The former president Bill Clinton has become a ubiquitous figure in international philanthropy, but his power derives less from wealth than from his ability to influence and motivate powerful people, says the cover article in the September 18 issue of Fortune magazine.
His foundation, the Clinton Foundation, does not have a specific mission or cause and has taken on problems as diverse as AIDS, obesity, and global warming. And it is run more like a consulting firm than a traditional charity: It helps those already working on issues do their jobs more effectively, the magazine says.
Its endowment is relatively small compared with other major philanthropies, at just $30-million. Its major asset is Mr. Clinton himself, who tells the magazine that in some ways he has more power now than he did when president.
Critics have faulted the foundation for its reliance on business practices, however, and also its willingness to embrace industry partners—often, they say, to the detriment of causes.
(Read The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s examination of Mr. Clinton’s foundation and its article on last year’s meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. This year’s meeting is to be held next week in New York.)