The National Philanthropic Trust helped Charles Koch’s tightly controlled network of nonprofits protect nearly $100 million in donations and grants from the public between 2019 and 2021.
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) recently reported on the networks Finance 2019-20which reached $2.2 billion in sales in 2020, and the emergence of Chase Koch.s CCKC4 as a potentially important player on the US political scene.
Although CCKC4 received $1.2 billion in 2020, only a single grant was announced $12.5 million to the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT). A massive donor-advised fund — independent of the Koch family — the NPT directs billions of dollars to thousands of charities, political organizations, and nonprofit organizations each year.
The NPT does not identify its donors, nor their designated recipients advantage it advertises to potential donors. While it does discloses the organizations it funds and some of its donors voluntarily disclose payments to the NPT, the available information makes it impossible to draw a line between specific donors and grantees.
This appears to be part of a newer one trend. Major corporate donors use donor-recommended funds to anonymize funding from groups that influence policymaking, including long-standing ones Organizations that deny climate change with a history of support from the Koch familys foundations.
CMD contacted an executive at Koch Industries, who serves as director of several of Charles Koch’s nonprofits, for comment, but received no response.
“When a 501(c)(4) makes grants to a 501(c)(3) charity such as the Charles Koch Foundation or the National Philanthropic Trust, it is tax inefficient because the 501(c)(4) already benefits from it is tax-exempt and therefore does not require a charitable deduction,” said Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, a professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School. But “if the original individual 501(c)(4) funder has already exhausted their charitable contribution deduction,” he added, “then it doesn’t matter if they donate directly to a 501(c)(3). ) or let 501(c)(4) do it instead.”
In recent years, the NVV has also made large anonymous donations to two other organizations controlled by the Koch family.
one of these groups Trust together, is central to Koch’s operation to influence politics. Led by Kochs and Koch Industries, it funds and provides extensive financial support to social entrepreneurs in education and a variety of public policy areas Americans for ProsperityKoch’s artificial turf advocacy group.
NPT’s annual grants to Stand Together Trust have skyrocketed $1.05 million in 2019 to $9.75 million in 2020 and $20.15 million in 2021, according to a recent IRS filing received from CMD and previous filings compiled by Pro Publica.
Another organization by Charles Koch, the Standing Together Foundationreceived more than 80 million US dollars from NPT July 2019 and June 2021.
This philanthropic organization focuses on poverty alleviation initiatives, but also serves to reinforce Charles Koch’s free market ideology. Practically everyone scholarship holder the Foundation seems committed to it Completely an “intense six-month training course designed to coach nonprofit leaders on business principles.” called the catalyst programit announces its trademark-protected corporate management philosophy “Market-Based Management”.
Stand Together Foundation key to Koch’s rebranding efforts
For the first eight decades of his life, Charles Koch was generally averse to charity. He preferred sending the vast majority of his “philanthropic” giving to political organizations that would further his ideological and business interests, as Jane Mayer points out in her 2016 book dark money (pp. 147-148).
The Stand Together Foundation surfaced Made public in 2015 as part of public relations work makeover after a decade of sustained public criticism of the Koch brothers’ business and political aspirations. Koch Industries was best known for its environmental pollutionhis support for climate change refusalits supposedly theft Oil from the Osage Nation and its ubiquitous politically influence.
The rebrand seems to be working. Over the past five years, Charles Koch and his staff have partnered with musicians such as Snoop Dogg and Guns ‘N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum. Prominent athletes also took part. A former soccer player was involved in Koch’s “Prime 5” collaboration Deion Sanderand the LeBron James Family Foundation received a $575,000 grant from Koch’s Stand Together Chamber of Commerce in 2020. Charles Koch is promoting his collaboration with former political enemy Van Jones, who is said to be thinking of his main contact at Koch.like a brother.“
In stark contrast is Koch’s historical political extremism – going back to his work with the John Birch Society during the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s – continues unabated.
The Bill of Rights Institute, an organization that operates out of Koch’s Arlington, Virginia, compound, was involved in the effort whitewash the history of slavery in the US in its lesson plans. Koch cash flowed to members a network from Neo Confederate and white supremacists only 2017. Since then he has continued to support such groups manufacturing Hysteria about critical race theory despite its publicity Testify reject the trend.
Most recently the Atlantic Council stopped it is $4.5 million Collaboration with the Charles Koch Institute after new staff at the Cato Institute, which Koch founded, spoke out against focusing on Russia’s human rights abuses. This followed Koch Industries’ controversial refusal to immediately halt its operations in Russia after Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February. By April the company turned around his position more stubborn after weeks investigations by journalist Judd Legum.
Still, many journalists seem less interested in questioning Charles Koch’s controversial activities than they were during the Obama presidency. Whether or not his rebranding efforts won over the media and public, Charles Koch’s political operations and influence are growing and spreading as fast as his fortune.
David Armiak contributed research to this report.