Kresge Foundation



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $161,913,798
Expenses: $170,358,569
Assets: $3,700,727,439

The Kresge Foundation is a left-of-center advocacy-philanthropic organization based in Troy, Michigan. The organization funds left-of-center and liberal organizations which support causes such as illegal immigration, aggressive environmentalism, and race issues. The organization holds almost $4 billion in assets, making it one of the largest private foundations in the country; as of 2015, the Foundation Center listed Kresge as the 19th-largest U.S. foundation by assets. [1]

The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 with an initial gift of $1.6 million from Sebastian Spering Kresge. Kresge was the founder of the S.S. Kresge Company which started as a small chain of convenience stores which grew into what is now known as the Kmart Corporation. Kresge chaired the Kresge Foundation for a short while after its founding before serving as treasurer until his death in 1966. Kresge donated over $60 million to the organization by the time of his death. The original intention of the Kresge foundation was to focus on education issues mainly in the city of Detroit. [2]

The Kresge Foundation changed paths from the original intentions of S.S. Kresge in 2006 when they began a “multiyear transition to redefine” the foundation. Elaine D. Rosen, chair of the board of trustees for the Kresge Foundation, claimed that the organization needed to redefine itself as a “strategic philanthropy in order to stay relevant in the 21st century.” The organization now funds organizations that promote liberal and left-of-center issues. [3]

Environmental Initiatives

The Kresge Foundation funds many environmentalist initiatives ranging from small localized organizations to some of the largest organizations in the country such as Tides Foundation. Notably, the Kresge Foundation largely supports the Island Press Urban Resilience Project, an organization that supports the radical Green New Deal plan; University of Notre Dame projects which claim the US is under a higher threat than most nations due to climate change; and a large number of Michigan-based organizations that promote radical legislative change regarding environmentalism. [4] [5]


The Kresge Foundation has amassed a recent history of supporting initiatives that protect and promote illegal immigration into the United States. In September 2019, a report funded in part by the Kresge Foundation was released that focused on illegal immigrants in the Midwest. The report identified lack of access to services, poor public perception, insufficient funding, and lack of “strategic funding focus” as “critical issues” to illegal immigrants and refugees. The Kresge Foundation, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, and The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan founded the Southeast Michigan Immigrant and Refugee Funder Collaborative in response to their findings. [6]


Rip Rapson is the president and CEO of the Kresge Foundation. Rapson has led the organization on a more liberal path that the years prior to his appointment and has shifted grantmaking toward generally left-of-center projects. Rapson worked as a legislative assistant for U.S. Representative Donald M. Fraser (D-MN) for whom he focused on producing environmentalist legislation. Rapson later served as a deputy mayor of Minneapolis, and as the president of the McKnight Foundation, a left-of-center philanthropic organization. [7]

Kimberly R. Cornett is the managing director for social investment practice at Kresge. Cornett previously served as a White House Fellow for the Small Business Administration under President Bill Clinton. [8]

Robert J. Manilla is the vice president and Chief Investment Officer for the Kresge Foundation. He was previously an executive at carmaker Chrysler, and currently serves on the boards of directors for the McGowan Charitable Fund, Boeing, Trinity Health, and more. Manilla was compensated $1,271,971 and $796,831 in deferred payments and contributions to benefit plans, more than twice the amount of any other employee of the Foundation. [9] [10]


The Kresge Foundation operated on a total revenue of $275,737,970 in 2017. The organization gave $172,549,830 in grants in the same year. The organization held assets of $3,802,169,699 at the end of 2017 making it the 19th largest private foundation in the US in the same year. [11]

The Kresge Foundation gave money to a multitude of left-leaning organizations that cover issues such as environmentalism, race relations, LGBT issues, and immigration. The organization made donations to the ACLU, Center for American Progress, the Tides Center, the Vera Institute of Justice, and many other liberal organizations. [12]


  1. “Foundation Stats: Guide to the Foundation Center’s Research Database – Foundation Center.” Foundation Stats: Guide to the Foundation Center’s Research Database – Foundation Center. Accessed September 25, 2019. ^
  2. “Who We Are.” The Kresge Foundation. Accessed September 5, 2019. ^
  3. “Who We Are.” The Kresge Foundation. Accessed September 5, 2019. ^
  4. “US remains stagnant in climate change vulnerability and readiness, new data show.” University of Notre Dame. Accessed September 7, 2019. ^
  5. “Urban Resilience Project.” Island Press. Accessed September 10, 2019. ^
  6. “Report identifies 4 critical issues facing immigrants, refugees in Southeast Michigan.” Click on Detroit. Accessed September 6, 2019. ^
  7. “Rip Rapson.” Kresge Foundation. Accessed September 4, 2019. ^
  8. “Kimberly R. Cornett.” Kresge Foundation. Accessed September 4, 2019. ^
  9. “Robert J. Manilla.” Kresge Foundation. Accessed September 4, 2019. ^
  10. 2017 IRS Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax: Kresge Foundation. Part VIII Line 1. Compensation of Officers and Key Employees. ^
  11. 2017 IRS Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax: Kresge Foundation. Part I: Analysis of Revenue and Expenses. ^
  12. 2017 IRS Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax: Kresge Foundation. Part XV Line 3: Grants and Contributions Paid During the Year. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1928

  • 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 $161,913,798 $170,358,569 $3,700,727,439 $157,186,074 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $360,228,085 $194,301,974 $3,666,563,884 $121,938,777 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $179,728,575 $170,639,271 $3,543,405,167 $103,003,754 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $203,762,471 $156,419,604 $3,301,625,267 $156,879,683 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $163,682,202 $174,924,549 $3,025,786,097 $111,645,769 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Kresge Foundation

    3215 W BIG BEAVER RD
    TROY, MI 48084-2818