Donna Shalala, the former Health and Human Services secretary and former president of the Clinton Foundation, said in an interview that they ended the Clinton Global Initiative to avoid any potential conflict of interest with Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. “It was painful,” she said. “Let me assure you the president loves CGI and the rest of us did. And the foundation was defined by CGI, it’s what everyone knew us for.”
When the election ended and Mrs. Clinton lost, it was not a simple matter of cranking up the annual meeting again.
“This is not just hitting pause on a song; It’s like shutting down a nuclear reactor, you don’t just keep flipping the switch on and off,” said Philippe Reines, a longtime adviser to Mrs. Clinton. “Once you turn it off there’s an energy and a ramp-up that’s involved and time consuming.”
Even after a dormant period for the initiative, the foundation’s signature event, tax filings show that the foundation had net assets of over $300 million as of the 2020 tax year, the most recent available.
For nonprofits, CGI can be a powerful place to raise funds and make connections.
Gary White, the chief executive and a co-founder of Water.org, said that he met some of his most important donors at CGI, including the PepsiCo Foundation, the Mastercard Foundation and the Ikea Foundation. “Where the rubber meets the road is at CGI, where they are there to make commitments not just as a side show,” Mr. White said.
He also met the actor Matt Damon at CGI, in 2008, when his organization was called Water Partners. Mr. Damon had his own group known as H2O Africa. The next year they announced that they had merged their groups. This year, they made a commitment to deliver clean water and sanitation to 100 million people in need, a goal the group says it is nearly halfway to meeting.
Source: NY Times