Brush Foundation




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $643,084
Expenses: $256,667
Assets: $6,611,947


1928 in Cleveland, Ohio


Elizabeth Stites

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Brush Foundation is a grantmaking foundation that supports left-leaning groups, primarily abortion providers and groups advocating for abortion, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, and Women Have Options. 1

The foundation has heavy ties with the abortion industry and was historically tied to the advancement of eugenics; Brush Foundation’s founder Charles F. Brush originally gave $500,000 for the purpose of advancing the study of eugenics and population control. 2 3


Electrical engineer Charles F. Brush founded the organization in 1928, the year before he died at age 80. Charles is mostly known for perfecting the dynamo, an original electricity generator, and advancing the arc light. 4 In 1927, Charles’ son, Charles F. Brush Jr., died at age 33 due to blood transfusion complications after giving blood to his gravely ill daughter, Jane, who also died of pneumonia at age six despite the transfusion procedure. Brush, Sr. started the foundation in his son’s honor. 5

The Brush Foundation is deeply rooted in abortion advocacy, both in funding and by association with major abortion movements and providers. Charles F. Brush Jr.’s wife, Dorothy Hamilton Brush, was a co-founder of the Maternal Health Association, which later became Cleveland Planned Parenthood, and co-established the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Dorothy worked closely with Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and considered Sanger to be a close friend. Dorothy Brush accompanied Sanger on multiple trips abroad and helped sponsor many of Sangers’ events. She was instrumental in having her alma mater, Smith College, award Sanger with an honorary doctorate, and attempted to have Sanger nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Dorothy assisted Sanger until Sanger died in 1966; two years later, Dorothy died after a long battle with emphysema. 6 Dorothy, among others from the Brush Foundation, were key officers during the development of International Planned Parenthood Federation and provided seed money when it was founded. 7


The leadership of the Brush Foundation is made up of board managers who are voted in every three years. According to the foundation’s website, the board will not be comprised of less than six or more than eleven members, and the foundation’s form 990 does not indicate that the board members receive individual compensation packages.

Elizabeth Stites is the current president of the Brush Foundation. She is a research director at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University focusing on international conflict and violence on civilian livelihood. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University, a master’s degree from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. 8

Judith Wright is the vice president of the Brush Foundation. Prior to this position, Wright was the director for education at the Ohio Transformation Fund. 9 She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Northwestern University and a Master of Education degree from Cleveland State University.


  1. Brush Foundation. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF), 2016.
  2. Schambra, William A. “Philanthropy’s Original Sin.” by William A. Schambra, October 1, 2013.
  3. “BRUSH FOUNDATION: Encyclopedia of Cleveland History: Case Western Reserve University.” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History | Case Western Reserve University, May 11, 2018.
  4. “BRUSH, CHARLES FRANCIS: Encyclopedia of Cleveland History: Case Western Reserve University.” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History | Case Western Reserve University. Accessed May 21, 2020.

  5. “BRUSH FOUNDATION: Encyclopedia of Cleveland History: Case Western Reserve University.” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History | Case Western Reserve University, May 11, 2018.
  6. “Newsletter #63 (Spring 2013).” MSPP / Newsletter / Newsletter #63 (Spring 2013), 2013.
  7. “Birth Control Organizations.” MSPP / About Sanger / Birth Control Organizations. Accessed May 25, 2020.
  8. “Elizabeth Stites – Tufts – Feinstein International Center.” Tufts. Accessed May 26, 2020.
  9. Campbell, Emily. “Collaboration: ‘Not for the Faint of Heart.’” The Center for Community Solutions, November 17, 2018.
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 1945

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form PF $643,084 $256,667 $6,611,947 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $820,076 $376,970 $6,222,605 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $344,058 $384,376 $5,779,499 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $350,181 $359,057 $5,819,817 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $363,805 $377,327 $5,828,693 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Brush Foundation

    4900 TIEDEMAN RD OH 01 49 0150
    BROOKLYN, OH 44144-0000