Corporate sponsors have not abandoned the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). In fact, this year's event has more sponsorship than last years, says CGI's CEO Robert Harrison.
"Despite our mission, some have characterized the turnover of a handful of CGI’s sponsors as 'trouble' for CGI and 'abandoning' the Clintons, but this is just another example of critics trying to politicize philanthropy, and the facts don’t bear out the argument," Harrison wrote in a column
on the Fox Business Network website.
CGI's 11th annual meeting begins on Saturday in New York City, and will include 33 new and returning sponsors, Harrison said.
Among returning organizations are Procter & Gamble, The Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Cisco, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Gap Inc., NRG Energy, Swiss Reinsurance Company, the Rockefeller Foundation and Western Union. Joining in for the first time, Harrison said, are Apple, GlaxoSmith Kline, Xerox and Cardinal Health.
In all, more than 1,000 individuals and groups from the public, private and non-profit sectors will participate, he said.
Companies provide not only money, but also their expertise in solving problems for non-governmental organizations and foundations in developing countries.
"Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest consumer products company, has been a key partner, making several CGI commitments to provide safe, clean drinking water to millions in the developing world," Harrison wrote." P&G has scaled up production of clean water packets and is distributing them around the world with the help of NGOs working in Africa, Asia and Latin America."
Sponsorship revenue has increased, Harrison said, with more than half of the 30 companies on Dow Jones Industrial Average participating as CGI members or sponsors.
"Similar to other thought-leader events such as the World Economic Forum, every year some sponsors leave, new sponsors sign on, and the overwhelming majority choose to continue their support," Harrison wrote. "In fact, our turnover rate was lower this year than other years. And even those who aren't returning as sponsors continue to implement the commitments they launched through CGI."
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