Home > News & Media>

Annual snapshot highlights record-breaking year of grantmaking

Kathy Reincke, kar@wkkf.org

2021 marked a record-breaking year of grantmaking for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), as the foundation awarded more than $483 million in new grant commitments, the largest amount ever in its 91-year history. This includes $232 million of its $300 million social impact bond commitment, as announced in October 2020. 

“The need for our families and children has never been greater,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation. “Now is the time to act and think differently. If we are to confront these issues, if we want to be the generation to overcome them, we must be agile and adapt to the moment and make it a movement where every child thrives.” 

This total representing the foundation’s fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2021, shows a 91% increase over the prior fiscal year in grantee support for the foundation’s priorities of thriving children, working families and equitable communities. Fifty-five percent of WKKF’s grantmaking benefited the foundation’s U.S. priority places of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans, as well as Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico and the central and southwest regions of Haiti. 

Expanded payout funds from the social impact bond were provided to support the foundation’s priorities with:

  • Innovations in quality early childhood education, employment or economic equity and health equity
  • Philanthropic partnerships for community rebuilding and reimagining post COVID-19
  • Supporting people of color-serving institutions or leadership
  • Racial equity and racial healing, including narrative change
  • Policy advocacy and systems change

In addition to the record-breaking year of grantmaking and financial highlights, the foundation shared its 2021 annual snapshot, Urgent Bold Action for Children and Families featuring editorials reflecting on the year.

Dr. Celeste A. Clark, WKKF’s board chair during the past fiscal year, calls for philanthropy to step up and act boldly. “Now is the time for transformation, not incrementalism,” she said while encouraging “innovation, creativity and informed risks.” 

Tabron speaks to the urgency of this moment requiring both action and accountability, inviting the public and private sectors to join in the work of rewiring existing systems to truly manifest racial equity.

“The decisions we make, the policies we institute, and the resources we invest in people will impact the fate of our country for decades to come. Our children’s future depends on our actions today,” says Tabron.

Learn more about this record-breaking year. The Kellogg Foundation’s 2021 financial statements and more highlights of WKKF grantmaking investments. The annual snapshot is available in English, Haitian Creole and Spanish.

Highlights of the foundation’s storytelling platform

The Kellogg Foundation also announced a shift to real-time storytelling via its refreshed digital platform, Every Child Thrives (ECT). The foundation’s financial reporting and editorial reflections on the past fiscal year are offered here now as an annual snapshot, part of this new, more robust publishing effort. 

Every Child Thrives is a multi-author, content experience platform hosted by WKKF, offering an indispensable source of learning, inspiration and real-life solutions to a simple, yet complex question – what does it take for every child, every family and every community to truly thrive?

“This platform will be about highlighting real-life stories from the voices of people in community who are doing this work every day, to improve outcomes for children and families,” said Tabron. “We’ve made a commitment to share what we’re learning from our grantees as we learn it, so others can be inspired from what’s working in order to scale these ideas across communities.”

By elevating community voices, ideas, lessons, solutions and new models, the goal is to scale and leverage this knowledge more broadly in new ways, in more communities and among more leaders. Narratives, guest commentaries and editorials, videos, audio posts, new knowledge products and more will be added throughout the year through collaboration with grantees, partners, community and field leaders – all aiming to improve the lives of children, families and communities.


Related Topics

What to Read Next

Scroll to Top