Koch Family Foundations & Entities

Koch Family Foundations & Entities

Background

The Koch Family has spent more than ExxonMobil in order to fund organizations and projects questioning mainstream science behind man-made climate change. Greenpeace has put that total at over $88 million to 80 groups denying climate change since 1997.1Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine,” Greenpeace.org. Accessed March 11, 2017. Data on file at DeSmog.

The Koch Family Foundations include the David H. Koch Foundation, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation (disbanded as of 2013), and the Knowledge and Progress Fund.

Until David’s death in 2019, the Koch brothers — Charles and the David — were co-owners of Koch Industries, the largest privately-owned company in the United States. According to the Koch Family Foundations website, “Koch family foundations and philanthropy are grounded in the belief that free societies are the greatest generators of social progress, sustainable prosperity and well-being.” David Koch passed away on August 23, 2019.2Melanie Grayce West and John McCormick. “Billionaire David Koch, Who Used His Wealth to Reshape U.S. Politics, Dies at 79,” The Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2019. Archived August 23, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/j9sUH

Other lesser-known Koch foundations include the Koch Cultural Trust (formerly the Kansas Cultural Trust), The Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, and the Charles Koch Institute.3Doing Good in Many Ways,” Koch Family Foundations. Archived September 18, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/zUgFc

Charles Koch leads the foundation that shares his name, while Charles and his family also sat on the board of the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, which was led by Richard Fink. Charles also leads the Knowledge and Progress Fund, of which Fink is President.

DeSmog’s special 2012 report, “Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax” (PDF), compiled by computer scientist John R. Mashey provides insight into Koch’s funding of the climate change skeptic network at the time.4John R. Mashey. “Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax 2” (PDF), October 23, 2012. In addition to his own foundation, David H. Koch also served on the boards of the Cato Instute, the Reason Foundation, and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.5David H. Koch Charitable Foundation and Personal Philanthropy,” Koch Family Foundations. Archived September 19, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/lKdnt

The Center for Media and Democracy’s SourceWatch reports how the Koch Foundations also have ties to DonorsTrust, a “donor-advised fund” which obscures the identity of individual donors.6Koch Family Foundations,” SourceWatch. Accessed September, 2015. Mother Jones called DonorsTrust “the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement.” According to SourceWatch, the Koch brothers are “are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN).”7Andy Kroll. “Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement,” Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.  Archived September 19, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/uNf46

report by the Center for Public Integrity lists a number of DonorsTrust funders that also have ties to the Koch brothers including the Knowledge and Progress Fund, one of the group’s largest known contributors, which donated nearly $9 million from 2005 to 2012. Other contributors known to have donated at least $1 million to DonorsTrust include the Richard and Helen DeVos FoundationDonald & Paula Smith Family FoundationSearle Freedom TrustLynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the John M. Olin Foundation.8Paul Abowd. “Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states,” The Centre for Public Integrity, February 14, 2013. Archived September 19, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/yH2Nr

Koch Family Foundation 990s

In addition to the below documents, see the GreenPeace Polluterwatch project’s archive of Koch Foundation 990 forms here.

David H. Koch Foundation (EIN 48-0926946)

The Koch Family Foundations website describes David Koch as a “passionate believer in free societies,” who had funded “research and education programs that analyze how freedom creates prosperity and advances social progress.”

990 Forms

Charles G. Koch Foundation (EIN 48-0918408)

990 Forms

Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation (EIN 48-0935563)

* The Claude R. Lambe Charitable foundation disbanded in March, 2013. See their last-filed 2013 Form 990 for details.

990 Forms

Knowledge and Progress Fund (EIN 54-1899251)

990 Forms

Charles Koch Institute (EIN 27-4967732)

The Charles Koch Institute was established in 2011 and is active in the area of professional education, research and training programs for careers in advancing economic freedom. It runs the Koch Internship Program, the Koch Associate Program, and Liberty@Work.

According to their website, “Through the Institute’s professional education, research, and training programs, we work to prepare professionals for careers that improve well-being by advancing free societies.”9About the Institute,” Charles Koch Institute. Archived September 19, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/LXesr

The Charles Koch Institute’s 2013 990 form (PDF) states that their mission is the “advancement of liberty and economic freedom by educating students in a classroom.”10“Charles Koch Institute,” 2013 Form 990-PF. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

990 Forms

Koch Family Foundation, formerly Fred and Mary Koch Foundation (EIN 48-6113560)

The Koch Family Foundation, prior to its 2019 tax return operating as the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, has supported “the arts, youth development programs and education” in Kansas.11Homepage, Fmkfoundation.org. Archived April 13, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/kBgKz

990 Forms

Chase Koch Foundation (EIN 83-1697305)

990 Forms

CCKC4 Inc. (EIN 83-3116152)

990 Forms

Charles Koch Charitable Fund (EIN 85-4058882)

Youth Entrepreneurs (EIN 48-1187886)

Youth Entrepreneurs has been presented as “an educational program that started in 1991 in Wichita by Liz and Charles Koch with support from Georgia-Pacific,” according to Georgia-Pacific.12Youth Entrepreneurs Continues to Grow with the Help of GP,” Georgia-Pacific, September 2019. Archived December 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/hr9Us

Stance on Climate Change

As reported by Greenpeace, The Koch Family has contributed at least $88,810,770 million to fund organizations and projects questioning mainstream science behind man-made climate change since 1997.13Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine,” Greenpeace.org. Accessed March 11, 2017. Data on file at DeSmog.

Funding

The following information is based on a combination of research by Greenpeace USA, data from the Conservative Transparency Project, and original research by DeSmog with data from 1986 to 2018. Some organizations have been excluded, however can be found in the full list in the attached spreadsheet below.14Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine,” Greenpeace.org. Accessed March 11, 2017. Data on file at DeSmog.

*Note that values prior to 1998 cannot be independently verified by DeSmog, as original 990 forms are not available. 1997 and prior values are based on Conservative Transparency’s archived dataThose totals can be filtered out in the attached spreadsheet of Koch Foundation Funding by year (.xlsx) if desired.

Koch University Funding

Greenpeace has extensively documented Koch’s funding of American universities. Their most recent data totals over $100M in funding to 364 univerties and colleges. According to Greenpeace’s report titled “Koch Pollution on Campus,” there is “Evidence at schools like George Mason University, Florida State University, Clemson University and Suffolk University fits a familiar pattern: Charles Koch expects a specific return on his large investments.“15Koch Pollution on Campus,” Greenpeace. Accessed May 19, 2017. Data on file at DeSmog.

According to SourceWatch, university faculty affiliated with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have “consistently condemned the contracts that Charles Koch Foundation has arranged with universities receiving large grants for violating the longstanding principles of academic freedom and shared governance.”16Koch Universities,” SourceWatch. Accessed September 19, 2015. 

Politico Magazine reported on the Koch’s strategy for funding universities in a 2014 article titled “Charles Koch’s Brain”:17Daniel Schulman. “Charles Koch’s Brain,” Politico, September/October 2014. Archived September 20, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/ACq8r

“The plan he and Koch eventually set in motion involved a three-tiered model in which the production, packaging and marketing of ideas was akin to the manufacturing of Lycra (one of Koch Industries’ signature products). Their plan for bringing about a free-market epoch and the business model of Koch Industries—gathering raw materials and refining them into more valuable products consumers desire—were basically one and the same.

To facilitate the production of these raw materials, Koch pumped millions of dollars into hundreds of universities. These contributions—which totaled nearly $31 million from 2007 to 2011 alone—have gone to endow professorships, underwrite free-market economics programs and sponsor conferences for libertarian thinkers. (Koch was not a passive investor: When his foundation provided $1.5 million to hire a pair of economics professors at Florida State University, his representatives insisted on a contract with the school that gave them veto power over job candidates.)

Step two of the process, Fink once explained in Philanthropy magazine, entailed taking the intellectual output of these academic programs, ideas ‘often unintelligible to the layperson and seemingly unrelated to real-world problems,’ and refining them into a ‘useable form.’

This was the domain of the Cato Institute, Mercatus and the dozens of other free-market, antiregulatory policy shops that Charles, David and their foundations have supported. Organizations like these churned out reports, position papers and op-eds arguing for the privatization of Social Security; fingering public employee unions for causing state budget crises; attempting to debunk climate science; and making the case for slashing the welfare system and Medicaid.

The third piece of the master plan was mobilizing citizen-activists—or at least creating the illusion of a grass-roots groundswell. These activists would agitate for the same policies the academics had conceptualized and the think tanks had refined into talking points and policy prescriptions. As David Koch once explained, ‘What we needed was a sales force.’”

DeSmog reported how George Mason University and the associated George Mason University Foundation have received over $35 million from Koch Family charitable Foundations from 2005 to 2013. Notably, Koch also has personnel involved with the university including Richard Fink who serves on the board of directors of the Mercatus Center and the Institute for Humane Studies.18Koch and George Mason University,” DeSmog.

The Huffington Post reported how the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University worked to find “liberty-minded” teachers willing to focus on a libertarian message while other groups funded by the Kochs, like Youth Entrepreneurs, focused on high school students with the underlying goal “to impart Koch’s radical free-market ideology to teenagers.”19Christina Wilkie and Joy Resmovits. “Koch High: How The Koch Brothers Are Buying Their Way Into The Minds Of Public School Students,” Huffington Post, July 16, 2014. Archived September 20, 2015.  20Koch Pollution on Campus,” Greenpeace. Accessed May 19, 2017. Data on file at DeSmog.

Koch University Funding

The following data is a combination of data archived by the Conservative Transparency project and original research by DeSmog.

*Note that values prior to 1998 cannot be independently verified by DeSmog, as original 990 forms are not available. 1997 and prior values are based on Conservative Transparency’s archived dataThose totals can be filtered out in the attached spreadsheet of Koch Foundation Funding by year (.xlsx) if desired.

VELA Education Fund (EIN 84-4185046)

“[A] project supported by the Walton Family Foundation and the Charles Koch Institute,” launched in 2020.21(Press Release). “RELEASE: New VELA Education Fund Launches with $1M Meet the Moment Grant Program,” Vela Education Fund, August 3, 2020. Archived December 16, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/WxKif

Zero Zero One

The 2019 Charles Koch Foundation tax filing shows Zero Zero One on its list of “Schedule of Contributors” (Schedule B) form. Zero Zero One’s President Tobias L. Teal has connections to a variety of Koch-owned subsidiary groups.22TOBIAS TEAL,” Corporationwiki. Archived December 16, 2022. Archive URL:https://archive.vn/Y5G6R

Key People

David H. Koch Foundation

As of 2013’s form 990-PF:

  • David H. Koch — President/Director
  • Ruth E. Williams — Secretary
  • Heather Love — Treasurer

Charles G. Koch Foundation

As of 2013’s form 990-PF:

  • Charles Chase Koch — Director
  • Elizabeth B. Koch — Director
  • Charles G. Koch — Director/Chairman
  • Heather Love — Treasurer
  • Brian Menkes — Secretary
  • Richard H. Fink — President/Director

As of 2013’s form 990-PF, “highest paid employees” included:

  • Charles Ruger — PGM OFF Higher Education
  • Ryan Stowers — PGM Dir Higher Education
  • Derek Johnson — PGM OFF Higher Education
  • Adam Kissel PGM OFF University Investment
  • Brennan Brown — PGM OFF Academic Program

Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation (Since Disbanded)

According to the Claude R. Lambe’s last filed form 990-PF (2013):

  • Richard H. Fink — President/Director
  • Logan Moore — Secretary
  • Heather Love — Treasurer
  • Charles G. Koch — Director
  • Elizabeth B. Koch — Director
  • Charles C. Koch — Director

Knowledge and Progress Fund

As of their 2013 form 990-PF:

  • Richard H. Fink — President/Director
  • Logan Moore — Secretary
  • Heather Love — Treasurer
  • Charles G. Koch — Director
  • Elizabeth B. Koch — Director
  • Charles C. Koch — Director

Charles Koch Institute

According to the Institute’s 2013 form 990-PF:

  • Charles G. Koch — Director
  • Charles Chase Koch — Director
  • Elizabeth B. Koch — Director
  • Richard Fink — Director
  • Brian Menkes — Secretary
  • Heather Love — Treasurer
  • Kevin Gentry — Vice President
  • Logan Moore — Director of Operations
  • Kathleen Roberts — Director – Alumni/Ext. Relations
  • Tonya Mullins — Director – Communications and Marketing
  • Leah Krohn — Instructor – MBM

DeSmog Reporting on Koch

Social Media

Other Resources

Resources

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