Bush Foundation




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $71,829,464
Expenses: $49,454,796
Assets: $895,468,241




Grantmaking Foundation


Archibald and Edyth Bush

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Bush Foundation is a St. Paul, Minnesota-based private foundation endowed by 3M investor and early employee Archibald Bush that makes numerous contributions to left-of-center advocacy organizations. 1 The foundation is not related to or associated with the Bush political family or either former president.

The foundation focuses on grants in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, but also gives large sums to national organizations. The foundation’s assets derive primarily from the 3M Stock that Archibald Bush held; as of 2017, the assets totaled over $950 million. 2


The Bush Foundation was founded by Archibald and Edyth Bush in 1953. Archibald Bush was a Minnesota native who began his career at an entry level job at 3M, known then as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing. He rose through the ranks at 3M and became the company’s executive vice president. Bush’s ascension at 3M coincided with the company becoming a major national brand in the US. During the twentieth century, 3M became a multinational chemical and research conglomerate; it is most recognizable to consumers for its lines of adhesives and tapes.

At the time of his death in 1966, Archibald Bush and his wife Edyth had amassed a fortune worth around $300 million. The Bushes had no children and left the vast majority of their estate to the Foundation. 3

The Bush Foundation notes on its website that the initial vision of the foundation was very broad, and was “a source of some complication following Archie’s death.” 4 The phenomenon of private family based foundations supporting more and more anti-business and left-wing causes after the death(s) of the primary benefactor are well documented throughout the private foundation landscape, with many examples of heirs supporting far more left leaning causes than their business leader ancestors who amassed the fortune to fund the foundation. 5

The foundation’s online historical archives indicate that early projects of the Bush Foundation differed from those that the foundation supports today. Programs in the 1960s and 70s included a business library at the University of Chicago, elementary school economics education in Minnesota public schools, a home for women recovering for alcoholism, and many other programs helping the poor and blind in Minnesota and surrounding areas. 6

Not long after founding the foundation, Archibald and Edyth Bush Retired to Winter Park, Florida, and began investing in community programs there. Upon Archibald’s death in 1966, Edyth moved to Winter Park, FL permanently and established the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation,7 partially with money transferred from the Bush Foundation. 8 Edyth Bush died in 1972 and today the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation is operating in Winter Park with over $63 million in assets. The Edyth Bush Foundation primarily solicits grants requests only from organizations headquartered within central Florida. Edyth Bush also helped establish the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, which provides certifications and classes for non-profit studies. 9

In 2014, after at least five years of not accepting grant requests and proactively funneling money into limited interest areas, the Bush Foundation announced that it would again begin widening its scope and accepting proposals for funding. This shift was “watched by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy,” a far-left philanthropic monitoring group. 10


The Bush Foundation has had multiple different presidents since Archibald Bush’s death in 1966 and states that the foundation shifted towards “diversity and inclusion” under current president Jennifer Ford Reedy. 11

There are many different programs and initiatives currently headed by the Bush Foundation, all with a much more left-of-center approach and vision than programs that existed while Archibald Bush was alive.

The Bush Fellowship, which has existed for most of the Foundation’s existence, evolved from a program that gave a small grant to aspiring leaders in local business, to a “flexible $100,000 grant” to pursue leadership development. Follows must be over 24 years old and reside in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Native American-administered territory within those states. 12

The Bush Prize is another major program executed by the foundation. It is awarded annually to several non-profit organizations in the amount of $500,000 and focuses and awarding and funding ideas for “community innovation.” 13

In addition to its work with state governments, local governments, and non-profits in the upper Midwestern United States, the Bush Foundation also provides grants benefiting Native American nations and reservations that are located within Minnesota, North Dakota. The Foundation touts nearly $90 million in grants to Native American tribes and causes since 1982, benefiting over five hundred organizations. The foundation also notes that it has made a priority to award Bush Fellowships to an increasing share of Native American applicants; the foundation has awarded $11.9 million in Bush Fellowships since 2013 of which the foundation states that $1.7 million has been awarded to Native American applicants. 14

Among the Native American tribes supported by the Bush Foundation is the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which has received seven grants from the foundation including one for $1 million in 2015. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe received international attention and support from left-wing environmentalist protesters in 2016 amid disputes over the routing of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. 15


  1. “About Us”. The Bush Foundation. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  2. The Bush Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part II Line 16 Column (b).
  3. “History”. The Bush Foundation. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  4. “History”. The Bush Foundation. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  5. Callahan, David. “How philanthropic dynasties are exerting their power over US policy”. The Guardia. July 25, 2017. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  6. “Archives: 1963 Annual Report” The Bush Foundation. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  7. “About Edyth Bush”. The Edyth Bush Foundation. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  8. “History”. The Bush Foundation. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  9. “The Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College”. Rollins College. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  10. Hopfensberger, Jean. “Bush Foundation charts new course – again”. Star Tribune. June 26, 2014. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  11. Andrews, Stephanie. “BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE CULTURE: SPREADING AND EMBEDDING AN EQUITY LENS AT THE BUSH FOUNDATION”. The Bush Foundation. April 2018. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  12. “Bush Fellowship” The Bush Foundation. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  13. “Bush Prize” The Bush Foundation. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  14. “Native Nations Investments: 2018 Report”. The Bush Foundation. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  15. “Grantee Search”. The Bush Foundation. Accessed Aril 17, 2018.
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 1972

  • 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 $71,829,464 $49,454,796 $895,468,241 $14,868,151 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $84,686,626 $39,607,404 $922,592,754 $20,029,844 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $61,136,684 $39,136,854 $888,876,731 $15,173,338 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $28,011,499 $29,132,804 $782,950,936 $17,614,240 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $17,612,786 $25,656,183 $740,913,257 $23,005,252 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Bush Foundation

    101 5TH ST E STE 2400
    SAINT PAUL, MN 55101-1800