The interest on the part of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in the charitable giving of Bill and Hillary Clinton continued today with the annual rundown of the activities of their private family foundation.
The latest available public tax documents, for 2018, showed the Clintons put $1.1 million into the foundation and gave away almost $2 million to a variety of non-profits, with about half the giving in Arkansas. The Clintons departed as residents in late 1992. About $800,000 went to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which supports the activities at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock as well as other endeavors worldwide.
The family foundation reported at the end of 2018 that it still had $1.4 million in assets. (At the end of 2017, the larger Clinton Foundation had $329 million in assets after a year in which it reported revenue of $56.8 million and expenses of about $60 million.)
In short, there doesn’t seem to be much out of the ordinary to see here except significant continuing philanthropy, including in their former home state, by a couple who still enjoy significant income.
The report prompted a thought: Wouldn’t it be interesting to see similar detailed annual reporting on the private family foundations, when they exist, of other prominent wealthy Arkansans and their other charitable efforts? Many familiar Arkansas names aren’t in evidence if you search guidestar.org for such foundations.
Some gifts are not made through foundations, of course, so that’s not a comprehensive assessment of philanthropy, though it is a start. Another factor in the subject is the Trump tax cut and the limits it included on deductions for charity. The verdict is still out on how much that might depress charitable giving, already paltry in the case of some rich people. For example:
Here’s how much of their wealth the 10 richest Americans gave to charity in 2018:
D. Koch: 0.1%
C. Koch: 0.5%
Billionaire philanthropy will not save us. Tax the rich.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) January 3, 2020