Charles Koch Makes Biggest Known Political Advocacy Donation

A new nonprofit led by his close associates and his son received a gift worth $4.3 billion, the right-wing megadonor revealed.

Charles Koch Makes Biggest Known Political Advocacy Donation
CEO and Chairman of Stand Together Brian Hooks and Founder Charles Koch at the Stand Together Summit on June 29, 2019 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

Billionaire industrialist Charles Koch made the largest known donation ever to a political 501(c)4 advocacy organization last year, according to an interview with the right-wing megadonor published today.

Koch told Forbes that he transferred $4.3 billion worth of his company Koch Industries’ stock to Believe in People, a new nonprofit organization led by his close associates. 

Unlike 501(c)3 nonprofits, 501(c)4 groups can lobby policymakers and spend money on politics, though IRS guidance states the groups are not supposed to have political activity as their primary focus. 

As Forbes reported, Believe in People’s stated mission will be to help people “reach their potential.” He also told Forbes that he was the source of $975 million worth of stock that another nonprofit in his network, CCKc4, received in 2020.  

One of the new group’s leaders will be Brian Hooks, the CEO of Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, a 501(c)6 organization that operates as the backbone of a sprawling network of Koch-funded groups. Stand Together replaced the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce in 2019 during the network's reorganization. Hooks began working as president of the Charles Koch Foundation in 2014, according to tax records, and as of 2021 was chairman of the 501(c)3 Stand Together Foundation. At Believe in People, he will be joined by Dave Robertson, co-CEO of Koch Industries, and Koch’s son Chase, CEO of Koch Industries’ venture capital firm Koch Disruptive Technologies and the head of CCKc4.