A year ago, News Examiner deemed Donald Trump “the least charitable billionaire in the world.” Even Vanity Fair suggested that Trump’s donation claims were a sham. But despite harsh critiques from the press, one thing is certain: Donald Trump has donated to charitable organizations in the past. The question is: does that make him a philanthropist?
The problem with the word “philanthropist” is that its definition is vague. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a philanthropist as “a person who gives generously to help other people.” But is “generously” really quantifiable? Well, it depends on whom you ask.
Smartgivers.org reports that the average American donates 3.2% of his or her income to charity (before taxes). Meanwhile, Christian churches typically recommend tithing (giving 10% of one’s income). Yet, other organizations are adamant that a mere 1% donation will do. So then where does that leave Trump?
On March 4, 2016, Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, claimed that the presidential frontrunner has “donated over $100 million to charitable causes over the last number of years.” With a Forbes estimated net worth of $4.5 billion, that leaves Donald Trump with approximately 2% of his current net worth donated to charity.
But that’s assuming that Trump really has donated $100 million to charity. According to The Washington Post, there is no actual evidence to support this claim. Lack of evidence aside, the amount of money he’s donated isn’t the only thing that has Trump under fire.
Tax information from the Donald J. Trump Foundation reveals that Trump himself hasn’t made a donation to the foundation since 2008. This is part of the reason that News Examiner harped on him so badly; from 1990 to 2009, Trump has only donated $3.7 million to his own organization. Meanwhile, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) donated $4 million to the foundation in 2007.
So does any of this make Donald Trump a philanthropist? You tell us! Leave your comments below!