Nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator issued a four-star ranking Thursday for the Clinton Foundation, giving the embattled charity the top grade for financial health and accountability, reports the Associated Press. The high marks come eight months after the evaluator removed the foundation from its “watch list,” on which the charity had been placed in March 2015 amid media scrutiny of its fundraising from foreign governments.
Charity Navigator rates more than 8,300 nonprofits annually based on fiscal and other criteria that were revised earlier this year. The new Clinton Foundation rating, prompted by the charity’s emergence as a hot-button topic in the presidential campaign, is based on tax filings and does not reflect the controversies over the foundation’s contacts with the State Department when it was led by Hillary Clinton. Charity Navigator was a member from 2012 to 2014 of the foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative, through which it committed to spend $2 million over four years to expand and improve its nonprofit reviews.
Bill Clinton’s staff used taxpayer money allocated to ex-presidents under federal law to subsidize some Clinton Foundation operations, according to a Politico review of government records related to the disbursements. Money from the General Services Administration was put toward servers and other IT equipment used by the foundation and to supplement the pay of longtime Clinton aides who worked for both his personal office and his charity. The investigation reveals no illegalities but illustrates the overlap among the Clintons’ political, business, and philanthropic orbits, Politico writes.
Questions over whether Clinton Foundation supporters got access to or favorable treatment from Ms. Clinton’s State Department carry lessons for politicians who launch philanthropic groups during or after their time in office, and to donors who may want to support them, Bloomberg BNA writes.