The coronavirus pandemic dealt a financial blow to the Clinton Foundation, which saw its donations fall by nearly 75% from the organization's height when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was running for president, according to a report.
In a tax filing reported by Axios, the nonprofit organization founded by former President Bill Clinton said it received about $16.3 million in contributions during 2020. In the previous year, the organization reported $29.6 million in contributions, down from a peak of $62.9 million in 2016, when Hillary Clinton was the Democratic presidential nominee.
Addressing the financial difficulties, foundation CEO Kevin Thurm said last year "was a difficult year for philanthropy" in a letter accompanying its annual financial disclosure. "Across the sector, resources were stretched thinly and fundraising activities were impacted."
According to Axios, the Clinton Foundation in the past has relied on large fundraising events to court donors, the kinds of gatherings that were impossible to host during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the organization had been bleeding contributions before the pandemic, since Clinton lost her bid for the White House in 2016.
Several large donors have continued to support the foundation through the pandemic, including the government of Norway; the Walton family, founders of Walmart; and longtime Clinton donors Haim and Cheryl Saban, financial disclosures reveal.
The foundation's "substantial endowment" has offset some of the lost contributions, Axios reported. The booming stock market last year allowed the organization to liquidate about $15 million in assets to meet its financial obligations. Its endowment grew by more than $30 million per year in 2020 and 2019 and was valued at more than $235 million at the end of last year.
In addition, the foundation reported $11.6 million in capital gains on its investment portfolio in 2020, an increase of more than $1.3 million over 2019.
So despite the sharp decrease in financial contributions over the past four years, the Clinton Foundation's 2020 programs were "fully funded," Thrum wrote.
Among those programs was a feeding program that helped provide more than 700,000 meals to people in the area of Little Rock, Arkansas, last year, a spokesman for Bill Clinton said. The spokesman told Axios the former president will travel to Little Rock this week for the 20th anniversary of the Clinton Presidential Center, where he will "thank volunteers and staff who helped operate the feeding program during the pandemic."