Non-profit

Charles Butt Foundation

Website:

charlesbuttfdn.org/

Location:

San Antonio, TX

Tax ID:

90-1548640

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2020):

Assets: $5,776,978

Type:

Private Foundation

Founder:

Charles Butt

Budget (2022):

Revenue: $26,036,047

Expenses: $20,545,653

Assets: $11,068,686 1

References

  1. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). The Charles Butt Foundation. 2022. Part I – Analysis of Revenue and Expenses, line 12 and 26; Part II – Balance Sheets, line 30.

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The Charles Butt Foundation is a private philanthropy that donates to pro-public-school and anti-school-choice initiatives in the state of Texas. It was founded by Charles Butt, the billionaire heir to and CEO of the H-E-B grocery chain. 1

In 2022, the Foundation came under fire for sponsoring an LGBT event that featured a drag show for children. 2

Background

The Charles Butt Foundation was founded by Charles Butt, a billionaire who is the heir to and CEO of the H-E-B grocery chain. 3 The Foundation was incorporated twice, first in 2016 and then again under the same name in 2020. 4 5

The Foundation is primarily concerned with education initiatives and champions public schools over school choice and private schooling. “We believe public education represents the most promising tool available for achieving equitable opportunities and the best outcomes for the most people,” Charles Butt wrote in an official letter for the foundation. However, he says the public education system “must adapt and innovate to maximize the return on investment,” which his strategic investments aim to do. 6

Funding and Expenses

Charles Butt Foundation is explicitly committed to the left-of-center concept of equity in its education philanthropy. 7

In 2022, Charles Butt Foundation paid the group Raise Your Hand for Public Schools $1,191,308 for “expense reimbursement and cost sharing.” It paid Wested $855,677 for consulting services and paid American Institutes for Research $426,045 for Program Evaluation. 8

That year, the Foundation gave $300,000 to Alamo Colleges Foundation, $159,680 to Dallas ISD, $150,000 to Donors Choose for its Teachers Can program, $200,000 to the DRK Foundation, $120,480 to Floresville ISD and $98,647 to Garland ISD for their Raising Blended Learners programs, $150,000 to Texas Public Radio, and $100,000 to the Texas Tribune. 9

Controversies

In July 2022, media outlet Texas Scorecard reported that H-E-B sponsored an LGBT Pride event in Austin, Texas, that featured a “family friendly” drag show. The “Rainbow on the Creek” event, which occurred in June of that year, invited drag performer group Hydrated Queer Kitties to perform a show self-described as a “family-friendly all ages.” Footage of the event was shared by conservative Twitter user LibsofTikTok, and Texas Scorecard described that “scantily clad performers danced sensually in front of parents and children.” The official website for the event said, “The celebration will include 25+ [activities] by LGBTQIA+ nonprofits and partners, a Queer BIPOC and Latinx artisan & craft market, gender-affirming care & sexual health resources, and many more activities for the whole family.” 10

This outraged conservative commentators, such the U.S. Pastor Council, which shared the Texas Scorecard article, as well as Blaze Media, which noted the Pride event was also sponsored by tech company Google. 11 12 Texas Scorecard continued to probe Butt’s various philanthropic efforts, discovering that he opposes school choice as well as homeschooling and wants all children to be educated in public schools. 13

Financials

In 2016, Charles Butt Foundation reported revenue of $70,000,000, total expenses of $2,216,507, and $70,074,650 in assets. 14

In 2021, it reported revenue of $3,857,496, expenses of $9,011,247, and net assets of $5,543,261. 15

References

  1. “Our Story.” Charles Butt Foundation. Accessed March 17, 2024. https://charlesbuttfdn.org/who-we-are/our-story/.
  2. Castro, Sebastian. “Texas Grocery Store Tycoon Sponsors Drag Queen Shows for Kids.” Texas Scorecard, July 13, 2022. Accessed March 17, 2024. https://texasscorecard.com/state/texas-grocery-store-tycoon-sponsors-drag-queen-shows-for-kids/.
  3. “Our Story.” Charles Butt Foundation. Accessed March 17, 2024. https://charlesbuttfdn.org/who-we-are/our-story/.
  4. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). The Charles Butt Foundation. 2016. A – Employer Identification Number.
  5. “The Charles Butt Foundation.” Internal Revenue Service Determination Letter, August 27, 2020. Accessed March 17, 2024.
  6. “Letter from Founder.” Charles Butt Foundation. Accessed March 17, 2024. https://charlesbuttfdn.org/who-we-are/letter-from-founder/.
  7.  “Who We Are.” Charles Butt Foundation. Accessed March 17, 2024. https://charlesbuttfdn.org/who-we-are/.
  8. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF). Charles Butt Foundation. 2022. Part VII – “Information About Officers, Directors, Trustees, Foundation Managers, Highly Paid Employees, and Contractors.”
  9. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF). Charles Butt Foundation. 2022. Part XV – 3. Grants and Contributions.
  10.  Castro, Sebastian. “Texas Grocery Store Tycoon Sponsors Drag Queen Shows for Kids.” Texas Scorecard, July 13, 2022. Accessed March 17, 2024. https://texasscorecard.com/state/texas-grocery-store-tycoon-sponsors-drag-queen-shows-for-kids/.
  11. [1] Sacca, Paul. “Google-sponsored ‘family-friendly’ Pride event boasts provocative performance by ‘Hydrated Queer Kitties’ and drag queen storytime for children.” Blaze Media, June 12, 2022. Accessed March 17, 2024. https://www.theblaze.com/news/google-drag-queen-storytime-pride-austin.
  12. “Texas Grocery Store Tycoon Sponsors Drag Queen Shows for Kids.” US Pastor Council. Accessed March 17, 2024. https://www.uspastorcouncil.org/news-events/current-issues.html/article/2022/07/15/texas-grocery-store-tycoon-sponsors-drag-queen-shows-for-kids.
  13. Castro, Sebastian. “Texas Grocery Store Tycoon Sponsors Drag Queen Shows for Kids.” Texas Scorecard, July 13, 2022. Accessed March 17, 2024. https://texasscorecard.com/state/texas-grocery-store-tycoon-sponsors-drag-queen-shows-for-kids/.
  14. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). The Charles Butt Foundation. 2016. Part I – Analysis of Revenue and Expenses, line 12 and 26; Part II – Balance Sheets, line 30.
  15. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). The Charles Butt Foundation. 2021. Part I – Analysis of Revenue and Expenses, line 12 and 26; Part II – Balance Sheets, line 30.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2020

  • 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
    2020 Dec Form PF $0 $0 $5,776,978 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0

    Charles Butt Foundation

    200 E BASSE RD STE 201
    San Antonio, TX 78209-4490