SPECIAL REPORT
June 30, 2016

From the Archives: A Look Back at the Philanthropy of Trump and Clinton

Bettman, Getty Images; MARIO TAMA/AFP/Getty Images

With scrutiny of the charitable work of Donald Trump and Hillary and Bill Clinton flying high on the 2016 presidential campaign trail, we decided to mine our archives for insight into the political contenders’ philanthropy. 

Twenty-six years ago, The Chronicle of Higher Education published an in-depth look at Mr. Trump’s charitable giving. Some of the analysis proved optimistic in terms of Mr. Trump’s potential to be an important new force for philanthropy. Other parts would prove more prescient. 

The Chronicle of Philanthropy took a look at the beginnings of the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton family’s early forays into philanthropy-backed global development. With Bill Clinton at the helm, that work expanded dramatically through the 2000s but has produced plenty of controversy with questions about whether donors sought to curry favor with the political dynasty. Hillary Clinton stepped down from the foundation board in April 2015 when she announced her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

Here are those original articles. 

Article
February 28, 1990

Trump, the Philanthropy: Colleges Jockey to Win Gifts From the Billionaire's New Foundation

When Mr. Trump's foundation was new, hopes were high that it — and he personally — would blossom into a significant source of philanthropic dollars.

Article
October 17, 2002

Clinton's Good-Works Plan

Twenty-one months after leaving the White House, Bill Clinton talks to The Chronicle in detail about what he has planned for his philanthropy.

Article
April 01, 2004

Clinton Charity Seeks to Be 'Good Neighbor'

As they sought to raise huge sums of money, officials of the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation tried not to interfere with the fundraising efforts of nearby nonprofits, big and small.

Article
July 30, 2008

Donor Trips Aren't Easy, Clinton Voyage to Africa Shows: a Reporter's Notebook

At Bill Clinton's invitation, friends, contributors to his foundation, and members of the news media went to remote regions of Africa to get a firsthand look at his charitable work.

Article
September 29, 2016

Charity Becomes Hot Election Topic — and Not in a Good Way

Scrutiny of Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s nonprofit organizations may be creating an unfairly negative perception of how most of philanthropy really works, experts say.