The Vast Majority Of Mitt Romney's Charitable Donations In The Past Two Years Have Gone To The Mormon Church

Mormon TempleRomney’s favourite charity.

Photo: JC Johnny via flickr

Mitt Romney gets a lot of credit for the amount of money he has given away — as he should. No one has to give any money away, so the fact that some people choose to do so is admirable.What is less well understood is which organisations Mitt Romney has given money to.

And in the last two years, at least, the answer appears to be primarily one organisation: The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormon church. 

According to tax documents viewed by Business Insider, the vast majority of the money Mitt Romney gave away in 2009 and 2010–80% of it–went to the church.

The rest, comprised of many small donations, went to more than a dozen other organisations, which are listed here and below.

(It is possible that Romney also gave away additional money in 2009 that did not come from his private foundation, but Romney’s 2009 tax return has not yet been released, so we can’t check this. We have emailed the Romney campaign for clarification and will update with any new information.)

In 2010, Mitt Romney took $3 million in charitable deductions on his tax return, against adjusted gross income of $22 million.

  • $1.5 million was a direct cash donation to the LDS Church 
  • $1.5 million was a stock donation to the Romney’s private foundation, which is called the Tyler Foundation. The Tyler Foundation, in turn, gave away $647,500 in 2010, of which $145,000 went to the church. (The Tyler Foundation is controlled by the Romneys, so any money the Tyler Foundation gives away is effectively money the Romneys are giving away)

In 2010, therefore, Romney gave third parties (other than his foundation) a total of $2.1 million, with a total of $1.7 million going to the church. 78% of Romney’s donations in 2010, therefore, went to the church.

In 2009, meanwhile, Romney’s private foundation gave away a total of $631,000. This was comprised of four gifts:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints ($600,000)
  • My Sister’s Keeper ($5,000)
  • The Becket Fund ($25,000)
  • Mass General Hospital Cancer centre ($1,000)

In 2009, therefore, 95% of the money Romney’s foundation gave away went to the church.

(Interestingly, the Becket Fund, the second-largest recipient of Romney’s donations in 2009, is also a religious organisation. It promotes “religious liberty.”)

Combining the 2009 and 2010 gifts that we know about, the Romneys gave away a total of $2.8 million to third parties (other than the Romney foundation) in 2009 and 2010.

Of this, $2.2 million, or 80%, went to the church.

We have asked the Romney campaign whether a similar percentage of Romney’s donations in prior years went to the church. We will update if we learn anything more.

SEE ALSO: The Wall Street Journal Just Absolutely Shredded Mitt Romney

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