Knowledge and Progress Fund

Knowledge and Progress Fund


The Knowledge and Progress Fund (KPF) is one of several Koch Family Foundations, and is controlled by Koch company director Richard Fink (President). Charles Koch, his wife Elizabeth B Koch, and his son, Charles (Chase) Koch, are all on the KPF board. The Koch brothers are co-owners of Koch Industries, the largest privately-owned energy company in the United States.  SourceWatch describes the Koch brothers as “key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN).” [1]

report by the Center for Public Integrity found that the Knowledge and Progress Fund was one of the largest known contributors to the secretive Donors Trust. Donors Trust and its sister organization Donors Capital Fund (DCF) obscure the identity of individual donors through  “donor-advised funds,” allowing donors to anonymously give to conservative causes. Mother Jones magazine described the groups as “the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement.” In recent years, KPF‘s only activity has been to make donations to either DT or DCF. [4]

KPF donated over $13 million from 2001 to 2014 to DT/DCF, according to public tax records. A 2015 investigation by Desmog found that DCF and DT reported an income of more than $511 million between 2005 and 2011, with some $479 million of that income coming from individuals who do not have to declare their donations. [2], [3]

Bill of Rights Institute

According to public tax records, before 2004, the Knowledge and Progress Fund operated as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in Arlington, Virginia. According to KPF‘s 2004 form 990, “Prior to 9-1-2004, Knowledge and Progress Fund, Inc. filed a form 990, converted to a private foundation and made a change in accounting period 9-1-2004.” In 2004, KPS also moved to new location in Wichita, Kansas.

Sourcewatch notes that until its move in September of 2004, the Knowledge and Progress Fund was tied to the Bill of Rights Institute, another organization backed by the Koch brothers. When the Knowledge and Progress fund converted to a private foundation in 2004, it ended its official relationship with the Bill of Rights Institute. [5], [6]

The Knowledge and Progress Fund also compensated The Bill of Rights Institute’s former president, Victoria Hughes, through her salary in 2002 and 2003.

Mark Humphrey, a current director of the Bill of Rights Institute, was the secretary of the Knowledge and Progress Fund from 2003 to 2008 (see 990 forms below) and a senior vice president of Koch Industries. [7][6]


Donations to DCF and DonorsTrust

According to publicly-available 990 forms:

Recipient & YearTotals
Bill of Rights Institute$150,000
Donors Capital Fund$2,725,000
Donors Trust$11,000,000
Grand Total$13,875,000

990 Forms – (EIN 54-1899251

Key People

Charles C Koch     YYYYYYYYYDirector
Charles G KochYYYYYYYYYYYYYYDirector
Dale Gibbens             YExecutive Vice President
Dustin Perry             YFormer Secretary/Treasurer
Elaine MarshallYYY           Former Director
Elizabeth B Koch      YYYYYYYYDirector
Elizabeth KochYYY           (Former?) Director
Elizabeth R. Koch     Y YYY    Former Director
Gerald O’ShaughnessyYY            Former Director
Heather Love           YYYTreasurer
Leslie RuddYY            Former Director
Logan Moore      YYYYYYY Former Secretary
Manbeth Kovank Y            Former Secretary/Treasurer
Mark Humphrey   YYY        Former Secretary/Director
Michael Hartz  Y           Former Director
Richard H FinkYYYYYYYYYYYYYYPresident/Director
Robert Perez  Y           Former Director
Roger D SilkYY            Former Director
Tadd WilsonY             Former Secretary/Treasurer
Victoria HughesYYY           Former President
Vonda Holliman  YYYYYYYYY   Former Treasurer
William Pomierski  Y           Former Director

Contact Information & Location

As recording on KPF‘s 2014 990 form:

Knowledge and Progress Fund, Inc.
P.O. Box 2256
Wichita, KS 67201
Phone: (703) 875-1658

The Knowledge and Progress fund was originally located at the below address, until it moved in 2004:

Knowledge and Progress Fund, Inc.
200 N. Glebe Road
Suite 1050 Arlington, VA 22203-3728
Phone: (703) 894-1776

John R. Mashey notes in his 2012 report that the Knowledge and Progress fund provides a clear link between Donors Trust/DCF and Charles G. Koch. He also notes several organizations who share key people with KPF: [8]

Koch Family Foundations

Other members of the Koch Family of Foundations include:


  1. Koch Family Foundations,” SourceWatch.
  2. Paul Abowd. “Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states,” The Centre for Public Integrity, February 14, 2013. Archived September 19, 2015. URL:
  3. Graham Readfearn. “Exclusive: Major Climate Denial Funders Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund Handled $479 Million Of Dark Money,” Desmog, May 12, 2015.
  4. Andy Kroll. “Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement,” Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.  Archived September 19, 2015. URL
  5. Knowledge and Progress Fund,” Sourcewatch. URL:
  6. The Koch Brothers Sneak Into School,” The Huffington Post, January 18, 2015. URL
  7. Board of Directors,” Bill of Rights Institute. Archived September 13, 2016. URL:
  8. John R Mashey. “Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax 2 SEPP, Heartland, CSCDGC, allies & DONORS,” Desmog, October 23, 2012.

Other Resources

Related Profiles

APCO Worldwide Background APCO has been described as “one of the world's most powerful PR firms.”“Public Relations Firms Database: APCO Worldwide,” O'Dwyers. URL: https://arc...
Hugh W. Ellsaesser Credentials Ph.D., Meteorology.“Re: Global warming: It's happening,” Letter to NaturalSCIENCE, January 29, 1998. Archived July 28, 2011. URL: https://arch...
Alfred (Al) Pekarek Credentials Ph.D., University of Wyoming (1974). [1]B.A. University of Minnesota-Twin (1965). [1] Background Alfred (Al) Pekarek is a former ass...
Benny Josef Peiser Credentials Ph.D. , University of Frankfurt (1993). Peiser studied political science, English, and sports science. [1], [2] Background Benny Peiser is a sports ...