Republican presidential applicant Carly Fiorina says that “so little” of the accommodating donations to the Clinton Foundation “actually go to accommodating works” — a bulk CARLY for America after put at about 6 percent of its anniversary revenues — but Fiorina is artlessly wrong.
Fiorina and others are apropos alone to the bulk donated by the Clinton Foundation to alfresco charities, blank the actuality that best of the Clinton Foundation’s accommodating assignment is performed in-house. One absolute alms babysitter did an assay of Clinton Foundation allotment and concluded that about 89 percent of its allotment went to charity.
Simply put, admitting its name, the Clinton Foundation is not a clandestine foundation — which about acts as a pass-through for clandestine donations to added accommodating organizations. Rather, it is a accessible charity. It conducts best of its accommodating activities directly.
Fiorina has been shadowing Hillary Clinton on the attack aisle in adjustment to adverse herself with her Democratic rival. In a Fox Account interview, Fiorina was asked about a New York Times story about Sen. Marco Rubio’s finances, and Fiorina responded that she admired theNew York Times would do added to investigate the Clintons’ finances, and decidedly “what they’ve been accomplishing with their donors’ money to the Clinton All-around Initiative.”
Fiorina, June 10: I mean, honestly, the question, I think, now for the Clintons is, ‘What abroad don’t we know? What don’t we apperceive about your donors? What don’t we apperceive about the conflicts of absorption that those donors represent aback Mrs. Clinton is confined as Secretary of State?’ We are now award out that so little of those accommodating donations absolutely go to accommodating works.
Asked for backup, the CARLY for America cool PAC noted that the Clinton Foundation’s latest IRS Anatomy 990 shows absolute acquirement of about $149 actor in 2013, and absolute accommodating admission disbursements of about $9 actor (see folio 10). That comes to almost 6 percent of the account action to grants. And besides those grants, the cool PAC said, “there absolutely isn’t annihilation that can be categorized as charitable.”
That aloof isn’t so. The Clinton Foundation does best of its accommodating assignment itself.
Katherina Rosqueta, the founding controlling administrator of the Center for High Appulse Alms at the University of Pennsylvania, declared the Clinton Foundation as an “operating foundation.”
“There is an important acumen amid an operating foundation vs. a non-operating foundation,” Rosqueta told us via email. “An operating foundation accouterments programs so money it raises is not advised to be acclimated alone for grant-making purposes. Aback best bodies apprehend ‘foundation’, they anticipate alone of a grant-making entity. In either case, the key is to accept how able-bodied the foundation uses money — whether to apparatus programs or to admission out to nonprofits — [to achieve] the advised amusing appulse (e.g., convalescent education, creating livelihoods, convalescent health, etc.).”
Craig Minassian, arch communications administrator for the Clinton Foundation, said the Clinton Foundation is “an implementer.”
“We accomplish programs on the ground, about the world, that are authoritative a aberration on issues alignment from abjection and all-around bloom to altitude change and women’s and girls’ participation,” Minassian told us via email. “Many ample foundations absolutely accommodate grants to the Clinton Foundation so that our agents can apparatus the work.”
Asked for some examples of the assignment it performs itself, the Clinton Foundation listed these:
To ster its case, CARLY for America noted that the Clinton Foundation spent 12 percent of its acquirement on biking and conferences and 20 percent of its acquirement on salaries. That’s true. But the Form 990 specifically break out those travel, appointment and bacon costs that are acclimated for “program account expenses” against those that are acclimated for administration or fundraising purposes.
For example, about 77 percent of the $8.4 actor spent on biking in 2013 went against affairs services; 3.4 percent went to “management and accepted expenses”; and about 20 percent went to fundraising.
As for conferences, about 98 percent of money spent was called as a programming expense. And aback it comes to salaries — which includes alimony plan contributions, allowances and bulk taxes — about 73 percent went to affairs account expenses.
“I am not the able on what allocation of the Clinton Foundation activities are absolutely charitable,” Vince Stehle, controlling administrator of Media Appulse Funders and a lath affiliate of the Center for Effective Philanthropy told us via email. “But I can say that it is not adapted to artlessly account that based on what allocation goes out in grants. Absolutely all types of foundations are able to appoint in absolute accommodating activities in any event. But as I accept it, the Clinton Foundation is a accessible charity, admitting the name. Abounding charities alarm themselves foundations, which can be confusing, as they ability accept like clandestine foundations.
“The alignment carries out programs,” Stehle said. “I am not carefully accustomed with those programs, but d they are genuine, those would be advised accommodating activities.”
Fiorina isn’t the alone one making this allegation about the Clinton Foundation. Fox Business Network’s Gerri Willis, for example, additionally claimed alone 6 percent of the Clinton Foundation’s 2013 acquirement “went to advice people.” Willis claimed that alms experts accept looked into whether the Clinton Foundation “wisely spen(t) accommodating dollars” and advised in with a “resounding no.”
“Charity Navigator … [has] placed the Clinton Foundation on a watch list,” Willis said. “They anticipate there are problems with this nonprofit. They don’t like the way it runs itself. They say the money is not spent wisely.”
She said Alms Navigator assured the Clinton Foundation “does not accommodated their belief as an alignment that does accommodating work.”
But that’s not what Alms Navigator said.
Here’s what the Alms Navigator armpit actually states:
Charity Navigator: We had ahead evaluated this organization, but accept aback bent that this charity’s aberant business archetypal can not be accurately captured in our accepted appraisement methodology. Our abatement of The Clinton Foundation from our armpit is neither a accusation nor an endorsement of this charity. We assets the appropriate to reinstate a appraisement for The Clinton Foundation as anon as we analyze a appraisement alignment that appropriately captures its business model.
What does it beggarly that this alignment isn’t rated?
It artlessly agency that the alignment doesn’t accommodated our criteria. A abridgement of a appraisement does not announce a absolute or abrogating appraisal by Alms Navigator.
We batten by buzz with Sandra Minuitti at Alms Navigator, and she told us Alms Navigator absitively not to bulk the Clinton Foundation because the foundation spun off some entities (chiefly the Bloom Admission Initiative) and afresh after brought some, like the Clinton All-around Initiative, aback into the fold. Alms Navigator looks at a charity’s achievement over time, she said, and those spin-offs could aftereffect in a skewed account application its analysis model. If the foundation maintains its accepted anatomy for several years, she said, Alms Navigator will be able to bulk it again.
The accommodation to abstain a appraisement had annihilation to do with apropos about the Clinton Foundation’s accommodating work. Further, Minuitti said citation alone the 6 percent of the account spent on grants as the sum absolute spent on alms by the foundation — as Willis and Fiorina did — is inaccurate.
She referred us to folio 10 of the 2013 990 form for the Clinton Foundation. Aback because the bulk spent on “charitable work,” she said, one would attending not aloof at the bulk in grants accustomed to added charities, but all of the costs in Cavalcade B for affairs services. That comes to 80.6 percent of spending. (The college 89 percent bulk we cited beforehand comes from a CharityWatch assay of the Clinton Foundation and its affiliates.)
“That’s the accepted way” to admeasurement a charity’s performance, Minuitti said. “You accept to attending at the absoluteness of that column.”
Minuitti said it is additionally inaccurate to accept all money spent on biking and salaries does not go against charity. Depending on the attributes of the charity, she said, biking and bacon could absolutely be advised costs accompanying to charity.
It’s true, as Willis said, that Alms Navigator put the Clinton Foundation on its “watch list,” but not because of apropos about bereft funds action against charity. Mainly, it was put on the watch account due to questions aloft in the media about adopted donations to the foundation and the abeyant for quid pro quo aback Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. The armpit additionally affiliated to a adventure about the brusque abandonment beforehand this year of the foundation’s CEO. (Go here to see a abounding account of accessories that led to the accommodation by Alms Navigator to abode the foundation on its watch list.)
According to the Alms Navigator site, it “takes no position” on the allegations aloft in the media reports, nor does it “seek to affirm or verify the accurateness of allegations fabricated or the affirmation of issues raised.” Minuitti said the watch account was added like “news to know” for abeyant donors.
None of the accessories cited by Alms Navigator has annihilation to do with a low allotment of allotment action to accommodating work.
Another alms watchdog, CharityWatch, a activity of the American Institute of Philanthropy, gave the Clinton Foundation an “A” rating.
Daniel Borochoff, admiral and architect of CharityWatch, told us by buzz that its assay of the affairs of the Clinton Foundation and its affiliates begin that about 89 percent of the foundation account is spent on programming (or “charity”), college than the 75 percent advised the industry standard.
By alone attractive at the bulk the Clinton Foundation doled out in grants, Fiorina “is assuming her abridgement of compassionate of accommodating organizations,” Borochoff said. “She’s cerebration of the Clinton Foundation as a clandestine foundation.” Those kinds of foundations are about accurate by money from a few people, and the money is afresh broadcast to assorted charities. The Clinton Foundation, however, is a accessible charity, he said. It mostly does its own accommodating work. It has over 2,000 advisers worldwide.
“What she’s accomplishing is attractive at how abounding grants they address to added groups,” Borochoff said. “If you are action to attending at it that way, you may as able-bodied criticize every added operating alms on the planet.”
In adjustment to get a fuller account of the Clinton Foundation’s operations, he said, bodies charge to attending at the foundation’s consolidated audit, which includes the banking abstracts on abstracted affiliates like the Clinton Bloom Admission Initiative.
“Otherwise,” he said, “you are attractive at aloof a allotment of the pie.”
Considering all of the organizations affiliated with the Clinton Foundation, he said, CharityWatch concluded about 89 percent of its account is spent on programs. That’s the bulk it spent on alms in 2013, he said.
We looked at the circumscribed banking statements (see folio 4) and affected that in 2013, 88.3 percent of spending was appointed as action against affairs casework — $196.6 actor out of $222.6 actor in appear expenses.
We can’t vouch for the capability of the programming costs listed in the report, but it is bright that the affirmation that the Clinton Foundation alone steers 6 percent of its donations to alms is wrong, and amounts to a confounding of how accessible charities work.
— Robert Farley
FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to abate the akin of bamboozlement and abashing in U.S. politics. Based in Philadelphia, FactCheck monitors the absolute accurateness of what is said by above U.S. political players in the anatomy of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and account releases. Its ambition is to administer the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to access accessible ability and understanding. Find a account of FactCheck.org funders here.
Published: June 23, 2015 — 11:26 AM EDT
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