September - 2014

September 2014 – Clinton Foundation: World Class Slacktivists

“The September 2014 report prepared by Palantir on the Clinton Global Initiative’s ‘work’ between 2005 and 2013. Palantir states they focus on Big Data analysis. One would hope this report is atypical of the company’s actual Big Data analysis.

Sample page from Palantir CGI program report. No you are not dumb if you think “What?” Your guess is as good as mine and Palantir’s as to what this is supposed to mean. Yes, the section header really is 36 words long. Yes it is representative of the entire report.

As I reported in the initial article, the Clinton Foundation/Clinton Global Initiative doesn’t do much on its own. Almost 100% of its “outcomes” in any of its stated areas of focus are based on “Commitments to Action.” These “Commitments” resemble “Memoranda of Understanding” (MOU) some may be familiar with from local and regional nonprofit work. I’m sure attorneys much smarter than me may point out that these commitments are in no way enforceable.

You may have heard of Trump University, and also separate for-profit schools with ties to the Clinton Foundation. In addition, there is a Clinton Global Initiative University. Like everything else about the Clinton Foundation, it is based on “Commitments to Action.” They give you a roadmap for these “Commitments” too.

I confess, I don’t understand why no one in any official position except for Charity Navigator’s oblique assessment that it cannot “rate” the Clinton Foundation due to its “business model” has not questioned this “business model” as being tax exempt. Tony Robbins seems more eligible for nonprofit status, as at least he provides products like books, tapes and seminars, and he might even make more of a social impact!”

(…) “All the organization does is hold meetings for which it charges the attendees and takes sponsorship money from companies and CEOS — and I quote from the Clinton Foundation “FAQ”

Sponsorship revenue for CGI is up over last year, and more than half of the 30 companies listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average are current CGI members or sponsors …

So let’s walk through it together.

New language added 8 June 2016 which seems to go at the end toward Civil Rights, community and neighborhood improvement, eliminating prejudice, and related activities.

This is about how the IRS is supposed to determine whether or not a corporation should pay taxes on the revenue it receives or not. As previously noted, here’s what they received in 2014 and the prior year.


In 2014, they took in more than $242 million, and spent more than $217 million in “program services.”

They note 486 employees on their form 990 for 2014. If that $217 million was spent exclusively on salaries that’s an average of $447,958 per employee. (PS: “experts” out there — it makes this ratio even worse if you factor in 100% of their expenses, not “better”). Their net assets increased by more than $100 million between 2013 and 2014. It looks like they permanently designated an endowment. So all their extra now goes into that. Just in case.

If I were a corporate sponsor paying for the Clinton Global Initiative meetings, I would dial Donna Shalala up and ask, “What ROI are you going to give us for the contribution?”

And as to the individuals paying to attend the conferences, I would call up and ask, “Why do I have to pay? Can’t you afford at least to fly me here and put me up?”

A person who teaches accounting compared the Foundation to the Carter Foundation in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. (*Note: The nonprofit sector in the US is in horrible shape: There are 19 total jobs in the nonprofit sector listed within 150 miles of downtown Los Angeles — a distance that would encompass all of LA, Orange, San Bernardino/Riverside,Ventura and San Diego counties, a population area of roughly 20 million people). (Read more: Amy Sterling Casil, 7/13/2016)

(Timeline editor’s note: Amy has been a friend to our grass root group since the email timeline days and we appreciate her generosity in allowing us to post excerpts of her research on the Foundation timeline. Please be sure to read her entire articles at the link we provide in each entry.)