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ICYMI: Charles Koch's principles-based legacy and future giving featured in Forbes 

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ICYMI: Charles Koch's principles-based legacy and future giving featured in Forbes 

While not ready to retire, Koch shared he will leave most of his wealth to the Stand Together community and a new grantmaking organization, Believe in People.

October 12, 2023
Stand Together founder and philanthropist Charles Koch

Forbes has published three articles featuring Stand Together founder Charles Koch. Koch discusses his philanthropy, the principles that underpin his success, and why his legacy will endure. 

You can read the stories here:

While not ready to retire, Koch shared with Forbes he will leave most of his wealth to the Stand Together community and a new grantmaking organization, Believe in People. Koch's son, Chase, along with Stand Together Chairman and CEO Brian Hooks, will steward this giving and Koch's vision of a world where all people have the opportunity to live lives of meaning and contribution. 

Of his son, Koch told Forbes, "What he's accomplishing now is more than I did at his age. He's a better leader than I am, and he's a much better originator. I mean, he goes to these meetings with all the top tech people in the world and develops relationships with them. He's just super at that." 

One of the United States' top 25 philanthropists, Koch already has donated an estimated $1.8 billion over his lifetime. As Forbes notes, much of that wealth has gone to social entrepreneurs who are building bottom-up solutions that will expand lifelong learning opportunities, alleviate poverty, and reform the criminal justice and immigration systems. 

In addition to the $1.8 billion he already has given, Koch reveals to Forbes that he transferred $4.3 billion into a new 501(c)(4), Believe in People, a social welfare organization that emphasizes empowering people to "reach their potential." Believe in People is run by Chase Koch, Hooks, and Koch Industries co-CEO Dave Robertson. The donation to Believe in People is the largest publicly disclosed donation to a 501(c)(4) organization.  

Commitment to principles of empowerment 

In addition to the plans Koch has for his estate, the articles highlight his leadership legacy. 

Grounded in the principles of human progress – human dignity, self-actualization, openness, bottom-up solutions, and mutual benefit – Koch has built strong organizations that will continue to grow.  

"I think Charles is probably more responsible than anybody for making sure classical liberal principles have a seat at the table when it comes to solving society's problems," Hooks shared with Forbes

Innovator and philanthropist Sal Khan praises this principles-based approach.  

"I've found them to be very thoughtful and genuine people who are trying to do good in the world," Khan, who is founder of Khan Academy, shared with Forbes.  

  • Sal Khan unleashes the power of AI to transform individualized education

Koch believes Stand Together has accomplished more in the past few years than in all the preceding decades of philanthropy combined. 

Principles are in the bloodstream 

Hooks makes it clear Chase Koch's leadership also has been integral to Stand Together's efforts to fulfill Charles Koch's vision.  

"Chase is going out and finding people who are in the growth stage of their careers," Hooks says, "Who have a disruptive mindset and a demonstrated ability to drive innovation in their fields, and then saying, 'Hey, can you help us do the same thing with our social change strategies?' 

Chase, who, in addition to co-running Believe in People, is founder of Stand Together Music and founder and CEO of Koch Disruptive Technologies, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, says he learned this approach from his father.  

"I was kind of born into this idea of creative destruction, but I didn't know I was absorbing it as a kid," Chase tells Forbes. "It was kind of just pumping through my blood all that time."  

Chase concludes, "[H]e is an incredible father who's taught me all these principles and values that I'm going to pass on to my kids."

© 2024 Stand Together. All rights reserved. Stand Together and the Stand Together logo are trademarks and service marks of Stand Together. Terms like “we,” “our,” and “us,” as well as “Stand Together,” and “the Stand Together community,” are used here for the sake of convenience. While the individuals and organizations to which those terms may refer share and work toward a common vision—including, but not limited to, Stand Together Foundation, Stand Together, Charles Koch Foundation, Stand Together Trust, Stand Together Fellowships, and Americans for Prosperity—each engages only in those activities that are consistent with its nonprofit status.
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