Monday, April 21, 2008

The Chronicle of Philanthropy Reports on Presidential Hopefuls Senators John McCain and Barack Obama's History of Charitiable Giving

Today, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported in separate, but similarly-themed articles, on the charitable giving of Presidential Hopefuls Senators John McCain and Barack Obama.  The Chronicle reported that Senator McCain disclosed on his recently released tax returns that he gave about 26 percent of his gross income to charity in 2007, up from 18 percent in 2006.  The article also reports that both the Senator and his wife gave most of their charitable giving to their own private foundation, which in turn made donations to various other charities.  Below is an excerpt of the John McCain story:

Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, has released his tax returns for the past two years, including details about the money he donated to charitable causes.

In 2007, the Arizona senator reported $405,409 in total income and contributed $105,467, or 26 percent of his total income, to charity.

In 2006, Mr. McCain said he had $358,414 in total income and donated $64,695, or 18 percent of his total income, to charity.

The tax returns were filed solely by Mr. McCain. His wife, Cindy McCain, an heir to a beer distribution company in Phoenix who has reported wealth of $100-million, files a separate return each year and does not plan to release her tax returns.

A statement from Mr. McCain’s campaign said that most of the senator’s charitable contributions were made to the John and Cindy McCain Family Foundation, which makes direct contributions to charities.

The senator and Mrs. McCain each make gifts to their foundation, which is focused on helping organizations that work “for the spiritual, educational, and medical needs of the community.

See McCain Article for the Full Story.  For an interesting look at the reported recipients of the charitable donations see the story reported at the following link - Harper's Magazine.

The Chronicle also reported on Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama's history, too.  It reported that both Senator Barack Obama and his wife give about 6 percent of their income to charity in 2007.  The Senator and his wife gave about the same amount in 2006.  In 2007, Senator Obama and his wife, who file a joint return, unlike Senator McCain and his wife (who declines to disclose her personal tax returns), reported about 4 million in income compared to the heiress amounts that Mrs. McCain is reportedly worth.  Below is an excerpt from the story about Senator Obama:

Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, and his wife, Michelle Obama, have released their tax return for last year showing that they donated 5.7 percent of their income to charitable causes.

The tax return shows that the Illinois senator and Mrs. Obama, who reported $4.2-million in income, gave $240,370 to 33 churches and charities in 2007.

Senator and Mrs. Obama made their largest gift, of $50,000, to the United Negro College Fund. They gave $35,000 to CARE, the international relief organization, and $26,270 to Trinity United Church of Christ (whose pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. has made headlines for controversial sermons).

Twenty-two organizations received $5,000 gifts from the Obamas, including the Boys and Girls Club; the Central Illinois Food Bank; the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault; the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans; the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance; and the United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area.

Last month, Mr. and Mrs. Obama released general information about their giving in 2007 and their tax returns dating back to 2000 that showed their charitable contributions had increased over the past three years, when the senator and his wife were making more money and he was beginning to run for president.

In 2006, the Obamas gave $60,307 to charitable organizations, or about 6 percent of their $991,296 in total income that year.

See Obama Article for the Full Story.


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