“We envision a nation that marshals its resources to assure that all children have an equitable and promising future – a nation in which all children thrive.”
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.
The work of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is imbued with these values:
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer W.K. Kellogg, who defined its purpose as “…administering funds for the promotion of the welfare, comfort, health, education, feeding, clothing, sheltering and safeguarding of children and youth, directly or indirectly, without regard to sex, race, creed or nationality.…” To guide current and future trustees and staff, he said, “Use the money as you please so long as it promotes the health, happiness and well-being of children.”
The foundation receives its income primarily from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust, which was set up by Mr. Kellogg. In addition to its diversified portfolio, the trust continues to own substantial equity in the Kellogg Company. While the company and the foundation have enjoyed a long-standing relationship, the foundation is governed by its own independent board of trustees. The foundation receives its income primarily from the trust’s investments.
Over the years, the Kellogg Foundation’s programming has continued to evolve, striving to remain innovative and responsive to the ever-changing needs of society. Today, the organization ranks among the world’s largest private foundations, awarding grants in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa (In 2009, we closed our office in Pretoria, South Africa and are no longer accepting unsolicited proposals there).
As a general guideline, we allocate 80 percent of our funding each year to the United States. We target half of our domestic grants to Michigan, Mississippi and New Mexico, priority states where the need is great and where we have the scale and local knowledge to make the greatest impact.
We distribute the remaining funds on a national basis, spread across targeted urban, suburban and rural communities. We invest the remaining 20 percent to promote leadership development and scholarship in Latin America, Mexico, the Caribbean, northeastern Brazil and southern Africa.
Through a career that began with selling brooms and peaked with the invention of breakfast cereal, W.K. Kellogg became one of the world’s wealthiest men. He chose to use his millions to create in 1930 the Foundation that bore his name and launched a legacy that would serve humanity for generations to come.
W.K. felt obligated to use his fortune for the benefit of humankind: “If I am successful in getting out of debt, and become prosperous …” he wrote in 1909, “I expect to make good use of any wealth that may come to me.” During his lifetime, he donated most of his fortune—$66 million—to create the Foundation’s endowment.