DOCUMENT: Celebrity

Donald Trump: Still A Miserly Billionaire

Developer's charity amounts to chump change

Donald Trump

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JANUARY 17--Confirming that Donald Trump is the world’s most miserly billionaire, the latest tax return filed by the real estate developer’s private foundation shows that he again failed to donate a penny to his eponymous charitable group.

The 65-year-old businessman--who recently reported his net worth as $7 billion--is president of The Donald J. Trump Foundation, which filed its 2010 return with the Internal Revenue Service three months ago. The return shows that, for the second straight year, Trump donated nothing to his foundation, which was formed in 1987.

In large part, the Trump charity has been funded in recent years by $5 million in donations from World Wrestling Entertainment. The foundation received the seven figures in return for Trump’s involvement in a couple of WWE story lines, which included promotion of a pay-per-view WrestleMania event.

IRS records show that, over the past five years, Trump--who describes himself as an "ardent philanthropist"--has donated just $675,000 to his foundation. As TSG has previously reported, this level of philanthropy is dwarfed by Trump’s billionaire peers like Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, George Soros, and the Koch brothers.

When compared to Bloomberg--another New York City billionaire with a household name--Trump’s stinginess is staggering. In 2010, Bloomberg (pictured below) donated more than $350 million to his foundation, which during the year made donations totaling about $105 million. At year’s end, the Bloomberg foundation had assets of $2.734 billion. Trump’s foundation had $2.255 million (largely thanks to Vince McMahon).

The Trump Foundation’s 2010 return shows that the group made 53 donations totaling $1.037 million. Contributions ranged from $110,650 (American Heart Association) to $300 (National Multiple Sclerosis Society).

The charity’s third-largest donation--$100,000--went to the Eric Trump Foundation, which is run by the billionaire’s 28-year-old son Eric. Other contributions went to foundations affiliated with Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher ($10,000); Larry King ($2500); NASCAR ($2500); the New York Jets ($10,000); and the late Princess Grace of Monaco ($5000).

A golf enthusiast, Trump gave $1000 to the Metropolitan Golf Association and $10,000 to Fore Life, a Miami-based group that describes its “principle objective” as providing “access to the game of golf and it’s life altering skills to impact the lives of youth involved in criminal and/or unhealthy behavior or at risk of such behavior.”

The president of the Fore Life’s board of directors is Lawrence Taylor, the NFL Hall of Fame member whose most recent criminal conviction stemmed from his patronizing of an underage prostitute at a New York hotel (Taylor, 52, recently had to register as a sex offender in Florida, where he lives adjacent to the Grand Palms Golf and County Club in Pembroke Pines).

Trump, who recently positioned himself as a possible Republican presidential candidate, also donated $10,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation. (7 pages)