Charity watchdog gives Clinton Foundation top rating

2016-09-02 07:25
(Andrew Harnik, AP)

(Andrew Harnik, AP)

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Washington — A charity watchdog with an ongoing relationship with the Clinton Foundation gave the former first family's non-profit high marks on Thursday, after an evaluation prompted by heightened interest in the organisation.

The Clinton Foundation received four out of four stars — the highest rating that Charity Navigator gives after a close look at a charity's finances. The rating is based on annual federal tax documents and an objective algorithm. It was not intended to reflect whether Hillary Clinton kept donors to her family's foundation at appropriate arm's length or provided favoured access as secretary of state.

Both organisations disputed that their relationship was ongoing, despite language on the foundation's Clinton Global Initiative website describing a Charity Navigator project commitment that runs through the end of 2016.

Charity Navigator is a leading and respected organisation that evaluates and rates charities so donors can make informed decisions about contributions. It was itself a member of the Clinton Global Initiative between 2012 and 2014. The Clinton group said Charity Navigator committed to spend an estimated $2m of Charity Navigator's own money over four years through 2016 to review more charities and provide more detailed information about them in its reviews.

Charity Navigator's president, Michael Thatcher, said that the Clinton campaign did not influence the rating.

The four-star badge comes at a time when the Clinton Foundation is under intense scrutiny about whether Clinton granted donors access at the State Department.

The Clinton Foundation, which includes the Clinton Global Initiative and other charities, supports programmes aimed at aiding communities in need around the world.

The watchdog had previously rated the Clinton Foundation with four stars in 2007, and in 2012 downgraded it to three stars due to changes in its methodology. Its original four-star rating was based on the foundation's financial health and performance.

In 2012, it also evaluated the charity on accountability and transparency.

Charity Navigator requires five independent board members, but the foundation had only three during the 2009 fiscal year, Thatcher said. The downgrade came the same year that Charity Navigator was a member of the Clinton Global Initiative.

Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  us

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