Clinton Foundation Transition Plans in Flux

The Clinton Foundation, which had been planning to dramatically alter its fundraising and program operations with the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming president in 2017, is considering how to alter those plans in the wake of her defeat and ongoing scrutiny of its operations, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.

One question still on the foundation's agenda is whether it should add to its board more people outside the Clintons' inner circle. "There are governance questions that have been raised about the foundation that would still be around," said Brian Mittendorf, a professor of nonprofit accounting at Ohio State University. "But these are governance questions a lot of foundations deal with."

Potential conflicts of interest for a president-elect Clinton are now moot, but whether the foundation will transfer and spin off programs as it had planned remains uncertain. Indeed, the foundation may become the primary focus of Bill and Hillary Clinton as they presumably retire from public life. However, accusations of preferential treatment accorded large donors, particularly representatives of foreign governments, could continue to cast a shadow over the foundation and complicate its chances of resuming normal operations.

"It has the reputation now of being a pay-to-play vehicle," said William Schambra, former director of the Hudson Institute's Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal. "Can it recover from that? Can it look to a future in which you shed all the political baggage and you are just being evaluated as a good philanthropy? I kind of doubt it."

Megan O'Neil. "Election Loss Muddies Clinton Foundation Transition Plans." Chronicle of Philanthropy 11/10/2016.