Usually when people commit charity fraud, they at least try to cover it up somehow. Donald Trump, however, either doesn’t know how or doesn’t care. Fraud may be too strong of a word for it, or at least too technical. Over the years, Trump has claimed again and again that he’s given millions to charities. He claimed that he has signed over all the proceeds from his book or that product to some unspecified non-profit. But an investigation by the Washington Post has shown that Trump has been lying pretty much every time about actually donating or how much he’s donating.
Trump has a foundation named after him, which is supposed to handle the actual moving of money to charities, but he hasn’t been donating his own money to that foundation since 2008. These kinds of foundations, which more often than not are totally legitimate, can be used to cover up fraud quite convincingly. But you have to try. Instead, Trump just doesn’t donate, claims he does, and moves on.
He uses charity as a business tactic. Not exactly in the way that companies use donating proceeds to generate positive buzz. Customers feel good because they got a product and helped somebody out, but they didn’t, really, because Trump just pocketed that money. Or maybe used it to pay for legal fees.
Hopefully, people reading about Trump’s constant misuse of the spirit of charity see him as the bad guy, and not the non-profit sector. Americans donate a lot of money each year, and that’s wonderful, but it’s hard to shake the fear that charity fraud, or things akin to it, might tarnish the sector in some people’s eyes. Either way, Trump certainly isn’t setting a good example.