Clinton charity donors surge amid Hillary Clinton's campaign

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — An updated list of donors to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation shows a marked surge in donations and the numbers of contributors to the family charity in the first half of this year — at the same time that Hillary Rodham Clinton ramped up her campaign for the presidency.

Clinton Foundation officials said figures released Thursday show that overall giving to the charity is up compared to the first half of 2014. The foundation refused to provide the specific donation amounts or the exact timing of its thousands of contributions.

There have been more than 10,500 donors so far this year compared to 8,800 in the first half of last year, foundation officials said.

The foundation's latest list shows that even as Hillary Clinton began campaigning and attending lucrative fundraisers in advance of the 2016 race, some of her top political supporters were increasing their donations to the Clinton Foundation, as were numerous corporations and foreign governments with interests before the U.S. government.

An Associated Press analysis of the list shows that donors increasing their stakes in the foundation during the first six months of this year included veteran Democratic fundraisers Haim Saban, S. Daniel Abraham, Barbara Streisand and Vinod Gupta, through their charitable arms.

This year's giving vaulted the amount donated by the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation to more than $5 million. The foundation for the wealthy Pritzker family had been in the $1 million to $5 million range. Penny Pritzker, secretary of commerce in the Obama administration, is a longtime Democratic fundraiser.

Major corporate interests also either stepped up their donations this year by giving directly or gave through their corporate foundations. Among them were Barclays, Citigroup and HSBC banks, Duke Energy, Cisco, Cheniere Energy, Toyota and Chevron.

The Clinton Foundation agreed earlier this year to stop taking funding from most foreign governments. Several nations that were exempted continued making contributions — Australia, Norway and the Netherlands.

Despite a promise earlier this year to release updated lists of donors every quarter, the charity failed to release donations during the first quarter of this year. On Thursday it released the last two quarters combined.