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September 12, 2016

Daily News Roundup: How Trump Foundation Spends Other People’s Money

Trump Used His Foundation to Claim Credit for Others' Charity: The Washington Post details a pattern in recent years in which the Donald J. Trump Foundation collected funds from other donors and then made gifts the real-estate developer implied were from him. The Republican presidential nominee created the foundation in 1987 but last donated to it in 2008; it has subsisted since then on contributions from other people, transforming it “from a standard-issue rich person’s philanthropy into a charity that allowed a rich man to be philanthropic for free,” the Post writes. Philanthropy experts described the organization’s functioning as highly unusual for a family foundation.

Chelsea Clinton Plans to Stay on Family Charity’s Board: The former and possibly future first daughter said in an interview that she will retain a leadership role with the Clinton Foundation even if her mother becomes president, reports ABC News. “For now, I’ll certainly stay on the board,” she said in an appearance on ABC’s The View. Ms. Clinton said she wants to ensure the foundation’s work continues in the absence of her father, former President Bill Clinton, who has pledged to leave the organization if Hillary Clinton is elected to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest. (Read  Chronicle of Philanthropy article on the Clinton Foundation’s future.)

U. of Louisville Board Threatens to Sue Campus Foundation: The board voted to sue the university's nonprofit fundraising arm unless it restructures and submits to a forensic audit of its finances, reports The Courier-Journal. The University of Louisville Foundation has come under scrutiny for its spending and ties to ex-university President James Ramsey, who still serves as the nonprofit’s president, and donors have threatened to cut off support. The two entities’ boards remain in disagreement over the nature of the audit and the terms of Mr. Ramsey’s separation from the foundation.

World Vision Suspends Gaza Aid Work Amid Israeli Charges: The Christian aid charity has laid off about 120 contract employees in the Gaza Strip, saying it can no longer pay them because its bank accounts in Israel have been frozen by authorities, Reuters reports. World Vision’s Gaza director, Mohammad El Halabi, has been charged by Israeli security officials with diverting tens of millions of dollars in charity funds to Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Palestinian enclave. "Because of the crisis, we have frozen all our activities in Gaza,” the charity, which has disputed the allegations, wrote in a letter to workers.

Iran Hands Down 5-Year Sentence for British Charity Worker: A judge in Tehran sentenced Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Iran-born British national working for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, to five years in prison on a charge of sedition, writes The Wall Street Journal. Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager for the Britain-based media charity, was arrested in April while visiting family in Iran. She has denied the charges. She is one of at least seven dual nationals detained in Iran in the past year as alleged spies.

Medical Charity Sues Hospital Over Donor Agreement: The Sophia’s Cure Foundation is claiming in court that Nationwide Children’s Hospital violated a donor pact by shutting it out of potential revenue from research the muscular-dystrophy charity helped fund, Courthouse News Service reports. The foundation claims the Columbus, Ohio, institution revoked a promise that the charity would be a “primary sponsor” of the new treatment and instead conferred that status on a pharmaceutical company with ties to a hospital faculty member. Nationwide Children’s denied the allegation.

Star-Studded Annual Antipoverty Concert Adds India Show: The Global Citizen Festival, an annual benefit headlined by some of the biggest names in music, will expand internationally with a November 19 edition in Mumbai, The New York Times reports. Most tickets to the festival are given away to people who complete activism goals set out by its sponsor, the Global Poverty Project. Jay Z and Coldplay will headline the India concert, which will also feature several Bollywood stars. The fifth Global Citizen Festival in Central Park will be held on September 24 with Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and Metallica topping the bill.