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 human progress
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.
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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.”