Can a charity give money to a charity created by a politician who currently holds office and is running for office?
There is no legal prohibition on one charity giving funds to another charity. “Politician charities” raise very interesting ethical questions, however, because many donors who may not be able to make campaign contributions are eager to buy the same type of access and influence by giving to the politician’s charity.
A primary difference, however, is that a gift to a charity is to be used for charitable purposes and not political purposes. A donor has a better chance of assuring that if the charity is not employing the politician’s relatives or cronies and is not making grants in return for political support. Whether contributors’ names and the amounts of contributions are made public, or whether they remain anonymous, is another consideration in transparency and public trust. A donor who cares will try to investigate such issues before giving.
Saturday, April 2, 2011