Donald Trump apparently donates rounds of golf, not personal cash, for his charitable endeavors

Donald Trump's charitable giving includes lots of free golf games
(Image credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Last year The Associated Press asked Donald Trump for details about his charitable giving, and his campaign handed over 93 pages detailing 4,844 charitable contributions totaling $102 million over the past five years. AP didn't publish the list, but The Washington Post got a copy, and its analysis, published late Sunday, is pretty brutal. First of all, The Post says, "not a single one of those donations was actually a personal gift of Trump's own money" — the Donald J. Trump Foundation is financed by other people, though Trump decides where the money goes. And when it broke down those 4,844 donations, The Post found "at least 2,900 free rounds of golf, 175 free hotel stays, 165 free meals, and 11 gift certificates to spas."

Though small giveaways at his golf clubs make up most of the listed donations, they only account for about $6.4 million. The biggest slice of the $102 million went to what the Trump organization called "conservation easements," or legal arrangements (with possible tax benefits) where a landowner agrees not to develop certain parts of his property. But The Post dug a little deeper: "In California, for example, Trump agreed to an easement that prevented him from building homes on a plot of land near a golf course. But Trump kept the land, and kept making money off it. It is a driving range."

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.