1961 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Annual Report

Jan 01, 1961
  • Description

As a Philanthropic Organization, we have no commodities to sell andno nationwide list of stockholders so we, consequently, are not interested in publicity per se. Then why do we issue annual reports, interim reports, news releases, and various other communications? We relate the details of our operations to the public because we acknowledge an obligation to account for the resources committed to us. For instance, the Annual Report to which this statement is an introduction describes in considerable detail the larger or more unique projects aided by this Foundation during the year.  It also briefly sketches all assisted programs, submits a balance sheet and a report of all income and expenditures, uses several scores of pages to reveal financial data concerning not only all grants but also the Foundation's securities, and presents a listing of the members of the Board of Trustees and of the Staff.Why such "full disclosure"? Why is a private foundation continually conscious of its obligation to take the public into its confidence? The answer to these questions lies in the freedom of operations permitted foundations. Charters and laws impose very few restrictions. The channels for philanthropy, be they health, education, agriculture, the humanities, are chosen by the grantor, for foundations, within the limitations defined by their founders, are free to determine the nature of their assistance. There is relative exemption from the pressures of conformity and tradition, for a foundation may even support an unpopular movement if the long-range welfare of the people seems to justify it. Actually, there is only one essential yardstick for the help that a foundation may render:Does the program have significant potentialities for problem-solvingin a particular field of human endeavor?