Stand up for the facts!

Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Eric Trump, son of President Trump, and his wife Lara Trump on Nov. 4, 2020. Eric Trump, son of President Trump, and his wife Lara Trump on Nov. 4, 2020.

Eric Trump, son of President Trump, and his wife Lara Trump on Nov. 4, 2020.

Emily Tian
By Emily Tian June 25, 2021

Fact-checking a false Instagram post about Eric Trump, St. Jude fundraising

If Your Time is short

  • We found no evidence that the post accurately quoted Eric Trump. 

  • The Eric Trump Foundation raised $16.3 million for St. Jude, not $30 million as one Instagram post claimed.

  • The foundation rebranded and restructured as Curetivity, and has continued to raise money for St. Jude.

An Instagram post highlighting Eric Trump’s charitable giving claimed that the second son of former President Donald Trump raised nearly $30 million for pediatric cancer treatment and research. 

The bulk of the post appears to quote Eric Trump as contrasting media coverage of the Trump family with that of Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden. According to the post, Eric Trump said, "As a person who raised nearly $30 million for children dying of cancer at St. Jude before the age of 30 (with the lowest expense ratio of any charity in the country), I am utterly disgusted by the way the media continues to portray me and my entire family as villains."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) We wanted to find out if the quote was both authentic and accurate in its claim about Eric Trump’s fundraising.

While we did not find a record of him using those exact words, Trump did author two tweets in September 2020 that appear to be the basis for the Instagram post.

On Sept. 7, Trump responded to a journalist’s criticism of his charity, tweeted, "We raised nearly $25 million for St Jude before the age of 30 at one of the lowest expense ratios of any charity in the United States (9.2% to be exact)."

About two weeks later, he tweeted, "Raised nearly 25 Million Dollars by +/- age 30 for sick children at St. Jude Yet we are the ones attacked, subpoenaed & blundered while crooked Hunter [Biden] is ignored by all." 

In 2016, Trump said his foundation had raised a lower amount: $16.3 million. 

Background on Eric Trump Foundation

Trump established the Eric Trump Foundation in 2007 as a public charity to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee.

In 2016, Trump, then 32 years old, announced that he would cease "all fundraising efforts" for the foundation. This was a voluntary decision to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest during his father’s presidency, he said. 

Featured Fact-check

Trump at the time said his charity since its establishment had raised $16.3 million for St. Jude. In 2016, St. Jude officials confirmed this figure in a letter sent to Trump’s charity and provided by Trump to the New York Times. The newspaper reported that the letter said Trump’s foundation had raised or helped raise through affiliated groups $16.3 million.

Publicly available tax records from 2007 to 2016 list that the charity itself directly donated $8.7 million. The discrepancy — between $16.3 million and $8.7 million — may be attributed to the direct donations made by the charity and the funds received by donors in connection with the charity’s fundraising efforts. 

In 2017, Trump’s foundation restructured and rebranded as Curetivity. It has continued to raise money for St. Jude. None of its seven current board members are part of the Trump family. 

Curetivity’s website says that the foundation has raised $25 million for St. Jude, which includes $14 million in direct contributions and the remainder in donors’ contributions connected to the foundation’s fundraising efforts. 

The Curetivity Foundation did not respond to our requests for more information, nor did Trump when we tried to reach him through the Trump Organization.

Our ruling 

An Instagram post claimed Trump said he "raised nearly $30 million for children dying of cancer at St. Jude before the age of 30." 

We found no evidence that the post accurately quoted Trump. The statement itself is also not accurate —  according to both Trump and St. Jude officials, the Eric Trump Foundation actually raised closer to half of that before Trump stepped down from his leadership role when he was 32. 

The restructured foundation, Curetivity, remains in operation and has continued to raise money for St. Jude.​

We rate this claim as False. 

Our Sources

Instagram post, June 10, 2021

Twitter post, September 8, 2020 

Twitter post, September 25, 2020

ProPublica NonProfit Explorer, The Curetivity Foundation

Forbes, "How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money Into His Business," June 28, 2017

Forbes, "New York Attorney General Looking Into Eric Trump Foundation," June 9, 2017

Forbes, "New Filings Show Donations To Eric Trump’s Foundation Plunged Amid Scandal," January 8, 2019

Charity Navigator, "The Curetivity Foundation"

The Eric Trump Foundation

Curetivity Foundation

The Curetivity Foundation, IRS 990 Tax Form, 2017

New York Times,  "Hospital Confirms Eric Trump Helped Raise $16.3 Million for It," January 6, 2017

Associated Press, "Eric Trump’s charity remains under investigation," June 15, 2018

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Emily Tian

Fact-checking a false Instagram post about Eric Trump, St. Jude fundraising

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up