Non-profit

Howard G. Buffett Foundation

Website:

www.thehowardgbuffettfoundation.org

Location:

DECATUR, IL

Tax ID:

47-0824756

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $159,962,761
Expenses: $157,797,921
Assets: $188,091,117

Formation:

1999

Chairman:

Howard G. Buffett[31]

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation is a grantmaking organization founded by Howard G. Buffett, son of billionaire Warren Buffett. The IRS granted the Foundation tax exempt status in 1999 as a 501(c)(3) organization. The Foundation is headquartered in Decatur, IL. Howard G. Buffett has served as chairman of the Foundation since its beginning.

History

In 2006, Warren Buffett pledged to give away 85 percent of his fortune through shares in Berkshire Hathaway, a large holding company founded and controlled by Buffett. [1] Buffett pledged most of these shares to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but he also pledged shares worth $1 billion each to the three foundations established by his children, including the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. [2] Warren Buffet has continued to fund the Howard G. Buffett Foundation in annual installments between $100 million and $150 million worth of stock. [3]

Howard G. Buffett, the founder and chairman of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, dropped out of college and spent most of his life as a farmer. [4] His Foundation provides funding to many agricultural projects, specifically to the promotion of sustainable agriculture in Africa. [5] Over the past 20 years, the Foundation has given more than $1.1 billion in grants.

International Activities

The work of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation is overwhelmingly international. In 2017, the organization gave 68.2 percent of all awarded grants to international projects and organizations. [6] More specifically, the Foundation concentrates its grants in South and Central America, Africa, and the United States. [7] Until 2017, the Foundation focused over half of all grants in Africa, and most focused on technological innovation for farmers in developing countries. [8]

In 2017, the Foundation gave more grants to projects in conflict mitigation than those in any other area, with 54.7 percent of all grants given to conflict mitigation projects. [9] The largest individual grant the Foundation offered in 2017 was $38.1 million, given to APC-Columbia in order to locate and remove land-mines which killed 89 people in 2016 alone. [10] [11] Further projects, both in the United States and abroad, focused on preventing the proliferation of drugs. The Foundation provided a grant for $2 million to swap coca plants (the primary ingredient in cocaine) for coffee crops on nearly 1000 acres of land in Columbia in 2017. [12] That same year, the Foundation gave $8.2 million to national police in Ecuador, a nation boarding Columbia through which cocaine is frequently trafficked. [13]

The Foundation gave 31.6 percent of all grants to projects in food security. [14] The Foundation offered most food security grants to projects in Africa, for what Buffett refers to as a “Brown Revolution” which focuses on soil fertility and sustainable agriculture. [15] To fuel this “revolution,” Buffett started the Sequoia Farm Foundation out of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation in 2013. [16] The Sequoia Farm Foundation is a separate 501(c)(3) research firm, which focuses on using technology to preserve soil fertility and developing agricultural practices to increase food security. [17] The Buffett Foundation funds research in Arizona to test new farming methods on land with soil similar to that which can be found across much of Africa. [18] In 2007, chemical company Monsanto launched Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA), a campaign to which the Howard G. Buffett Foundation has contributed. [19]

Domestically, the Foundation has provided grants to a variety of projects and organizations, ranging from the Boys and Girls Club of America to local law enforcement agencies. In 2017 alone, the Buffett Foundation gave $8.6 million in grants to US local and state law enforcement agencies in 2017 alone. [20]

Border Security

Though his foundation focuses primarily on international issues, Buffett has taken a personal interest in border security, specifically the relationship between American drug demand and disorder at the U.S.-Mexico border. [21] Buffett owns a ranch in Cochise County, Arizona: Over the past several years, Buffett has given tens of millions of dollars to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Officer. [22]

Buffett has written a book about drug demand, illegal immigration, and border enforcement titled Our 50-State Border Crisis: How the Mexican Border Fuels the Drug Epidemic in America’s Heartland. [23] Buffett criticized “the politics” of border enforcement and President Donald Trump’s proposal to construct a barrier the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border, advocating “a combination of properly equipped law enforcement, some barriers in places and cooperation with Mexico and other countries.” [24]

In 2018, the Buffett Foundation pledged $30 million to social service and rehabilitation programs in Decatur, Illinois to fight addiction. [25]

People

Howard G. Buffett is the founder and chairman of the Foundation. The son of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. founder Warren Buffett, Howard G. Buffett is the only member of the Buffett family to declare himself a Republican (as of 2011). [26] Buffett dropped out of three different colleges and worked a series of odd jobs before becoming a farmer for most of his professional life. [27]

The current president of the Foundation is Ann Kelly Bolten. [28] Bolten is the wife of Joshua Bolten, George W. Bush’s White House Chief of Staff and lobbyist for Business Roundtable, a pro-business public policy group. [29][30]

References

  1. Munk, Nina. “How Warren Buffett’s Son Would Feed the World.” The Atlantic. April 18, 2016. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/how-warren-buffetts-son-would-feed-the-world/476385/. ^
  2. Munk, Nina. “How Warren Buffett’s Son Would Feed the World.” The Atlantic. April 18, 2016. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/how-warren-buffetts-son-would-feed-the-world/476385/. ^
  3. Munk, Nina. “How Warren Buffett’s Son Would Feed the World.” The Atlantic. April 18, 2016. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/how-warren-buffetts-son-would-feed-the-world/476385/ ^
  4. Munk, Nina. “How Warren Buffett’s Son Would Feed the World.” The Atlantic. April 18, 2016. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/how-warren-buffetts-son-would-feed-the-world/476385/ ^
  5. Munk, Nina. “How Warren Buffett’s Son Would Feed the World.” The Atlantic. April 18, 2016. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/how-warren-buffetts-son-would-feed-the-world/476385/ ^
  6. 2017 Annual Report. Howard G. Buffett Foundation. 2017. Accessed July 12, 2019. http://www.thehowardgbuffettfoundation.org/. ^
  7. 2017 Annual Report. Howard G. Buffett Foundation. 2017. Accessed July 12, 2019. http://www.thehowardgbuffettfoundation.org/. ^
  8. 2017 Annual Report. Howard G. Buffett Foundation. 2017. Accessed July 12, 2019.  http://www.thehowardgbuffettfoundation.org/. ^
  9. 2017 Annual Report. Howard G. Buffett Foundation. 2017. Accessed July 12, 2019. http://www.thehowardgbuffettfoundation.org/. ^
  10. Klerk, Jacqueline De. “Howard Buffett Foundation Contributes to Demining in Central Colombia.” The City Paper Bogotá. May 17, 2018. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://thecitypaperbogota.com/business/howard-buffett-foundation-contributes-to-demining-in-central-colombia/19653 ^
  11. Klerk, Jacqueline De. “Howard Buffett Foundation Contributes to Demining in Central Colombia.” The City Paper Bogotá. May 17, 2018. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://thecitypaperbogota.com/business/howard-buffett-foundation-contributes-to-demining-in-central-colombia/19653 ^
  12. Cobb, Julia S. “Colombia, Nespresso to Help Farmers Swap Coca for Coffee.” Reuters. May 28, 2019. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-colombia-coffee/colombia-nespresso-to-help-farmers-swap-coca-for-coffee-idUSKCN1SY2CH ^
  13. Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2017, Part Fifteen, Line 3. ^
  14. 2017 Annual Report. Howard G. Buffett Foundation. 2017. Accessed July 12, 2019. http://http://www.thehowardgbuffettfoundation.org/www.thehowardgbuffettfoundation.org/. ^
  15. Gaynor, Tim. “Philanthropist Howard Buffett Backs Brown Revolution in Africa.” Al Jazeera America. February 1, 2015. Accessed July 12, 2019. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/2/1/philanthropist-howard-buffett-backs-brown-revolution-in-africa.html ^
  16. Gegg-Naeger, Betty Valle. “Playing in the Dirt.” Accessed July 12, 2019. http://www.mafg.net/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=1452. ^
  17. https://www.agweb.com/article/driven-to-make-a-true-difference-naa-charlene-finck/ ^
  18. Gaynor, Tim. “Philanthropist Howard Buffett Backs Brown Revolution in Africa.” Al Jazeera America. February 1, 2015. Accessed July 12, 2019. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/2/1/philanthropist-howard-buffett-backs-brown-revolution-in-africa.html ^
  19. Bouscaren, Durrie. “Altruism or PR? How Monsanto Plans to Snag a Foothold in African Seed Markets.” St. Louis Public Radio. December 14, 2016. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/altruism-or-pr-how-monsanto-plans-snag-foothold-african-seed-markets#stream/0 ^
  20. Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2017, Part Fifteen, Line 3. ^
  21. Fearnow, Benjamin. “Philanthropist Howard Buffett’s New Book Takes Aim at Trump and Obama’s Border Policies.” Newsweek. April 02, 2018. Accessed July 15, 2019. https://www.newsweek.com/howard-buffett-warren-buffett-border-wall-cochise-county-arizona-macon-county-868924. ^
  22. Steller, Tim. “Steller Column: Wealthy Donor to Cochise County Sheriff’s Department Is Raising Concerns over His Influence.” Arizona Daily Star. March 03, 2019. Accessed July 15, 2019. https://tucson.com/news/local/steller-column-wealthy-donor-to-cochise-county-sheriff-s-department/article_b686432a-e034-5b22-9588-06cbf0e9bccb.html. ^
  23. Fearnow, Benjamin. “Philanthropist Howard Buffett’s New Book Takes Aim at Trump and Obama’s Border Policies.” Newsweek. April 02, 2018. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://www.newsweek.com/howard-buffett-warren-buffett-border-wall-cochise-county-arizona-macon-county-868924 ^
  24. Funk, Josh. “Buffett Son Criticizes President Donald Trump’s Border Wall.” Associated Press, April 2, 2018. Accessed July 15, 2019. ^
  25. “Howard Buffett Announces $30M Illinois Investment to Fight Drug Addiction.” Healthcare Weekly. August 29, 2018. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://healthcareweekly.com/howard-buffett-announces-30m-illinois-investment-to-fight-drug-addiction/. ^
  26. Wooster, Martin Morse. “Warren Buffett: A Wealthy Philanthropist with Some Bad Ideas.” Capital Research Center. November 2, 2011. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://capitalresearch.org/article/warren-buffett-a-wealthy-philanthropist-with-some-bad-ideas/ ^
  27. Munk, Nina. “How Warren Buffett’s Son Would Feed the World.” The Atlantic. April 18, 2016. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/how-warren-buffetts-son-would-feed-the-world/476385/ ^
  28. Wood, Robert W. “Warren Buffett Gives $3.6 Billion To Charity, How To Supersize Your Donations Too.” Forbes. July 09, 2019. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2019/07/09/warren-buffett-gives-3-6-billion-to-charity-how-to-supersize-your-donations-too/#7370d2623627 ^
  29. Bennett, Kate. “Surprise! Josh Bolten’s Married.” POLITICO. April 30, 2015. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/josh-boltens-surprise-wedding-to-ann-kelly-117496. ^
  30. “Top Lobbyists 2018.” TheHill. December 14, 2018. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/top-lobbyists/421128-top-lobbyists-2018. ^
  31. 2017 Annual Report. Howard G. Buffett Foundation. 2017. Accessed July 12, 2019. http://www.thehowardgbuffettfoundation.org/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Howard G. Buffett
    Chairman and CEO
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 1999

  • 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 $159,962,761 $157,797,921 $188,091,117 $70,844 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $152,700,624 $165,873,054 $181,858,284 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $171,086,763 $113,651,674 $194,885,525 $76,654 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $81,130,692 $52,469,651 $182,987,349 $314,026 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $52,181,103 $48,521,252 $153,725,606 $948 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Howard G. Buffett Foundation

    145 N MERCHANT ST
    DECATUR, IL 62523-1216