Billionaire brothers Charles Koch and David Koch have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into various philanthropic efforts during recent years, including higher education. In all, six separate private foundations are tied to one or both Koch brothers:
Charles Koch Foundation
Reported net assets through Dec. 31, 2013: $415.2 million
Description: The primary private foundation through which Charles Koch funds higher education programs, most of which are focused on the study of free-market economics. During 2013, Charles Koch personally fueled his namesake foundation with more than $168.3 million. The Charles Koch Foundation spent more than $23 million during 2013, with most of the money going directly to colleges and universities or programs housed on college campuses.
Other major contributions during 2013 went to free market-oriented think tanks, research groups and educational organizations. Among them are the American Enterprise Institute ($910,000); Liberty Source, known now as Strata ($653,000); the Bill of Rights Institute ($350,000) and the Heritage Foundation ($300,000).
It funds journalism, too. One beneficiary is the nonprofit Reason Foundation, which operates Reason magazine and received $60,000. The Daily Caller News Foundation, the nonprofit sister entity of the Daily Caller that describes itself as producing “original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit,” received $50,000. The American Spectator Foundation, which publishes The American Spectator magazine, got $10,000.
The Charles Koch Foundation also reported in 2013 to the Internal Revenue Service that it pre-approved college grants for 2014. The largest of these went to The Catholic University of America ($860,000), Clemson University ($498,000), Baylor University ($444,000), Florida Southern College ($400,000), Southern Methodist University ($333,000), Florida State University ($310,594) and Ohio State University and its nonprofit foundation ($300,000).
Media reports also note that the Charles Koch Foundation made huge financial commitments in 2014 to the United Negro College Fund and University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. The foundation is slated to file its next federal tax return in November.