About Us

About Us

Charles Koch Foundation

Who We Are

Everyone has the ability to learn, contribute, and succeed if they have the freedom and opportunity to do so. That’s why, more than 50 years ago, Charles G. Koch began supporting education. The Charles Koch Foundation, founded in 1980, continues this work by funding research and education that helps people expand their horizons, develop their skills, and help others.

What We Do

Foundation grants allow students and scholars to explore a diverse array of ideas and perspectives at more than 300 colleges and universities nationwide. Our grantees include top-ranked institutions such as Harvard, UCLA, and Notre Dame, as well as smaller colleges that do critical work in understanding how free and open societies function best.

We also partner with non-profit organizations that help people improve their lives and communities. Our main areas of funding include criminal justice and policing reform, free speech, foreign policy, removing barriers to economic opportunity, and technology and innovation.

Our Philosophy

Our grant-making is designed to advance an understanding of what it takes to live in a society that maximizes peace and well-being, wherein people succeed by helping others improve their lives. We support a diversity of viewpoints and perspectives that foster respect for all people and protect human dignity, developing creative solutions that will help make the world better for us all. We reject racism, sexism, and any discrimination that impedes equal rights.

The Charles Koch Foundation At a Glance

  • 1980

    Founding Year

  • 300+

    Organizations sponsored

  • $77 M

    Grants awarded, 2016

Our Guiding Principles

Our MBM® Guiding Principles articulate our rules of just conduct along with our shared values and beliefs. Every one of us must internalize these core values and exemplify them in all we do.

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Conduct all affairs with integrity, for which courage is the foundation. Honor donor intent.


Strive for 10,000% compliance with all laws and regulations, which requires 100% of employees fully complying 100% of the time. Stop, think, and ask.

Value Creation

Contribute to societal well-being by advancing the ideas, values, policies, and practices of free societies. Understand, develop, and apply Market-Based Management® to achieve superior results by making better decisions, eliminating waste, optimizing, and innovating.

Principled Entrepreneurship™

Apply the judgment, responsibility, initiative, economic and critical thinking skills, and sense of urgency necessary to generate the greatest contribution, consistent with the organization's risk philosophy.

Customer Focus

Discover, collaborate, and partner with those who can most effectively advance free societies.


Seek and use the best knowledge and proactively share your knowledge while embracing a challenge process. Develop measures that lead to more effective action.


Anticipate and embrace change. Envision what could be, challenge the status quo, and drive creative destruction through experimental discovery.


Exemplify humility and intellectual honesty. Constantly seek to understand and constructively deal with reality to create value and achieve personal improvement. Hold yourself and others accountable.


Treat others with honesty, dignity, respect, and sensitivity. Appreciate the value of diversity, including, but not limited to, diversity in experiences, perspectives, knowledge, and ideas. Encourage and practice teamwork.


Find fulfillment and meaning in your work by fully developing your capabilities to produce results that create the greatest value.

The Philosophies Behind Our Giving

Framework for a Free and Open Society™

What drives long-term human flourishing? What characteristics of a society give individuals—especially those least fortunate among us—the best opportunities to improve their lives? At the Charles Koch Foundation, these questions motivate our mission.

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Market-Based Management®

Market-Based Management (MBM®) enables organizations to succeed in the long term by applying the principles that allow free societies to prosper.

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The Charles Koch Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is a private foundation within the meaning of Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Grants from the Charles Koch Foundation are generally made only to charitable organizations as defined in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Form 990: 2014 | 2015 | 2016

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