Treasurer’s Letter

A letter from Donald G. Williamson
Vice President for Finance and Treasurer of W.K. Kellogg Foundation

During the fiscal year, the financial markets and Kellogg Company stock traded at historic highs; however, by late summer, the volatile markets had withdrawn to finish up for the year. Combined assets of the foundation and trust totaled $8.5 billion on Aug. 31, 2015, in line with the prior fiscal year’s close.

Our continued fiscal responsibility and focused management of downside market risk remain central to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s (WKKF) investment and financial planning strategy.

For the fiscal year, the foundation maintained a consistent year-over-year level of cash distributions for charitable activities totaling $374 million, of this $327 million for grant payments and program related expenses.


Donald G. Williamson

The trust’s portfolio return was three percent for the fiscal year. Our Kellogg stock holdings yielded five percent, record fiscal year end close price, and the diversified portfolio returned -1 percent.

The foundation’s portfolio return was -4 percent for the fiscal year. The Mission Driven Investments (MDI) portfolio of cash equivalents, fixed income and private equity returned 8 percent during this period. Each investment in the MDI portfolio is selected to provide social impact in support of vulnerable children and their families, as well as market-rate returns. Realized benefits validate the foundation’s premise that investments can be leveraged in the portfolio to deliver both social and financial returns.

Another tool the foundation utilizes to support its grantmaking is program-related investments (PRI) which are below market-rate working capital loans to organizations in the United States and Latin America that align with our mission. The MDI and PRI initiatives partner WKKF financial and program staff to cultivate innovative opportunities increasing the foundation’s ability to deliver on its mission and goals.

For the fiscal year, the foundation made new grant commitments totaling $268 million. Of this total, nearly half benefited WKKF’s place-based work in priority places of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans in the United States, and internationally in Haiti and Mexico. In addition to financial commitments, the foundation maintains six priory place-based offices with local staff to deepen relationships and grow place-based portfolios. These actions demonstrate the foundation’s commitment to partner in and with communities, for at least a generation, to create conditions which will propel vulnerable children to achieve success.

For the fiscal year, the foundation maintained a consistent year-over-year level of cash distributions for charitable activities totaling $374 million, of this $327 million for grant payments and program related expenses.

The foundation’s trustees are provided bimonthly financial statements. Fiscal operating plans prepared by management are reviewed by the budget committee and then forwarded to the full board for approval. An audit committee of the board reviews the results of the independent accountants’ and the foundation internal audit office’s examinations. Mitchell & Titus, LLP serves as the independent accountants for the foundation and the trust.


The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s and W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust’s financial statements are audited by Mitchell & Titus, LLP. A full set of the audited financial statements is available on the foundation’s website (in the financials tab). Here is the full 2015 Financial Statements report for download.