The "Koch Club": New Report Details How the Brothers Spend the Big Bucks

The Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University recently released a special report, "The Koch Club," that details how David and Charles Koch are using their millions to spread influence through "what may be the best funded, multifaceted, public policy, political and educational presence in the nation today."

The report is an exhaustive compilation of data on the Koch brothers political activities, and it chock full of interesting and new facts about their spending and influence, the results of a two-year long investigation. The report details the many different Koch entities giving funds and receiving funds, but some of this activity is masked by the varying tax structures used by the Kochs.

"This extensive, cross-sector Koch club or network appears to be unprecedented in size, scope and funding. And the relationship between these for-profit and nonprofit entities is often mutually reinforcing to the direct financial and political interests of the behemoth corporation -- broadly characterized as deregulation, limited government and free markets," say the authors.

Koch Donors

Koch top recipientsThe report found that from 2007 through 2011, the five major Koch-funded, private foundations contributed a reported total of $117.9 million.

Breakdown by foundation and amount:

  • Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, $52.7 million
  • David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, $41.3 million (includes a non-public, policy-related donation to the Lincoln Center of $35 million)
  • Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, $12.7 million
  • Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation, $8 million
  • Knowledge and Progress Fund, $3.3 million (all of which was given to Donors Trust, which distributes undisclosed "dark money" throughout the country).

Koch Recipients

The report found that from 2007 to 2011 Koch private foundations contributed a total of:

  • $41.2 million to 89 nonprofits and one annual conference
  • $30.5 million to 221 U.S. colleges and universities
  • $46.3 million to arts, humanities, medicine and youth organizations
  • $8.7 million to candidates and the Republican Party

But don't expect the recipients of Koch largesse to boast about their Koch ties. Few of the 89 nonprofit organizations to which Koch private foundations gave contributions from 2007 through 2011 disclose the sources of their funding on their websites.

The report has more on lobbying, political giving and the shell game that allows the Koch's to hide some of their political spending. Read the full report here.