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September 22, 2016

Daily News Roundup: Watchdog Report Contrasts Clinton and Trump Charities

GuideStar Says Clinton Foundation Is More Transparent Than Trump’s: In a new report on the charities associated with the presidential candidates, the philanthropy watchdog called both “celebrity foundations” but characterized the Clinton fund as more focused and organized in its mission and more open about its finances, McClatchy DC reports. “The two organizations reflect the perceived styles of the two candidates: one systematized, the other improvisational,” GuideStar CEO Jacob Harold wrote. He said the Donald J. Trump Foundation appears to meet the letter of Internal Revenue Service disclosure rules, but the Clinton Foundation exceeds the requirements.

In other news about the controversial foundations, Notre Dame law professor Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer writes in a CNN analysis that both organizations have “made mistakes” in blurring lines between their principals’ philanthropic, personal, and business interests but that Mr. Trump’s “distinguishes itself” in seemingly conferring “substantial return benefit” on its leader, as documented in recent weeks by The Washington Post. Former President Bill Clinton offered a lengthy, passionate defense of his foundation’s work Wednesday as the final Clinton Global Initiative meeting ended in New York, Reuters reports. Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy opinion column about the Trump Foundation.

$75 Million U. of Maryland Program to Boost Student Philanthropy: The Do Good Initiative announced by university officials Thursday will include dedicated courses in multiple departments, extracurricular activities, and other resources for students to establish and expand social ventures, campus newspaper the Diamondback reports. The program builds on the work of the university’s four-year-old Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, which will be renamed the Do Good Institute and be housed in a new public-policy center. Robert Orr, dean of the School of Public Policy, said the university expects to raise $40 million from donors for the program, of which $30 million has already been committed, and get the rest from state and campus funds.

Aid Charity Teams With Toyota to Bolster Disaster Relief: Zack Rosenburg, co-founder and CEO of SBP, writes in Quartz about how his nonprofit applied the tools and culture of the car maker’s vaunted production process to its recovery efforts in disaster zones. Mr. Rosenburg and his SBP partner met Toyota executives at a 2011 Clinton Global Initiative session and partnered with the company to implement its system of kaizen, or continuous improvement, at the charity. That and other changes have markedly improved the speed and efficiency of SBP’s home building in disaster-hit areas, and it is now training other relief charities to adopt the system, he writes. Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article about how SBP, formerly the St. Bernard Project, applied Toyota’s techniques to reconstruction work in New Orleans.

Football Success Brings Fundraising Windfall at Clemson: The South Carolina university is flush with cash and blooming with major construction projects as its ascent to the top ranks of college football draws big donors and increased enrollment, The Washington Post writes. Clemson, which played for the national championship last season, raised more than $92 million in fiscal 2016, up from $55.5 million in 2010, and its athletics booster foundation has increased revenue from $32.3 million to $56.8 million since 2014. “We’re a lucky institution. We’ve got a hot brand right now,” said Brian O’Rourke, vice president for development and alumni. But experts on collegiate-sports finances question whether cashing in on on-field success with major facilities upgrades benefits institutions in the long term.

New Insurer Pledges to Donate Unused Claim Funds: Lemonade, a start-up in the burgeoning field of peer-to-peer insurance, is aiming to shake up the industry model with an approach that ties premiums to giving, writes the Financial Times. The company, soon to start offering home policies, asks people to select a charity from a preset list when they buy insurance and pools the premiums of all customers who choose that organization. Claims are paid out of those pools, with any unused funds donated to the charity at the end of the year. Company leaders said Lemonade takes a fixed 20 percent off the top so has no financial incentive to reduce or delay payouts to clients and that the charity link will make customers less likely to put in fraudulent claims.