The Fred and Mary Koch Foundation

Established 1953

The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in the Flint Hills of Kansas
protects a nationally significant remnant of the once vast tallgrass prairie.
Click the image above for a video preview.

The Greater Wichita YMCA’s Job Prep Program is a 12-week training
program for area teens. With funding from Fred and Mary Koch
Foundation, teens develop professionalism, responsibility, and
interviewing skills.

Fred and Mary Koch shared a vision for a prosperous Kansas through the fostering of arts, education, free enterprise, human services and environmental stewardship. Today, the foundation that bears their names is an inspiring reminder that the endeavors of individuals can improve the quality of life for countless others and empower new generations to make their own lasting contributions to society.

Underscoring the foundation's belief in education as a pathway to success, grants help fund a diversity program at Kansas State University, as well as Youth Entrepreneurs®, a high school-based program that teaches students valuable business and entrepreneurial skills. Since its inception in 1970, the Koch Scholarship Awards Program, sponsored by the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, has awarded more than $4.3 million in scholarships to 3,161 undergraduate students who are dependents of full-time employees of Koch companies.

The foundation recognizes that learning can also take place outside a classroom. It supports the programs of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Bill of Rights Institute, both organizations provide opportunities for students, teachers and the public to increase their knowledge and appreciation of American history, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Preserving and sharing the unique Kansas environment is also a focus area of the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation. A $1 million contribution enabled The Nature Conservancy to complete its acquisition of the 11,000-acre Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve located in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Other grants totaling $30,000 were given to help expand visitor education. The preserve is the only national park dedicated to conservation of the tallgrass prairie. Grants have also created the world-class Koch Wetlands Exhibit at Cheyenne Bottoms near Great Bend, Kansas. To view a slideshow of this internationally significant wetlands and some of its wildlife, click here.

Fred and Mary Koch Foundation grants are awarded primarily to charitable organizations as defined in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The foundation focuses its giving in the following areas:

  • Arts/Arts Education:  Artistic endeavors and educational ventures that stimulate interest in the performing and visual arts.
  • Environmental Stewardship: Science-based environmental education and market-based efforts to improve the environment.
  • Human Services: Programs and organizations that promote dignity and respect to propel others toward success.
  • Enablement of At-Risk Youth: Mentoring and education programs that advance a culture of individual freedom, responsibility and Principled Entrepreneurship™.
  • Education:  Scholarships to qualified students with strong academic records and demonstrated leadership ability.

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