- Assets: $6,371,046,123 (2009)
- Grants Received: $314,017,227 (2009)
- Grants Awarded: $305,000,000 (2009)
Will Keith Kellogg, who created the Kellogg cereal company, established the W. K. Kellogg Foundation in 1930. As a matter of principle, he generally opposed most forms of economic assistance, placing greater value on the long-term process of striving to overcome obstacles and become prosperous through hard work. Believing that education was the key to all long-term success, most of Kellogg's early donations were geared towards helping children.
After Kellogg died in 1951, his Foundation drifted leftward politically, and then made a major move in that direction in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when it began to focus heavily on funding groups and causes that sought to counteract what they deemed the widespread injustices against minorities in the United States. To this day, the Foundation strives “to facilitate and assist in the process of social change for the betterment of people in society, particularly in the interest of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations.” Making large grants to organizations that advocate on behalf of such "vulnerable" groups as American Indians and illegal aliens, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation seeks to bridge the gap “between poor and rich, between informal and formal leaders, ... between social activists and business leaders,” and "between the haves and the have-nots.” These efforts are focused in three regions of the world – the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.
The Kellogg Foundation's perception of America as a racist nation is given voice by its CEO and President, William Richardson, who has implemented mandatory "racism workshops" for all Foundation staff members, to help them "loo[k] at some tough issues, including white male privilege and the subtle ways that racism manifests itself in modern organizations." Richardson adds that recent years "have seen an increase in the inequality in income and a growing concentration of wealth. ... We've also seen an increasing disparity between what's been called 'the information haves and the information have-nots. ... Across America, we see other symptoms of imbalance in the social structure. ... The prison rate among young blacks is approaching epidemic proportions. ... The national unemployment rate for Native Americans is approximately 50 percent ... Among American blacks, unemployment has historically been twice as high as it is for whites. ... Wherever we look, our society seems increasingly divided, by the color of our skins, by our cultural heritage, and by the balance in our savings accounts, if we even have one. We continue to hear about practices such as redlining -- illegally restricting home purchases by people of color, racial tracking in schools, and racial profiling. Minorities and the poor even suffer from environmental discrimination. Toxic waste is often found near low-income neighborhoods since their residents have usually lacked the political influence to protest successfully."
In May 2010, the Kellogg Foundation announced that it was committing $75 million to launch the "America Healing Initiative," which it called "the most significant effort in our nation's history to bring racial healing to communities and dismantle structural racism in America."
The Kellogg Foundation’s Board Chair is Hanmin Liu, a longtime community organizer who has been a Trustee on the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Board of Directors since 1996, and who is also President of the United States-China Educational Institute.
Among the recent recipients of Kellogg Foundation grants are the American Civil Liberties Union; the Aspen Institute; the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; the Center for Community Change; Childrens Defense Fund; Columbia University; the Council on Foundations; Duke University; the Earth Island Institute; the Environmental Defense Fund; Friends of the Earth; the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund; the Ms. Foundation for Women; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; the National Council of La Raza; National Public Radio; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Nature Conservancy; the Rockefeller Family Fund; the Save The Children Fund; State Voices; the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center; the United Nations Foundation; the United States Student Association; the Urban Institute; the Urban League; the Waterkeeper Alliance; the World Resources Institute; World Vision International; and the World Wildlife Fund.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, click here.
(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)