Charles Stewart Mott Foundation




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $228,269,796
Expenses: $145,634,783
Assets: $2,720,818,310



Tax Status, 1933


Left-of-center Grant making family foundation


Ridgway H. White

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Founded in 1926 by the late Charles Stewart Mott,1 the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (CSM) is a left-of-center grantmaking foundation that funds organizations and communities in four strategic subject areas: local issues related to Flint, Michigan; civil society; education; and the environment. 2 At its inception grants were focused in the United States, but it has expanded internationally with offices in three countries and grants made in 62 nations. 3


Founded by Charles Stewart Mott and funded by wealth earned from General Motors stock, Mott’s original intent was to benefit the community of Flint, Michigan, where his business relocated in 1906 with grants focused to encourage the community and individuals to participate in their own development. 4

Today the Mott Foundation invests in four primary areas; The Flint area, the environment, education, and civil society. 5

In 2016 Mott Foundation made a five-year, $100 million commitment to the Flint area designed to revitalize downtown, improve the environment, get the community involved and raise the education levels of its people. 6

Support for organizations like the radical environmentalist group Friends of the Earth, the liberal funding conduits Tides Foundation and Tides Center, anti-energy group Oil Change International, Hispanic identity politics faction UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza), the Civicus World Alliance for Citizen Participation, liberal “dark money” group NEO Philanthropy, and left-wing think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities are indicative of the Mott Foundation’s left-of-center grantmaking.


William S. White, grandson-in-law of Charles Stewart Mott, led the Mott Foundation prior to his death in October of 2019. He served in a variety of positions prior to his appointment as president in 1971 and later became CEO and chairman of the Board of Trustees. 7

President and CEO Ridgway H. White is the great-grandson of Charles Stewart Mott. His involvement with the Mott Foundation began in 2002 and he has held a variety of positions across the organization culminating in his appointment as president in 2015 and CEO in 2017.  He serves on the boards of the Mott Foundation, the C.S. Harding Foundation, the Isabel Foundation, United States Sugar Corporation, the Council on Foundations, and Ayablu. 8

Maryanne Mott, a trustee and member of the corporation, is the daughter of Charles Stewart Mott. Additionally, she is the co-founder of the Warsh-Mott Legacy, a left-of-center foundation 9 supporting progressive social change in emerging technologies, food sovereignty, rights and governance and shares common program interests, boards and staff with the CS Fund. 10 She also is chairwoman of the Ruth Mott Foundation’s board of directors. 11

Marise M.M. Stewart, is a trustee and member of the corporation, and granddaughter of Charles Stewart Mott. She also serves on the board of directors of the Ruth Mott Foundation. 12

Tiffany W. Lovett, trustee and member of the corporation is the great-granddaughter of Charles Stewart Mott and president of the Isabel Foundation, which advances the Christian Science faith. 13

Frederick S. Kirkpatrick is vice chairman of the board of trustees and member of the corporation 14 and CEO of MFO Management Co. 15


With assets of $3,102,509,251 the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation generated $200,245,872 in revenue offset by expenses of $157,633,000 in 2017. Grants totaled $122,640,075 while operating and administrative expenses were $34,993,237. 16

Recipients of substantial funding from the Mott Foundation in recent years include the environmentalist Nature Conservancy, which was given $4 million in 2015; the advocacy group After School Alliance, which received over $2 million in 2017; and the urban policy group Center for Land Reform, which received over $1 million in 2017. 17  The center-left and left-of-center policy groups Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Brookings Institution, and New America also received large six-figure contributions. 18


In 1931 Charles Stewart Mott acquired U.S. Sugar and later transferred ownership to the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. In 1933 he transferred all but 35% of the foundation’s interest to the Mott Children’s Health Center as required by the IRS. Today the company is an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) with the foundation (19%) and the health center (22%) continuing to hold control. Today, the Mott Foundation values its ownership interest at $153,547,300, a value discounted by $30,709,460 due to the privately held nature of the stock. 19

Two controversies surround the company. First, is the concern over pollutants sent downstream by the sugar company to the Everglades and the communities and beaches that are south of the farm. 20 U.S. Sugar has worked with the state and federal governments to ameliorate the pollutants in the water sent south and continues to do so. 21

Second, employee members of the ESOP filed a lawsuit in 2008 claiming that they were economically harmed by the company and foundation’s failure to inform them of an offer to buy U.S. Sugar. The company’s CEO stated in an interview that the offer was too low to present to shareholders.. 22 All parties settled the case in 2009 with no party admitting wrongdoing. 23


  1. Accessed November 6, 2019.
  2. “Annual Report.” Annual Report. Flint, MI: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, 2017.
  3. “History and Founder.” Mott Foundation. Accessed November 6, 2019.
  4. “History and Founder.” Mott Foundation. Accessed November 6, 2019.
  5. “Annual Report.” Annual Report. Flint, MI: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, 2017.
  6. McCambridge, Ruth, Ruth McCambridge, Erin Rubin, Erin Rubin, Debby Warren, Debby Warren, Steve Dubb, et al. “Mott Reaffirms Its Commitment to Flint with $100 Million in Grants for Education and Health.” Non Profit News | Nonprofit Quarterly, July 25, 2018.
  7. Nagl, Kurt. “William White, Longtime Mott Foundation Leader, Dies at 82.” Crain’s Detroit Business, October 10, 2019.
  8. Flint Homecoming. “Ridgway H. White.” Flint Homecoming, August 15, 2017.
  9. “Cs Fund And Warsh-Mott Legacy.” Cs Fund And Warsh-mott Legacy | Society for Nonprofits. Accessed November 6, 2019.
  10. “About.” CS Fund. Accessed November 6, 2019.
  11. “Board of Trustees.” Ruth Mott Applewood. Accessed November 6, 2019.
  12. “Board of Trustees.” Ruth Mott Applewood. Accessed November 6, 2019.
  13. “Contact.” The Isabel Foundation. Accessed November 6, 2019.
  14. Fonger, Ron. “Frederick S. Kirkpatrick, Charlie Nelms Elected to Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Board of Directors.” mlive, January 12, 2010.
  15. Linkedin. Accessed November 6, 2019.
  16. Charles Stewart Mott Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990 PF), 2017, Line I, Part I Lines 12, 15, 25, 24
  17. Data compiled by subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted December 16, 2019.
  18. Data compiled by subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted December 16, 2019.
  19. Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Return for a Private Foundation, 2017, TY 2017 Reduction Explanation Statement
  20. Hurchalla, Maggy. “South Florida Needs to Stand up to Big Sugar: Opinion.” sun. South Florida Sun-Sentinel, September 13, 2019.
  21. “The Everglades.” US Sugar. Accessed November 6, 2019.
  22. Raymer, Marjory. “Flint’s Mott Family Named in Lawsuit over U.S. Sugar Dispute.” mlive, March 5, 2008.
  23. Burden, Melissa. “U.S. Sugar Corp., Which Flint-Based Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Owns a Stake in, Settles Class Action Lawsuit.” mlive, October 3, 2009.

Donation Recipients

  1. A. Philip Randolph Educational Fund (Non-profit)
  2. A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) (Non-profit)
  3. Acton Institute (Non-profit)
  4. Alliance for Global Justice (AFGJ) (Non-profit)
  5. Alliance for Justice (AFJ) (Non-profit)
  6. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation (Non-profit)
  7. American Rivers (Non-profit)
  8. Arise Citizens’ Policy Project (Non-profit)
  9. Aspen Institute (Non-profit)
  10. Bank Information Center (Non-profit)
  11. Bipartisan Policy Center (Non-profit)
  12. Brookings Institution (Non-profit)
  13. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Non-profit)
  14. Center for Community Change (CCC) (Non-profit)
  15. Center for International Environmental Law (Non-profit)
  16. Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) (Non-profit)
  17. Center for Public Integrity (Non-profit)
  18. Center for Strategic and International Studies (Non-profit)
  19. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) (Non-profit)
  20. Citizens Campaign Fund for the Environment (Non-profit)
  21. City Year (Non-profit)
  22. Civic Nation (Non-profit)
  23. Clean Wisconsin (Non-profit)
  24. Climate Leadership Council (CLC) (Non-profit)
  25. COFEM (Non-profit)
  26. Colorado Center on Law and Policy (Non-profit)
  27. Consultative Group on Biological Diversity (Non-profit)
  28. Council on Foundations (Non-profit)
  29. DC Fiscal Policy Institute (Non-profit)
  30. EarthRights International (ERI) (Non-profit)
  31. East West Management Institute (Non-profit)
  32. Ecology Center (Non-profit)
  33. Environmental Grantmakers Association (Non-profit)
  34. Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (Non-profit)
  35. Environmental Leadership Program (Non-profit)
  36. Fiscal Policy Institute (Non-profit)
  37. Four Freedoms Fund (Non-profit)
  38. Friends of the Earth (Non-profit)
  39. Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities (Non-profit)
  40. Gamaliel Foundation (Non-profit)
  41. German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) (Non-profit)
  42. Global Greengrants Fund (Non-profit)
  43. Great Lakes Environmental Law Center (Non-profit)
  44. Hope Enterprise Corporation (Non-profit)
  45. Hudson Institute (Non-profit)
  46. Institute for Policy Studies (Non-profit)
  47. Interfaith Worker Justice (Non-profit)
  48. Land is Life (Non-profit)
  49. Land Trust Alliance (Non-profit)
  50. Leadership Conference Education Fund (Non-profit)
  51. Legal Aid Society of New York (Non-profit)
  52. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Non-profit)
  53. Maine Center for Economic Policy (Non-profit)
  54. Marin Community Foundation (Non-profit)
  55. Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (Non-profit)
  56. Michigan League for Public Policy (Non-profit)
  57. Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (Non-profit)
  58. Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (MOSES) (Non-profit)
  59. Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (MVLA) (Non-profit)
  60. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (Non-profit)
  61. National Council of Nonprofits (Non-profit)
  62. National Employment Law Project (NELP) (Non-profit)
  63. National Public Radio (NPR) (Non-profit)
  64. National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE) (Non-profit)
  65. National Wildlife Federation (Non-profit)
  66. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (Non-profit)
  67. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) (Non-profit)
  68. New America (New America Foundation) (Non-profit)
  69. New Israel Fund (Non-profit)
  70. New Venture Fund (NVF) (Non-profit)
  71. Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) (Non-profit)
  72. Oil Change International (Non-profit)
  73. Oxfam America (Non-profit)
  74. Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (Non-profit)
  75. Philanthropy Roundtable (Non-profit)
  76. Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (Non-profit)
  77. Southern Environmental Law Center (Non-profit)
  78. Sunlight Foundation (Non-profit)
  79. Synergos Institute (Non-profit)
  80. TYPE Media Center (Non-profit)
  81. TSNE MissionWorks (Non-profit)
  82. Tides Center (Non-profit)
  83. UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza) (Non-profit)
  84. UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza) Action Fund (Non-profit)
  85. United Nations Foundation (Non-profit)
  86. United Vision for Idaho (Non-profit)
  87. Urban Institute (Non-profit)
  88. Virginia Organizing (Non-profit)
  89. Voices for Illinois Children (Non-profit)
  90. Voices for Utah Children (Non-profit)
  91. Western Organization of Resource Councils Education Project (Non-profit)
  92. World Resources Institute (WRI) (Non-profit)
  93. World Wildlife Fund (Non-profit)
  94. YouthBuild USA (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 1933

  • 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 $228,269,796 $145,634,783 $2,720,818,310 $66,412,782 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $211,625,108 $118,012,545 $2,794,569,813 $73,646,139 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $154,404,515 $129,164,070 $2,583,992,015 $51,207,645 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $106,748,718 $116,496,108 $2,301,140,574 $56,228,044 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $128,647,425 $111,790,815 $2,159,860,190 $50,592,341 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

    503 S SAGINAW ST STE 1200
    FLINT, MI 48502-1807