Koch family foundations

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For the political activities of the Koch family, see Political activities of the Koch brothers.

The Koch family foundations are a group of nonprofit organizations in the United States associated with the family of Fred C. Koch. The most prominent of these are the Charles Koch Foundation and the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, created by two sons of Fred C. Koch who own the majority of Koch Industries, an oil, gas, and chemical conglomerate which is the US's second-largest privately held company.[1] Charles' and David's foundations have provided millions of dollars to a variety of organizations, including libertarian or conservative think tanks. Areas of funding include think tanks, climate change scepticism, higher education scholarships, cancer research, arts, and science.


Between 2005 and 2011, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a nonprofit organization of conservative state legislators and private sector representatives that drafts and shares model state-level legislation for distribution among state governments in the United States, was granted $348,858 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and $570,000 from the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, according to Greenpeace, a non-governmental environmental organization.[2]

Between 1986 and 1990, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation granted a combined $4.8 million to the Citizens for a Sound Economy, a conservative political group.[3]

The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation were among the funders of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a non-profit, libertarian think tank.[4]

David H. Koch Charitable Foundation granted $1 million in 2008 and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation granted $67,556 in 2009 to Americans for Prosperity, an American conservative political advocacy group, and to the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.[5]

Richard H. Fink, an executive vice president of Koch Industries, is a member of the boards of directors of the Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation.[6]

Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation[edit]

The Koch family foundations began in 1953 with the establishment of the Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation. The Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation was established to support non-profits in Kansas focusing on "arts, environmental stewardship, human services, enablement of at-risk youth, and education" through the funding of diversity programs at Kansas State University; the program Youth Entrepreneurs, a high-school level entrepreneurial and business program; the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, which develops programs to enhance the schools' history curricula;[7] and the Bill of Rights Institute, an organization that holds seminars and workshops for teachers and administrators to provide "educational resources on America’s Founding documents and principles" to enhance the learning experience for students.[8] The Foundation's environmental aid includes support for science education,[9] and donations to organizations such as The Nature Conservancy to help preserve the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, as well as the creation of the Koch Wetlands Exhibit in the Cheyenne Bottoms wetlands in Kansas.[10]

Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation[edit]

The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation was established in 1980 by Charles Koch.[11] The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation was established with the stated purpose of advancing social progress and well-being through the development, application and dissemination of "the Science of Liberty".[citation needed]

The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation funded college study groups called Koch Scholars who gather and read "an assortment of select books, movies, and podcasts surrounding the principles of a free society."[12] Such groups exist at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University[12] and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.[citation needed]

The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation granted climate writer Willie Soon at least $230,000, according to documents obtained by Greenpeace under the US Freedom of Information Act.[13]

In 2011, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation granted $25,000 to the Heartland Institute, an American conservative and libertarian public policy think tank based in Chicago, a prominent supporter of global warming skeptics.[14]

In 2013 the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation split into the Charles Koch Institute and the Charles Koch Foundation.[15]

Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation[edit]

In 1981 Charles Koch created the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation when he was left in charge of the estate of Claude Lambe, a Kansas real estate developer and insurance broker.[16][17] The Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation is among the funders of the Institute for Energy Research, a Washington, DC-based non-profit organization that conducts research and analysis on global energy markets,[18] and of the Cato Institute, an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C.[19][20]

Charles Koch Institute[edit]

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.[21]

Charles Koch Foundation[edit]

The Charles Koch Foundation was established in 2011, and is focussed on grants and supporting higher education programs that analyze how free societies advance the well-being of mankind. It supports the Koch Institute's programs.[22] As of 2014, the Charles Koch Foundation has given grants to almost 300 colleges and universities, according to their website.[23]

Grants from the Foundation include $230,000 to Willie Soon, a researcher best known for his attacks on the current scientific understanding of climate change, and his argument that most global warming is not by human activity.[24]

In 2014, Koch Industries Inc. and the Charles Koch Foundation granted $25 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).[25] In protest of the Kochs, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a major labor union, ended its annual $50,000–$60,000 support for the UNCF.[26]

A student campaign called UnKochMyCampus discovered, that the Charles Koch Foundation at Florida State University stipulated final approval of hiring economics professors in return for their donation, and that the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston had promised "studies that would pare back or repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative".[27] Kimberley A Strassel criticized UnKochMyCampus in her March 27, 2015 Potomac Watch column of the Wall Street Journal.[28]

David H. Koch Charitable Foundation[edit]

David H. Koch established the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation.[29] The David H. Koch Charitable Foundation has funded cancer research and a number of arts and science organizations, including the American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History.[1] In an open letter to museums from members of the scientific community, referred to the Code of Ethics for Museums, adopted in 1991 by the Board of Directors of the American Alliance of Museums and said: When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge." The Smithsonian said both exhibits in question did examine in great detail the impacts of climate change. The Koch Foundation responded they "have pledged or contributed more than $1.2 billion dollars to educational institutions and cultural institutions, cancer research, medical centers, and to assist public policy organizations..”[30]

Koch Cultural Trust[edit]

The Koch Cultural Trust was founded 1986 as the Kansas Cultural Trust and renamed in 2008 as the Koch Cultural Trust closed January 2013 and filed termination with the IRS February 2014.[16][31]

Knowledge and Progress Fund[edit]

The Knowledge and Progress Fund is chaired by Charles Koch and the board of directors includes Koch and his wife. The Knowledge and Progress Fund granted $1.25 million in 2007, $1.25 million in 2008, and $2 million in 2010 to Donors Trust, the conservative donor advised fund.[5][32][33]


  1. ^ a b Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama., Mayer, Jane, The New Yorker, August 30, 2010.
  2. ^ "Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)". Greenpeace. 
  3. ^ Draffan, George. The Elite Consensus. Apex. ISBN 1-891843-14-1. 
  4. ^ "COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE". Legacy.library.ucsf.edu. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Bennett, Laurie (March 31, 2012). "Tracking Koch Money and Americans for Prosperity". Forbes. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  6. ^ Continetti, Matthew (April 4, 2011). "The Paranoid Style in Liberal Politics". The Weekly Standard. 
  7. ^ "About Us". Gilderlehrman.org. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Bill of Rights Institute: About Us". Bill of Rights Institute. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Fred and Mary Koch Foundation". Fmkfoundation.org. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Fred and Mary Koch Foundation". Koch Family Foundations. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation". Koch Family Foundations. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Koch Scholars". Huntsman.usu.edu. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  13. ^ Justin Gillis; John Schwartz (February 21, 2015). "Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-02-21. 
  14. ^ Gillis, Justin & Kaufman, Leslie.Leak Offers Glimpse of Campaign Against Climate Science, retrieved from NYTimes.com, February 16, 2012. Also published on The New York Times, pg. A23 with the title: "In Documents, a Plan to Discredit Climate Teaching".
  15. ^ "Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation". Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. We are pleased to announce that the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation has split into two separate entities – The Charles Koch Foundation and the Charles Koch Institute. 
  16. ^ a b Pam Martens (19 October 2010). "The Koch Empire and Americans for Prosperity". CounterPunch. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  17. ^ 2013 Form 990 "Claude R. Lambe Foundation" (PDF). Guidestar.com. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  18. ^ Evans, Will (September 22, 2008). "New Group Tied To Oil Industry Runs Ads Promoting Drilling, Attacking Democrat". National Public Radio. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  19. ^ "2007 Annual Report" (PDF). Cato Institute. p. 46. 
  20. ^ "2010 Annual Report" (PDF). Cato Institute. 
  21. ^ "Charles Koch Institute, About". Koch Family Foundations. 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Charles Koch Foundation". Koch Family Foundations. 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  23. ^ "Colleges and Universities with Programs Supported by the Charles Koch Foundation April 2014" (PDF). Kochfamilyfoundations.org. April 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  24. ^ Goldenberg, Suzanne (February 21, 2015). "Work of prominent climate change denier was funded by energy industry". The Guardian. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  25. ^ Sullivan, Sean (June 6, 2014). "Koch brothers donate $25 million to United Negro College Fund". Washington Post. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Union halts support for United Negro College Fund over Koch brothers’ grant". New York Post. Associated Press. 2014-07-10. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  27. ^ Kalin Jordan; Lindsey Berger (April 2, 2015). "Sunshine and the Koch Foundation" (LETTER TO THE EDITOR). Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  28. ^ Kimberley A Strassel (March 27, 2015). "The Campus Climate Crusade". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 27, 2015. (subscription required (help)). 
  29. ^ "David H. Koch Charitable Foundation and Personal Philanthropy". Koch Family Foundations. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  30. ^ Colby Itkowitz (March 24, 2015). "Scientists to Smithsonian: Cut ties with Koch brothers". Washington POst. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  31. ^ "Koch Cultural Trust". Koch Family Foundations. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  32. ^ Lewis, Charles; Holmberg, Eric; Fernandez Campbell, Alexia; Beyoud, Lydia (July 1, 2013). "Koch millions spread influence through nonprofits, colleges". Investigative Reporting Workshop (American University School of Communication). Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  33. ^ Connor, Steve (January 24, 2013). "Exclusive: Billionaires secretly fund attacks on climate science". The Independent. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 

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