI is a nonpartisan initiative of the Clinton Foundation, which has brought together some of the world's best minds and most distinguished problem solvers to focus on practical, effective measures that can be taken now. These leaders come from a wide variety of political, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds, and include current and former heads of state, top business executives, preeminent scholars, and representatives of effective nongovernmental organizations.
Does CGI provide funding of any kind for commitments or organizations?
No. CGI has convened leaders to drive action through its unique model. CGI is not a grant-making program and does not provide funding directly to CGI members to carry out their work. Rather than directly implementing projects, CGI has facilitated action by helping members connect, collaborate, and make effective and measurable Commitments to Action. CGI has supported the development of commitments by facilitating dialogue, providing opportunities to identify partners, showcasing the actions taken by commitment-makers, and communicating results.
Does CGI verify the data received from commitment-makers?
All data is self-reported by CGI commitment-makers. CGI serves as a platform for companies, individuals, governments and NGOs to learn from one another’s efforts, in an effort to maximize the success of all CGI members — not as a watchdog organization to evaluate the effectiveness of a specific organization’s work on global challenges.
During the commitment development process, CGI staff work with each commitment-maker to establish target metrics that are realistic and maintain the same conservative perspective CGI takes in the reporting progress. Additionally, CGI works with the organization to confirm it has the capacity to accurately measure, evaluate and report on the impact. The commitment-maker is ultimately responsible for identifying the metrics they wish to use to measure their commitments’ impact.
What is meant by a life being "improved"?
CGI commitments each employ different approaches and strategies, address different challenges, and work in different geographies. Due to the broad spectrum of work being done, the way in which each commitment-maker measures impact is specific to that commitment. In evaluating whether a life has been “improved,” CGI relies on commitment-makers to report only when a person’s life has been positively affected socially, economically, and/or environmentally as a result of that commitment. CGI asks commitment-makers to be conservative when establishing initial goals, accounting for the organizations’ ability to accurately measure and report impact.
What is CGI University?
Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, CGI University (CGI U) was launched in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting where students, university representatives, topic experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. Throughout the year, and as a prerequisite of attending the CGI U meeting, students develop their own Commitments to Action: new, specific, and measurable initiatives that address pressing challenges on campus, in local communities, or around the world.
Since its founding, CGI U has brought together students from more than 940 schools, 145 countries, and all 50 states, and students have created more than 6,250 Commitments to Action. Through these commitments – projects and programs designed to address a challenge – young people are improving their communities and the world around them by tackling critical global challenges. Among the commitments they’ve made:
- Since starting as a CGI U commitment in 2009, Sproxil, a text messaging-based prescription drug verification program, has verified more than 15 million items.
- In 2008, CGI U students launched Soccket, a soccer ball that captures, stores and converts energy to electricity to be used as an off-grid power source in the developing world. Now operating as the social enterprise, Unchartered Play, the team has distributed more than 50,000 Soccket balls, and has created a second product, Pulse – a power-generating jump rope.
- A CGI U 2014 attendee created Lucky Iron Fish – an iron ingot that releases 75 percent of the daily recommended iron intake when used in the cooking process. To date, the Lucky Iron Fish social enterprise has distributed around 70,000 units in Myanmar, Cambodia, India, Kenya and Rwanda.
Do state or taxpayers funds go toward CGI U when it is hosted at a public university?
No. According to the schools, private donations are raised by the school to help with the cost of the event.
Do universities pay to host CGI U meetings?
Each year, schools from around the country with a commitment to civic engagement, public service and students from a wide range of backgrounds are interested in the opportunity to host CGI University. CGI U meetings have taken place at a wide range of universities – both public and private – across the United States.
So that attending CGI U is free for students, host campuses help underwrite a portion of the event. CGI does not make a profit these events and all the funding goes toward logistics and production of the event itself.
Do you disclose these universities’ contributions?
Yes. Universities that have donated to the Clinton Foundation are listed publically on our website, as are all donations to the Foundation.
For more frequently asked questions about the Clinton Global Initiative, visit https://www.clintonfoundation.org/clinton-global-initiative/about-us/frequently-asked-questions.