Donald Trump, in a combative press conference today (May 31), announced the veterans' groups that received money collected in his Iowa debate alternative event last January.
The 41 nonprofits and the amounts they received/will get are:
22Kill -- $200,000
Achilles International Inc. -- $200,000
American Hero Adventures -- $100,000
Americans for Equal Living -- $100,000
America's Vetdogs - The Veterans K9 Corps Inc. -- $75,000
AMVETS -- $75,000
Armed Services YMCA of the USA -- $75,000
Bob Woodruff Family Foundation Inc. -- $75,000
Central Iowa Shelter and Services -- $100,000
Connected Warriors Inc. -- $75,000
Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust -- $115,000
Fisher House Foundation -- $115,000
Folds of Honor Foundation -- $200,000
Foundation for American Veterans -- $75,000
Freedom Alliance -- $75,000
Green Beret Foundation -- $350,000
Hire Heroes USA -- $75,000
Homes for Our Troops -- $50,000
Honoring America's Warriors -- $100,000
Hope for the Warriors -- $65,000
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund -- $175,000
K9s for Warriors -- $50,000
Liberty House -- $100,000
Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation -- $1,100,000
Navy Seal Foundation -- $465,000
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society -- $75,000
New England's Wounded Veterans Inc. -- $75,000
Operation Homefront -- $65,000
Partners for Patriots -- $100,000
Project for Patriots -- $100,000 (pending receipt of IRS determination letter)
Puppy Jake Foundation -- $100,000
Racing for Heroes Inc. -- $200,000
Support Siouxland Soldiers -- $100,000
Task Force Dagger Foundation -- $50,000
The Mission Continues -- $75,000
The National Military Family Association Inc. -- $75,000
Veterans Airlift Command -- $100,000
Veterans Count -- $25,000
Veterans-In-Command Inc. -- $150,000
Vietnam Veterans Workshop Inc. -- $75,000
Warriors for Freedom Foundation -- $50,000
Readers of the ol' blog will notice that the donation to one of the groups, Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, was previously announced. This latest list, however, bumps up the contribution amount from $1 million to $1.1 million.
Showing us the money: Trump discounted charges that it had taken months to announce the charitable donations from the Jan. 28 Des Moines event, which his campaign quickly arranged after Trump bowed out of a Republican presidential candidates' debate that same night, because the amount collected was much lower than the $6 million originally announced.
"As of this moment, it's $5.6 million," Trump told reporters gathered at Trump Tower in New York City. "The money has all been sent."
Well, except for that 100 grand awaiting confirmation that the designated recipient, Project for Patriots, is a qualified IRS charity.
The all-but-official GOP presidential nominee also said that his philanthropic entity, The Donald J. Trump Foundation, hasn't used any of the money raised to pay staff or cover operational expenses.
A new, shy The Donald? As for the delay in the announcement, Trump said it was because "I wanted to keep it private, because I don't think it's anybody's business if I want to send money to the vets."
Three things, Donald.
One, you're not really known for being publicity shy.
Two, you didn't seem so reticent when you and your people announced the televised veterans' charities fundraiser to the world and encouraged them to watch it instead of the political debate.
Three, why did you call today's press conference to announce the donation recipients instead of just issuing a written release?
Lessons for all donors: The Trump campaign's notation that one of the designated veterans groups hasn't gotten its share yet because his foundation is waiting to check out its tax documents might seem like a double standard.
After all, The Donald is withholding his recent returns from voters who'd like to ensure that he follows the same tax laws they do.
But it is a good lesson for all charity donors.
You need to check out a charity before you donate for several reasons:
- You want to make sure it's mission aligns with your goals for your money.
- You want to find out how they spend their money. Does most of your donation go toward the cause and not to pay administrative costs?
- You want to know if it's passed IRS tax-exempt status muster. If not, then you can't deduct your donation to the group.
You can find other charitable donation tips in my earlier post on IRS rules for philanthropic gifts and tax deductions.
Reputable nonprofits won't mind you looking at them closely. And if your due donation diligence prevents you giving to a less than stellar or bogus group, that means you have more money to give to the good guys.
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