The Koch Brothers Take on Poverty and the Quality of Education

Charles Koch’s company is now building a non-profit arm focusing on poverty and educational causes. Aptly called Stand Together, leaders of the billionaire industrialist’s company say that it seeks to address social ills and to revitalize the civil society. Currently in the start-up phase, the organization seeks to raise some $15 million as told in its first interview with USA TODAY.

Group executive director Evan Feinberg said that the sole purpose of Stand Together is to solve societal problems by making a real difference in people’s lives. He said that they plan to partner with private entities to address social problems and will not go into any fights on policy.

Stand Together will be launched publicly this week with its plans and website shown. They have been building the program for about a year internally. One of the first missions it has is to team with the President and CEO of Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, Bob Woodson. Woodson, a black conservative, trains leaders at the grass-roots level, and was the architect of faith-based initiatives for President George W. Bush. He has also traveled to poverty-stricken areas around the country with House Speaker Paul Ryan to seek support for Ryan’s plan on his war against poverty.

The Koch brothers, Charles, and David have constantly donated millions of dollars to poor and free-market causes. In 2014, they donated $25 million mostly for scholarships to the United Negro College Fund. They have a partnership with the current administration to push for an overhaul of the criminal justice system and change laws that unfairly target the poor.

Charles Koch is a businessman and philanthropist, he is the chairman of the board and has been CEO of Koch Industries since 1967. He is also co-owner of the company based in Wichita Kansas. Koch authored a book called “The Science of Success” published in 2007 that describes his approach to management and business philosophy. He is married with two children.

To show how important Stand Together is, Charles Koch’s top advisers are on board to help steer it. Richard Fink, a top political advisor, and Brian Hooks, president of Charles Koch Foundation and Charles Koch Institute are among the board members.

Feinberg said that Stand Together will integrate grants and support for infrastructure. It will probably provide scholarships to private schools for poor kids. IT, human resources, and accounting assistance will also be provided to small non-profit organizations.

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