Elsewhere online
September 26, 2016

Daily News Roundup: Questions About Trump’s Giving Predate Presidential Run

Questions About Trump’s Philanthropy Predate Current Election, Reports Say: The website the Smoking Gun and others had raised questions about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s charity long before the 2016 election, The New Yorker writes. In April 2011, when Mr. Trump was mulling a presidential run, the website found that from 1990 to 2009, he had donated just $3.7 million to his private foundation — an average of $185,000 per year. As other wealthy people tend to donate more, the website wrote that Mr. Trump “may be the least charitable billionaire in the United States.” The New York Times also writes about what it terms Mr. Trump’s reluctant approach to philanthropy, quoting people at various organizations who say he declined requests for support, including a military school he attended and praised that was in financial stress and close to closing. 

Opinion: Taxpayers and Small Donors, not Mega-Philanthropists, Will End Disease: Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan’s pledge of $3 billion to fund efforts to eradicate all disease by the end of the century likely will play a small role in such an effort, writes Linsey McGoey, a lecturer at the University of Essex and frequent commentator on philanthropy, in The Guardian. The amount equals less than 1 percent of the U.S. government’s budget for health research and is also much less than Great Britain spends on such work, Ms. McGoey notes. Given that, and the fact that large grant makers like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation represent only a portion of charitable giving annually, she says it will likely be the smaller donors and taxpayers who foot most of the bill for medical breakthroughs, not super-donors like Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Chan.

Quiet Billionaire Gives Big to African-Americans Causes: Robert Smith, a media-shy private-equity tycoon, has long been quietly funding nonprofits that focus on African-American culture, human rights, and education through his Fund II Foundation, writes The Washington Post. In a rare interview, the billionaire financier touched on his philanthropy, his business, and his views on issues concerning African-Americans. The Austin-based chief executive of the technology-focused Vista Equity Partners gave $20 million to the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, making him the second-largest donor to the museum behind Oprah Winfrey.

Bay Area Socialite and Museum Leader Defiant in Face of Criticism
: Philanthropist Dede Wilsey tells The New York Times that she has not resigned as board president of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and will never do so. “You can’t beat me. You will see me prevail. That’s what you will see,” said Ms. Wilsey, who became embroiled last year in a controversy over payments she approved to a former employee of the arts institution and who was reported in July to be stepping down. Former trustees have criticized her management style, with one saying she ran the organization “like a personal fiefdom.” Ms. Wilsey said she will work to share some of her management responsibility with the museum group’s six other trustees, saying she has advocated such a division of authority for years.

Chinese Web Billionaire Promises 2% of Firm's Profits to Charity: Noting new Chinese laws that ease online charitable giving, Internet mogul Pony Ma Huateng said his company, Tencent, will donate 2 percent of its annual profits, Reuters reports. As of September 1 China allows people to give online on 13 approved platforms, including one run by Tencent, which operates the country's largest social-media network. Mr. Ma topped a list of the China's biggest donors last year and earlier this year gave $2.1 billion in Tencent stock to the company's foundation. Tencent reported profits of about $4.37 billion last year and said it donated just under $72 million, or 1.6 percent.

Gift from “First Ladies" of Texas Instruments Names Top Job at United Way Arm: Margaret McDermott, the 104-year-old widow of the electronics company's co-founder, and Mary Templeton, the wife of its current chief executive, have developed an enduring friendship centered in part on philanthropy in North Texas, writes the Dallas Morning News. Now they've partnered on a $2 million gift to the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas's current capital campaign that establishes the charity's head as the McDermott-Templeton President and Chief Executive Officer. Jennifer Sampson, who now holds the position, befriended the women after soliciting a donation from them and frequently accompanies the donors, both of whom are physically disabled, to museums, arts shows, and other cultural outings.