Why Doesn't CharityWatch Rate the Trump Foundation?

Posted on September 19, 2016

Updated on June 15, 2018

The Donald J. Trump Foundation is not eligible to be rated by CharityWatch because it is structured as a private foundation. CharityWatch primarily rates public charities, as well as some social welfare and veterans organizations that broadly solicit the public for donations.

The governing board of the Trump Foundation consists of Trump family members and an employee of The Trump Organization (Trump’s for-profit business conglomerate) that control the Foundation’s grant-making activities, as is typical for private foundations. This differs from public charities whose operations usually are directed by independent boards with no or few related parities. For more on the differences between private foundations and public charities, visit the IRS’s website.

Private foundations are required to file publicly available annual tax filings with the IRS. The IRS Form 990-PF filings for the Trump Foundation can be found via the Foundation Center or ProPublica.

 

UPDATE:  On June 14th, 2018, the Attorney General of New York announced a lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation, and its directors, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump. According to the press release, the suit alleges "a pattern of persistent illegal conduct...that includes extensive unlawful political coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit Mr. [Donald J.] Trump's personal and business interests, and violations of basic legal obligations for non-profit foundations." The lawsuit seeks restitution of $2.8 million plus penalties. For more, please see: Attorney General Underwood Announces Lawsuit Against Donald J. Trump Foundation And Its Board of Directors For Extensive And Persistent Violations Of State And Federal Law.

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