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Leading Change On Behalf Of Children

2014 Annual Report

A Legacy of Leadership Development

Letter from President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron

The Kellogg Foundation views leadership as essential to all we hope to achieve in communities on behalf of vulnerable children and families. This legacy is part of the impetus behind the launch of the WKKF Community Leadership Network.
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A Legacy of Leadership Development

Letter from President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron

La June Montgomery Tabron

In the dining room at the foundation’s headquarters in Battle Creek, there’s a telling display of photographs from the life of W.K. Kellogg.

From his early days, we see a photo booth tintype of a young, lanky "Will Keith," the record-setting broom salesman in a then stylish top hat. From his years as a business executive, we see a middle-aged "W.K." with the thinning hair and laser-intense gaze of a breakfast food pioneer who heads a far-flung economic empire. Finally, we see "Mr. Kellogg," the elderly philanthropist in his last decade of life. He still wears a three-piece business suit, but blinded by glaucoma, sits stoically beside his beloved seeing-eye dog.

Mr. Kellogg, by all accounts, was not the emotive type. Yet these images do evoke a quiet strength and integrity that were hallmarks of his life and leadership. As with all good leaders, he began with a powerful vision, and even as his eyesight dimmed, never wavered from it. For the Kellogg Company, it took the form of cereal factories and retail distribution chains that spanned the globe. For the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), his vision centered on improved education, nutritious diets and accessible health care for vulnerable children and families, created and sustained by people who lived and worked in the community.

Both enterprises relied on financial capital and technical innovation to succeed. However, Mr. Kellogg considered the human factor as the most essential of all. In the late 1920s, when asked what he would do with his growing fortune, Mr. Kellogg replied in his usual succinct fashion, "I’ll invest my money in people."

We view leadership as essential to all we hope to achieve in communities on behalf of vulnerable children and families.

His belief that WKKF should help people reach their full potential, so that they can lead others to do the same, still undergirds our work. We view leadership as essential to all we hope to achieve in communities on behalf of vulnerable children and families. For what social change effort, in any age, has ever succeeded without it?

This was true in the 1930s, when WKKF’s Michigan Community Health Project helped make leaders out of local doctors, newspaper editors, teachers, farmers and social workers. It’s true today in our priority places of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans, as well as Mexico and Haiti.

This legacy was part of the impetus behind the launch of the WKKF Community Leadership Network (CLN), announced in November 2013. For WKKF, its launch represents another step in our learning journey. We made significant investments in leadership development during the 1980s through 1990s, most notably in the well-regarded Kellogg National Fellows Program (KNFP), which was later renamed the Kellogg National Leadership Program (KNLP). Alumni of WKKF’s fellowship programs went on to serve with distinction as judges, doctors, nationally known journalists – their number even includes a U.S. surgeon general. We ended KNFP/KNLP in 2002, but continued to support leadership across all of our program areas.

Then, as we shifted some of our emphasis to place-based programs in 2008, the need for another kind of leadership program arose. We had built KNLP around annual groups of 45-50 fellows, selected from across the United States. With the CLN, we’ve taken more of a community-based focus to leadership development.

As a funder, WKKF has long collaborated with those leading change in their neighborhoods, towns, counties, states and beyond. Our work and our vision of change require people with a first-hand, personal knowledge of the needs of their communities. Of course, communities are never homogeneous. Recently, for example, we took the opportunity to ask residents of our hometown in Battle Creek about how they define a community leader. As you'll see in the video within this letter, their responses are highly varied.

Our inaugural class of 120 WKKF CLN fellows represents the kind of community leaders that the foundation seeks to develop. Of these, 96 belong to cohorts from Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans. They are complemented by 24 national fellows selected from outside WKKF’s priority places and are focusing on racial equity and healing.

The CLN fellows are diverse in age, gender, race/ethnicity, education and way of life. They include school principals, clergy, tribal leaders, community organizers, a newspaper publisher, a state senator and a NASA policy analyst. Some are formal leaders, some are informal leaders. Until recently, some never saw themselves as leaders. They are rising to the occasion in pursuit of a passion for social justice, racial equity, health, food, education and so on.

In this, we agree with author John Maxwell’s insight that, "Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another." And, on an individual level, we are helping CLN fellows develop attributes essential to exercising that influence: courage, vision, perseverance and collaboration.

When I think of WKKF’s leadership legacy, a scene from our founder’s life comes to mind exemplifying these attributes. The date was July 4, 1907, and W.K. had just watched his first factory, an old wooden building, burn furiously to the ground. To a lesser leader, it could’ve been devastating. His fledgling, one-year-old business had no capital to rebuild. With the ruins still smoking, W.K. told his employees to report for work the next morning. By the day’s end, he had arranged for an architect to begin plans for a much larger and safer factory. Then, with characteristic courage, he somehow drummed up the financing to make it a reality.

Today, confronted by the challenges manifest in Ferguson, Miami, Staten Island, Cleveland, Phoenix and elsewhere, that kind of courage is precisely what we need from our leaders and ourselves.

We need the courage to ask and devise practical, actionable answers to fundamental questions that go to the heart of the character of our communities and our nation.

We need the courage to ask and devise practical, actionable answers to fundamental questions that go to the heart of the character of our communities and our nation: How do we improve life outcomes for children? How do we unwind the long, deeply held racial biases that were wrongly legitimized more than 100 years ago by the Supreme Court in Plessy vs. Ferguson and – despite the progress of the past 100 years – are still displayed today by another case called "Ferguson"? How do we instill, in ourselves and our children, the recognition that black lives, like all lives, matter?

Finally, we need in all of our leaders the courage we have seen and will see in the CLN fellows as they act as leaders for change in their networks and in the places where they live. In an age of political fragmentation, they will work to unify communities and find collaborative solutions on behalf of vulnerable children. In an age when issues of race still divide, wound and impoverish our nation, they will pursue racial equity and racial healing as a way to build new consensus around our shared fate as Americans.

In raising leaders for such work, we expect both the fellows and their communities to grow and change. We are committed to building a new generation of leaders who can build and sustain long-term change. For the WKKF Community Leadership Network, our fellows will be (and already are) stewards and advocates of the collective good.

This same ethos guides WKKF’s leadership programming. It’s summed up in our credo "the practical application of knowledge to the problems of people." Our hands-on leaders will serve vulnerable children and families where they find them: in streets, schools, farms, clinics, gleaming capital buildings and dim church basements. They will lead by empathy and example – North Stars whose innate courage will inspire others to become the best of what they already know themselves to be.


Our Commitment to the Leadership Process

Letter from Board Chair Bobby Moser

The very fact that we’re discussing our own governance is as important as the governance model itself. In the process with La June’s courageous leadership, we’re demonstrating the foundation’s ongoing commitment to leadership development, including our own.
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Our Commitment to the Leadership Process

Letter from the Board Chair Bobby Moser

Bobby Moser

For much of her first full year leading the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron and the board of trustees have engaged in an energetic discussion about the foundation’s governance model. In particular, we’ve been looking at the respective roles of board and staff in defining the ends we want to achieve, distinguishing them from the means to achieve them, and the ways we’ll measure progress.

While the foundation is about to celebrate its 84th birthday, it probably shouldn’t be surprising that governance is open for discussion. After all, Mr. Kellogg deliberately opened the door to flexibility about means, ends and governance when he directed the foundation to "Use the money as you please so long as it promotes the health, happiness and well-being of children." His reluctance to dictate reflected his larger belief in the capacity of people to address their own problems and create appropriate solutions. He was explicit about that belief when he pledged to "invest my money in people."

We're demonstrating the foundation’s ongoing commitment to leadership development, including our own.

And that’s exactly the point. In some respects, the very fact that we’re discussing our own governance is as important as the governance model itself. In the process with La June’s courageous leadership, we’re demonstrating the foundation’s ongoing commitment to leadership development, including our own.

Beginning with the Michigan Community Health Project, one of our first efforts as the Kellogg Foundation, and continuing through most of our history, leadership development has been an important part of our approach. Throughout the years we’ve supported the growth of leaders in fields from agriculture to food systems to hospital administration to education, including an entire generation of community college administrators.

In 2014 the foundation launched the newest expression of Mr. Kellogg’s belief in people by welcoming the first class of the new WKKF Community Leadership Network (CLN).

It’s important to point out that, for the foundation, leadership development is not about creating new leaders to fill a vacuum. We’ve long understood that even the most impoverished community already has people who inspire and help shape ideas. They may have no official role. They may not identify themselves as leaders. They may not even have a concrete vision of the future.

But they do have a vision that a better future is possible. And they possess the courage, the perseverance and the collaborative spirit to help realize it.

By identifying emerging and established community leaders, and helping them build networks and gain skill and insight, we want to help communities create sustainable social change.

We support the continued growth of these individuals because we believe their leadership and influence are keys to creating engaged communities. By identifying emerging and established community leaders, and helping them build networks and gain skill and insight, we want to help communities create sustainable social change. We want to help them turn social change for and with the community into lasting social change by the community.

The challenge to develop community leaders goes to the heart of the foundation’s identity and we take it seriously and personally as trustees. In the broadest sense, the foundation exists to create sustainable social change by helping people help themselves. Such change demands time, energy and focus. That’s why, as an example, the board has committed to work in each of our priority locations for at least a generation. It’s why we made an initial six-year commitment to the CLN.

By a similar token, that’s also why we’ve applied one of the most basic principles of sound leadership – that of ongoing development – to ourselves. As much as we want to help current and emerging leaders be more effective in creating and sustaining change in their communities, we’re adopting a governance model that will allow the "community" of the Kellogg Foundation to be more effective in leveraging our skills and resources.

As La June Montgomery Tabron mentions in her first president’s letter, with the first class of the WKKF Community Leadership Network (some of whom are featured in roundtable videos in this annual report), the foundation is again leveraging an approach partnered with our grantmaking that we believe is fundamental to social change.

My fellow trustees and I have met the members of that class – they are excited and committed – as are the trustees. We are all enthusiastic about their potential. Their ongoing development, and ours at the Kellogg Foundation, not only represents the spirit of Mr. Kellogg, but is also essential to fulfilling his vision to protect the interests and ensure the success of vulnerable children today and into the future.


Leadership Development Throughout the Years

Leadership development has been a hallmark of the Kellogg Foundation’s work over time, from the Michigan Community Health Project in the 1930s to the WKKF Community Leadership Network today.
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Continuing an 84-Year Tradition

With their very first program – the Michigan Community Health Project (MCHP) in 1930 – the leaders of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) made engaged local leadership central to their vision of sustainable social change. In their 1941 report summarizing the MCHP and the foundation’s first 11 years, they expressed their belief that, "Any assistance the foundation could offer should … bring to … communities through their own leaders the best of current thought in order that those directly concerned could work out their own solutions."

To that end, the MCHP involved hundreds of local leaders in promoting community health, education and welfare in seven southwestern Michigan counties. In addition, the foundation inaugurated the first of its international leadership development efforts, granting fellowships in connection with the MCHP to two Montreal physicians.

But beyond recognizing the need to engage leaders, WKKF founder Will Keith Kellogg, then-President George C. Darling and then-General Director Emory C. Morris also understood that effective leaders are not born but developed. And they characterized the development process broadly as, "a method … by which … people could study their problems, learn to appreciate the wealth of their resources, exchange experience, talk with others who had solved similar problems successfully, and find their own answers through cooperative community action."

By the time the MCHP was winding down, leadership development and creation of "pipelines of leadership" had become integral to the foundation’s efforts on behalf of children. In the years since – while its approach to meeting the needs of children has evolved in response to changing circumstances – the foundation has consistently acted on the belief that capable, connected local leadership is essential for communities seeking to craft solutions and realize their visions. And to a great extent, its leadership development activities continue to follow the process outlined in 1941.

For example, with the start of World War II, the foundation began awarding fellowships to non-U.S. citizens – primarily health and education students – the majority of whom ultimately assumed leadership roles in their home countries.

Following the war, the foundation continued its international efforts, funding the Salzburg Seminars, which invited young intellectuals from nations recently at war to meet to discuss issues of mutual interest. It also created fellowships to provide leadership in rebuilding European agriculture. And it inaugurated a graduate studies fellowship program for professionals from Latin America, the Caribbean and the five southernmost African nations.

In the 1950s, in response to the explosion of young families and the growing demand for education and job training in the U.S., the foundation turned its attention to developing leaders in education. The Cooperative Program in Educational Administration (CPEA) was a nationwide program for advanced education for public school administrators and teachers.

A companion effort, the Junior College Leadership Program (JCLP) established a training program for junior college leaders that is credited with influencing the community college curriculum nationally and producing an entire generation of junior college administrators, including 17 presidents and 23 deans in California alone.

The latter decades of the 20th century saw consistent foundation efforts to build and maintain similar pipelines of community leadership, both generally and in areas of specific foundation focus.

For example, the Kellogg National Fellowship/Leadership Program (KNFP/KNLP), which ran from 1980 to 2002, was designed to provide individuals with "the opportunity to engage in a three-year quest to broaden their intellectual horizons and bolster their capacities for leadership."

The Kellogg International Leadership Program (KILP), consisting of two groups of fellows, was intended to advance leadership capacity for human services worldwide.

Other fellowship and leadership programs created since 1980 focused on community health; health professions; health policy, including health disparities; and sustainable food and farming systems, including international food systems.

More recently, in an effort to cultivate a critical mass of leaders in six cities, the foundation inaugurated the Kellogg Leadership for Community Change (KLCC) program, which evolved to become the national Community Learning Exchange. Applying a range of social, economic, cultural and experiential criteria, KLCC identified fellows from multiple communities who were then brought together for a series of two-year sessions to develop their skills and resources while advancing collective visions for their communities.

But the foundation’s belief in leadership development is not limited to adults. For example, for more than 20 years the foundation supported the International Youth Foundation (IYF). Among its activities, IYF employs programs like the Youth Action Net to leverage the skills and abilities of youthful social entrepreneurs in building traditions of community and civic engagement and leadership in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and other parts of the world.

In the early years of the 21st century, the foundation funded a number of initiatives collectively called the Health Leadership Cluster, designed to develop leaders in understanding, addressing and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care access and outcomes. In addition, the W.K. Kellogg African American Fellowship and Development Program sought to build a network of universities focused on developing leadership in health systems with an emphasis on health disparities research.

Food Systems Policy Fellows was a national program of professional fellowships supporting efforts to enhance communications about food and agriculture issues in the U.S.

Most recently, the WKKF Community Leadership Network (CLN), launched in May 2014, supports development of emerging and established leaders in the foundation’s priority places of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans and nationally in racial healing and justice work. Beyond these programs, throughout the past seven years the foundation has made a large number of individual grants focused on leadership development consistent with its strategic framework and priority places.

Overall, more than 2800 existing and emerging community leaders have participated in Kellogg Foundation leadership development efforts and hundreds more will be added in the years to come.


A Timeline of WKKF Leadership Programs



Michigan Community Health Project (MCHP)

WKKF collaborated with seven southwestern Michigan counties to develop local community leaders to improve health care and education for young people. The program recruited hundreds of volunteers like physicians, parents, teachers and business people to address social problems.


Canadian Fellowships

Two Montreal physicians were selected as fellows. Throughout the next two decades, WKKF funded 61 projects in Canada and 160 fellowships.


International Health Fellowships

WKKF began its international programming in 1942 with leadership development fellowships in Brazil and Mexico focused upon health. Several fellows became involved in transnational cooperation among universities across the Americas and a number of Latin American health system reforms were influenced by these fellowships.


International Study Grants

Following the outbreak of World War II, WKKF awarded graduate studies fellowships to non-U.S. citizens involved in health and education work in Latin America, the Caribbean and the five southernmost African nations. Fellows were teachers and researchers who benefited from study experiences in the United States and many eventually assumed leadership roles in their home countries.


European Agricultural Fellowships

After World War II, WKKF helped develop researchers and academics to rebuild the continent’s agriculture to become self-sustaining in nutritious food production. Secondly, next generation farmers were developed through Farm Youth Clubs and supported in purchasing facilities and equipment to apply their knowledge.


Salzburg Seminars

WKKF gathered young intellectuals from nations recently at war in Schloss Leopoldskron in Austria to discuss issues of mutual interest.


Cooperative Program in Educational Administration (CPEA)

This program offered special training to U.S. public higher education administrators and teachers in developing greater understanding of their civic and community responsibilities. Participants included many of the nation’s colleges and universities and a majority of more than 3,000 county school systems.


Junior College Leadership Programs (JCLP)

In 1959, this companion effort to CPEA helped community education and two-year colleges become core community assets by broadening the institutions academically while encouraging them to become more responsive to their communities’ needs. In 1972, JCLP was taken over by its host institutions.


Agriculture Leadership Development Program

Launched in 1965, this program, which eventually became the Kellogg Farmers Study Program (KFSP) and the Rural Leadership Development Program, developed fellows’ interpersonal skills, leading to leadership positions in civic organizations and election to legislatures.


National 4-H Council

Addressing the changing needs of youth leaders, WKKF supported 4-H, a national organization with millions of members and adult learners in need of concentrated training. Additional support was given to the Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Junior Achievement, Inc. and to the 4-S program in Latin America, which is similar to 4-H.


Family Community Leadership Project (FCL)

Beginning in Oregon, this program helped develop rural female homemakers’ leadership skills, making it possible for them to assume more active roles in community, state and regional decision-making. Throughout a 15-year period, the program was replicated in five states.


Kellogg National Leadership Program (KNLP)

In 1980, in celebration of the foundation’s 50th anniversary, WKKF launched an effort to enable young professionals from many disciplines to embark on a three-year journey to broaden their social and intellectual potential. In 1996, the program evolved into KNLP and expanded to emphasize leadership development. An exemplar in the field of leadership development since its inception, KNLP has produced more than 700 leaders who make a difference in their communities and institutions, as well as touch countless lives for the good of society.


Kellogg International Leadership Program (KILP)

Mirroring the success of WKKF’s leadership development initiatives in the United States, KILP fellows were established leaders in their home countries who came from government, non-government, educational and philanthropic institutions. The program strengthened global leadership capacity, emphasized community change and built upon the experience, cultural perspectives and regional context of its 178 fellows.


Kellogg Youth Initiative Partnerships (KYIP)

This long-term commitment provided major support to identify, strengthen and mobilize resources on behalf of youth in communities within three diverse Michigan regions. The Kellogg Youth Development Seminars (KYDS) emerged as a leadership development program within KYIP and offered a forum for new voices and methods to promote specific outcomes for local youth.


Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project (MCFYP)

With a $60 million investment, WKKF sought to strengthen community foundation coverage in the state by establishing new community foundations, strengthening existing community foundations and involving young people in substantive philanthropic leadership roles.


Kellogg International Fellowship Program in Food Systems (KIFP/FS)

Working with Michigan State University as an administrator, this three-year program, started in 1986, developed professional leaders in bringing about improvements in food systems in developing countries like Mexico, India, Sudan, Brazil, among others.


Study Grant Fellowships – Latin America

During the 1980s and 90s, this fellowship supported graduate studies at U.S. universities for 66 fellows from 13 countries including Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. The fields of study included health, food systems, rural development, education, youth, philanthropy, volunteerism, leadership and economic development. In 2000, the program administration shifted to Harvard University Academic and Professional Programs for the Americas (LASPAU).


College Age Youth Leadership Development

From 1990-1998, WKKF funded 31 projects focusing upon leadership development in college-age youth to support and test various models of leadership development programs for this age group.


The African American Men and Boys Initiative (AAMB)

After consulting with numerous individuals with first-hand knowledge of the issues facing the African American male community, in 1991 WKKF launched an $11 million initiative aimed at improving opportunities for African American men and boys at greatest risk. The program included funding for 32 model projects around the country.


Grassroots Community Leadership

Between 1992 and 1996, WKKF invested more than $20 million in a cluster of projects which focused simultaneously on the individual, the community, and the organization in order to promote the development of local leaders and strengthen grassroots community leadership in the U.S.


Community Voices

In 1998, WKKF launched this initiative to ensure that the underserved working poor, those receiving public assistance and those lacking adequate health insurance had a voice in the national debate about health care access and quality. The initiative sought to strengthen community support services in the absence of universal health coverage.


Initiative for Developing Equity in African Agriculture (IDEAA)
Integrated District Development Program (IDDP)
Leadership Regional Network (LeaRN)

These initiatives sought to integrate leadership and leadership development in three ways: IDEAA launched in 1999 to develop leaders to transform institutions that deliver services to small farmers in in six countries in southern Africa; IDDP provided education and skill-building to local leaders, women and youth; LeaRN promoted social and economic leadership development at every level of society, from government to family and individual.


Southern Africa: Footprints of Legends Leadership Awards

In 2001, WKKF established this award program celebrating African leaders who strive for social justice and equity through service to their communities. Prizewinners are those courageous enough to create programs that touch lives and shape reactions to human suffering.


Flemming Leadership Institute

These fellowships from 2001-2007 focused on enhancing the dissemination of public policy information at the state level by developing the leadership capacity of state legislators and leveraging the power of the Flemming fellows network to move ideas into action.


Kellogg Leadership for Community Change (KLCC)

From 2002-2013, this program worked with community leaders to develop shared leadership skills and cross boundaries, and provided opportunities to exchange effective practices and resources while advancing a new collective vision for their communities.


Kellogg Fellowship Program in Health Policy Research

This program supported minority postgraduate students’ research in an effort to build community engagement in addressing disparities in health care access and outcomes for people of color, the uninsured and the underinsured. It was the basis of a network that included eight prestigious educational institutions and a cadre of faculty mentors.


W.K. Kellogg African American Fellowship and Development Program

Launched in 2003, this effort built a network to increase research in health disparities and the number of African American students and professionals prepared to assume leadership positions in state and community organizations engaged in health disparities research.


Leadership Program in Social Development (PLDS)

Implemented between 2003 and 2007 by three institutions – Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (CIRMA) in Guatemala, Universidad del Pacífico (UP) in Peru and Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) in Brazil – this program developed the leadership competencies necessary for social management and leading related projects, programs and nonprofit organizations. It benefited 250 participants from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.


Kellogg Health Scholars Program

Combining two former programs – the Kellogg Scholars in Health Disparities Program and the Community Health Scholars Program – this effort sought to connect Kellogg Health Scholars, communities, public health practice, research, academic institutions and policy development in order to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. The programs were incorporated in 2005 and funded with $3.5 million.


Minority Dental Faculty Fellows

This six-year program developed minority dental faculty in a network of universities and organizations focused on health systems change with an emphasis on primary care, prevention and public health. It was co-funded by WKKF and the American Dental Education Association.


Food Systems Policy Fellows

This national program granted fellowships to leaders in health, consumer education, sustainable agriculture, local food policy, organic farming, nutrition and aquaculture to enhance communications about food and agriculture issues in the U.S. Fellows worked to inform the media and consumers about the connections between healthy diets and healthy food systems and to encourage farmers and producers to work in environmentally sensitive ways while generating quality jobs.


Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance (KFLA)

WKKF supported its network of former fellows in several ways through foundation investments, including one focused on implementation of a new business model; by strengthening relationships with other national fellowship programs in the U.S. and through a series of forums and convenings that brought attention and leadership to issues of racial equity and civic engagement.


Leadership Grants across WKKF Strategic Framework

WKKF made a number of individual grants for leadership development which sought to build capacity and to grow and strengthen networks of leaders mobilizing to advance its strategic goals in our priority places.


Leadership in Philanthropy in the Americas Program (LIP)

In this hemispheric program for emerging leaders in philanthropy and volunteerism, 289 fellows from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, the U.S., Panama and Uruguay were selected to both promote the value of philanthropy and to direct it toward effective social development.


Kellogg Leadership Development Program for Mexican Youth (KLDM)

Conducted from 2010 to 2012, this was an effort to strengthen the leadership competencies and networks of young and talented individuals committed to the development of their communities and places of origin.


KWETU Leadership Program on Racial Equity in Brazil

Aimed at Afro-Brazilian youth and conducted in partnership with Instituto Steve Biko, the Kwetu program ran from 2011 to 2013 and sought to empower leaders by enhancing competencies in discussing and acting on issues of race and gender in organizations, forums, community networks and civil society.


WKKF Community Leadership Network Fellowship Program

Launched in 2014, this program supports emerging and established leaders in the foundation’s priority places of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans and a national cohort of fellows engaged in racial equity and healing work. Three classes of 120 fellows will participate in the three-year fellowships.


Fellows Past and Present

WKKF surveyed its past and present fellows to identify their similarities and differences as well as to learn more about what makes a community leader. Take a look at a snapshot of the findings and read reflective essays from a past and current fellow.
View Snapshot
Read Rui's Essay
Read Donna's Essay

This Fellowship: A Boon to Me, My Work, My Community

By Donna Ladd, journalist and owner of the Jackson Free Press

Jackson, Mississippi

WKKF Fellow – 2014-2017

Donna Ladd

If you had told me 12 years ago, back when I started my newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi, that a key to helping my community was to do more for myself, I wouldn't have believed you.

I grew up as a type AAA personality, the daughter of illiterate parents, determined to help right the wrongs of my state's past, symbolized by the executions of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner in my hometown when I was 3 – and at the hands of people my family knew.

I had fled the state after graduating from Mississippi State and then followed my homing device back after getting a mid-career master's degree at Columbia University with a self-designed focus I dubbed "social justice journalism." My specialized study there focused on two overlapping challenges for the U.S.: race inequity and the challenges facing vulnerable children, especially those of color.

I started my paper to lead a diverse staff in addressing the problems – race, class and otherwise – that have crippled our state based on our brutal history of white supremacy and oppression. And I wanted to empower as many young people as I could to tell their own stories well and often enough to empathetically draw others to the mission.

In our Youth Media Projects, diverse teens as young as 14 examine how the media cover them (usually negatively) and learn to be the media themselves, through writing stories, blogging and video. But I've long been frustrated that there wasn't enough of me to go around to really help the young people take their new sensibility to a new level, and even replicate it in other cities. I always told myself I could do more if I could clone myself.

By the time I was named a WKKF Community Leadership Network (CLN) fellow, the intense, nonstop nature of my work had begun to cost me my health and energy, and I was having a tough time keeping up the pace. I had even suffered a bad fall and barely had use of my writing hand and arm.

In less than a year, this fellowship has been remarkable for me and the people around me. The fellowship's requirement to invest in self-development first has helped me identify and face my weaknesses as a leader and led me to strengthen my personal approach to productivity. I brought in a local coach who is helping me build a more self-directed team. And most exciting, I've borrowed liberally from the exercises and varied learning-style approaches that the program organizers engage us with at our gatherings to create "Jackson Free Press University" for my staff and interns.

We now have frequent interactive retreats, workshops and lunch-and-learns led by experts as well as our own staff members. I've hired a former intern, now a high school senior, to help organize and plan next summer's media project based on these creative ideas and tools.

My goal is to continue to spiral out these tools and ideas to develop powerful community workshops on vital issues affecting our children – called "JackTalks," perhaps? – as well as to build a replicable Youth Media Project infrastructure that can give many more young people a way to use their stories to effect change. Put simply, the CLN fellowship has reinvigorated, inspired and helped me think bigger than ever about the potential for change in my community. I can't wait to see where it takes me next.


Learning Values-Based Leadership

By Rui Mesquita Cordeiro, director of Latin America and Caribbean programs, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Mexico City, Mexico

WKKF Fellow – 2003-2006

Rui Mesquita Cordeiro

In 1942, Mr. Kellogg encouraged the Kellogg Foundation to become involved in Latin America with a particular emphasis on leadership development in the region’s health systems. The first grants under this effort were to health departments of local universities in Mexico and Brazil. In the years since, the foundation has supported more than 800 WKKF fellows throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Today, about 300 of those leaders are connected with each other and 1,000 additional leaders in the U.S. and other regions, through the independent Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance (KFLA).

In 2003, I had the opportunity to become a WKKF fellow as a participant in the Leadership Program in Social Development (PLDS), implemented by three institutions: Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (CIRMA) in Guatemala, Universidad del Pacífico (UP) in Peru and Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) in Brazil. This program benefited 250 participants from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil by helping them develop the competencies to lead community social development efforts and to articulate projects, programs and non-profit organizations for the well-being of children, young people and communities in the region.

For four years, I was able to apply my skills as a WKKF fellow in areas that included youth leadership programs (the Social Development Academy Institute in Recife, Brazil), youth public policy efforts (National Youth Council in Brasilia, Brazil) and support of several community development efforts for children and youth in several Latin American countries. In 2007, I also had the opportunity to join the W.K. Kellogg Foundation team, applying my skills to achieve the foundation’s mission in its international efforts and beyond.

In 2014, after eleven years as a WKKF fellow, one of my greatest lessons has been the recognition of a values-based leadership style as a critical success factor. To me, this means serving as a leader who maintains consonance between my own values and those of the community in which I work. It means respect for the people I serve. It means setting an example rather than waiting for one. It means acting with the people I serve as well as for them. It means that, as a leader, the choices I make about my team’s strategy must be informed not only by the ends desired by my organization and the community in which I work, but also by understanding of what is ethically and morally acceptable.

A values-based leadership style also means that I do not work alone. Internally, a cohesive team sets the pace and exercises collective leadership. Externally, peers and other stakeholders are also key and part of a larger collective effort to achieve our ends. That mutual effort demands leadership that exercises strong accountability, both internally and externally, vertically and horizontally.

Finally, and most importantly, values-based leadership means that every leadership position is temporary and must be exercised with and deeply rooted in care, respect, understanding, tolerance, compassion, support, guidance and ethical behavior under all circumstances.

Mr. Kellogg’s vision of leadership development and values-based systems for the benefit of children and families remains both part of his legacy and part of his promise, especially with the creation of new leadership development programs in the U.S., Haiti and Mexico. As brand new WKKF fellows are added to the family, it is my hope and belief that they will apply their knowledge and commitment to help realize that promise, in partnership with a vibrant community of strongly committed leaders around the world.

A Snapshot of WKKF Fellows Past and Present

What constitutes a community leader? What motivates her? How does participation in a development program inform a leader's work, capability and network?

Over the years, the Kellogg Foundation has considered a wide range of people as community leaders: from physicians to farmers to students. Often, the leader’s profession was a criterion in her participation in an initiative. At other times – for example, the WKKF Community Leadership Network (CLN), launched in 2014 – participants were selected from diverse fields.

In asking "who knows what" about leadership development on behalf of children, we began looking for the common threads that connect these leaders. We surveyed members of the first class of CLN fellows and WKKF fellows from previous programs in order to learn more about them, their fellowship experiences and the extent to which those experiences have been and are of use to them in their work.

The results are striking in their consistency and sometimes notable in their differences. And while it’s impossible to draw definitive conclusions based on a one-time survey and limited sample, they also suggest some provocative conclusions.

Of equal interest and potential long-term utility is the baseline that these surveys establish. We look forward to building on these data in the future, using them to track the development of current and future WKKF fellows and sharing and applying what we learn in our ongoing efforts to develop community leadership on behalf of vulnerable children.

Community leadership is not a function of academic achievement.

While it may seem counterintuitive, both the current Community Leadership Network (CLN) fellows and previous WKKF fellows include leaders with high school degrees (or the equivalent), some college, technical or vocational training and bachelor’s degrees, suggesting that the value of life experience may at least equal the value of education in community leadership.

  CLN Fellows Previous Fellows
Completed High School / Some College
Trade / Technical / Associate Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate Degree
Community leaders’ motivation is consistent over time. Mostly.

Asked which single word best describes their motivation, "passion," "service," "equity" and "love" were among the 10 words most frequently cited by both CLN and previous fellows. But there were also provocative differences. For example, previous fellows sought to have "impact." CLN fellows desired arguably more concrete "outcomes." And while previous fellows were often motivated by "justice," CLN fellows were often motivated by "injustice."

"Community" is where the heart is.

WKKF’s commitment to working in community and its understanding of community-based social change as a long-term undertaking are reflected by fellows’ ongoing commitments to their communities.

The majority of both CLN and previous fellows have lived and/or worked in their present communities for

More than 10 years.

More than 45%

of previous fellows continue to live within 50 miles of the communities in which they lived and/or worked during their fellowships.

Leadership development is personal development.

More than 96 percent of previous fellows and more than 94 percent of CLN fellows claim that their fellowships have contributed at least somewhat to the development of a new skill or ability.

58 percent of CLN fellows and 64 percent of previous fellows say their fellowships have contributed greatly to development of new skills or abilities.

Personal development facilitates social change.

Kellogg Foundation CLN and previous fellows are, in fact, putting their expanded personal capabilities to work on behalf of social change in their communities.

Roughly 75% of all fellows believe that WKKF fellowships have made a great deal of difference in their ability to create change in society, in their communities and in the lives of others.


On the Future of Leadership Development

Six current WKKF Community Leadership Network fellows participate in a roundtable discussion of four questions illustrating their plans and hopes for creating change on behalf of vulnerable children and families in their communities.
Watch videos
Read fellows’ bios
On the Future of Leadership Development

In October 2014, six representatives of the 120-member first class of the WKKF Community Leadership Network met in Detroit for a spontaneous and wide-ranging conversation about their beliefs, hopes and expectations for their fellowship experience. The videos below capture excerpts of their discussion.

What does it mean to be a community leader?
As a leader, what responsibility do you have for your community’s children?
What do you want to achieve as a community leader?
What do you want to achieve as a Kellogg Foundation fellow?
Fellows' Bios
Adrian L. Brown

Adrian is an emerging leader and practitioner engaged in community development with a focus on the rural Mississippi Delta. He is the president of Brown & Associates, Inc., a local planning and community development firm. Throughout his work, Adrian has overcome challenges by remaining committed to grassroots principles and putting the needs of people first. He is engaged in faith-based work and has a strong passion for ‘home grown’ solutions to community challenges.

Quincy L. Jones

Quincy is an emerging leader and serves as the executive director for Osborn Neighborhood Alliance. He is committed to leading this advocacy and planning organization to ensure children are safe, healthy, educated and prepared for adulthood in the Osborn community and beyond. He defines himself as a servant leader; this is evident in his efforts to organize residents, organizations, business partners and institutions around a common goal: to improve quality of life conditions for Osborn’s children and families.

Vernon Miller

Vernon is a leader within the Thunder Clan from the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. He left his position as a business teacher with the Umonhon (Omaha) Nation Public Schools on the Omaha Tribal Reservation when he was elected to the Omaha Tribal Council. His vision for the future includes lowering unemployment, ensuring equitable services for students and language preservation. He served as western regional director and election chair for the American Indian/Alaska Native Caucus for the National Education Association. He has also served on the board of directors for the Nebraska State Education Association.

Elisa R. Muñoz

Elisa is the market manager of Crescent City Farmers Market. An emerging leader, she works on the issues of food justice, healthy food access, public health and children’s advocacy. Elisa has a vision of holistic healing for individuals and communities; that all institutions, organizations and individuals working with children work together to empower them through better food, healthier environments, more livable communities, quality health care and engaged learning to transform communities.

Cyndi X. Nguyen

Cyndi is an emerging leader who is the executive director of the Vietnamese Initiative in Economic Training (VIET). VIET is the first nonprofit organization in Louisiana that focuses on the needs of non-English speaking communities. The organization’s programs are based on identified community needs, including health and wellness, early childhood education and economic security. With large non-English speaking communities in New Orleans, Cyndi’s bilingual language skills have helped bridge the gap for families who might otherwise feel isolated. Her passion is to improve the quality of life for vulnerable children in underserved and underrepresented communities, creating opportunities for them to become engaged in their community, access services and thrive.

Glenna Voigt

Glenna is the founding principal of Media Arts Collaborative Charter School (MACCS), a state charter school located in Albuquerque serving grades 6-12. MACCS offers students a project-based, cross-curricular education that is centered in the media arts. Glenna sees training in media arts as a way for students to both build skills that will lead to future job opportunities and provide them with a voice to address the issues they face day-to-day. She has a commitment to support young people by providing innovative educational opportunities.


Leadership Inspiration

WKKF asked its past and present fellows to share quotations from leaders that inspired them in the work they do each day.
Explore quotations

Leadership Inspiration


Financials & Grantmaking

During the past fiscal year, Sept. 1, 2013, through Aug. 31, 2014, WKKF made $350,432,386 in new commitments to 905 new projects and made grant payments of $295,891,872 to active projects.
Treasurer's Letter
Financials & Investments

Treasurer’s Letter

Letter from Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Donald G. Williamson

Donald G. Williamson

With financial markets and some of our investments trading at historic highs, the combined assets of the foundation and trust totaled $8.6 billion on Aug. 31, 2014, up 6 percent from the prior year and the highest close since inception. Fiscal responsibility and a disciplined approach remain central to WKKF’s investment and financial planning strategy.

The trust’s portfolio diversified investments returned 13 percent for the fiscal year while Kellogg stock yielded 10 percent, as the stock price rose steadily throughout the year. Combined, the trust’s portfolio returned 11 percent for this period.

The foundation’s return, excluding mission-driven investing, was 11 percent for the fiscal year. The Mission Driven Investments (MDI) deployed portfolio of cash equivalents, fixed income and private equity returned 9 percent during the same 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. Both MDI and PRI partner WKKF financial and program staff to cultivate innovative opportunities increasing the foundation’s ability to deliver on its mission.

New grant commitments for the year totaled $350 million, nearly double reported in the prior year. Of this total, approximately 60 percent benefited 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 five place-based offices with local staff to deepen relationships and grow place-based portfolios. Our newest priority place-based office in Grand Rapids, Michigan, opened in spring 2014. These actions further demonstrate the foundation’s commitment to partner in and with communities, for at least a generation, and 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 $380 million, of this $323 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.


W.K. Kellogg Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust

Condensed and Combined Financial Information

For the Years Ended Aug. 31, 2014 and 2013

Statement of Financial Position

2014  Combined W.K. Kellogg Foundation W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust 2013Combined W.K. Kellogg Foundation W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust
Assets $8,621,183,526 $448,430,564 $8,172,752,962 $8,155,292,105 $428,517,444 $7,726,774,661
Liabilities $574,761,293 $318,609,161 $256,152,132 $565,762,667 $297,220,174 $268,542,493
Net Assets $8,046,422,233 $129,821,403 $7,916,600,830 $7,589,529,438 $131,297,270 $7,458,232,168
Total Liabilities and Net Assets Total L&NA $8,621,183,526 $448,430,564 $8,172,752,962 $8,155,292,105 $428,517,444 $7,726,774,661

Statement of Activities

2014  Combined W.K. Kellogg Foundation W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust 2013Combined W.K. Kellogg Foundation W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust
Contributions From The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust* Contributions* $- $365,000,000 $- $- $300,000,000 $-
Investment Revenues - Net of Cost of Earning Income Inv. Revenues $865,030,828 $31,812,878 $833,217,950 $1,182,918,781 $19,058,257 $1,163,860,524
Other Revenue $2,134,606 $2,134,606 - $9,992,226 $9,992,226 -
Total Revenues $867,165,434 $398,947,484 $833,217,950 $1,192,911,007 $329,050,483 $1,163,860,524
Contributions To The W.K. Kellogg Foundation* Contributions* - - $365,000,000 - - $300,000,000
Grant Expense $310,613,568 $310,613,568 - $171,562,252 $171,562,252 -
Program Activities Activities $26,904,190 $26,904,190 - $34,664,171 $34,664,171 -
General Operations Operations $58,559,046 $58,559,046 - $27,386,437 $27,386,437 -
Depreciation $3,964,880 $3,964,880 - $3,285,743 $3,285,743 -
Federal Excise Tax Provisions Excise Tax $10,230,955 $381,667 $9,849,288 $23,291,676 $154,795 $23,136,881
Total Expenses $410,272,639 $400,423,351 $374,849,288 $260,190,279 $237,053,398 $323,136,881
Change in Net Assets $456,892,795 ($1,475,867) $458,368,662 $932,720,728 $91,997,085 $840,723,643
Net Assets at Beginning of Year Net Assets at B.O.Y. $7,589,529,438 $131,297,270 $7,458,232,168 $6,656,808,710 $39,300,185 $6,617,508,525
Net Assets at end of Year Net Assets at E.O.Y. $8,046,422,233 $129,821,403 $7,916,600,830 $7,589,529,438 $131,297,270 $7,458,232,168

*Intercompany contributions and distribution of $365,000,000 and $300,000,000 for the years ended Aug. 31, 2014 and 2013, respectively, have been eliminated in the combined totals.

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 version of these financial statements is available on the foundation's website at www.wkkf.org.

Summary of Investments

Investment Asset Values and Time Weighted Return

Year Foundation Trust Total TWR (time weighted return)
2005 $350,227,506 $6,796,072,705 $7,146,300,211 12.00%
2006 $384,395,869 $7,263,425,219 $7,647,821,088 12.30%
2007 $430,995,061 $7,798,733,829 $8,229,728,890 13.20%
2008 $429,534,145 $7,478,548,285 $7,908,082,430 0.10%
2009 $309,059,236 $6,293,862,729 $6,602,921,965 -10.80%
2010 $310,944,822 $6,548,114,152 $6,859,058,974 8.60%
2011 $396,532,820 $6,997,685,489 $7,394,218,309 12.70%
2012 $363,384,685 $6,657,481,744 $7,020,866,429 -0.80%
2013 $350,793,093 $7,505,377,868 $7,856,170,961 17.00%
2014 $370,236,891 $8,016,072,165 $8,386,309,057 11.20%

2014 Investment Asset Allocation

Cash $152,402,739.17 2%
Kellogg Stock $4,669,064,372.16 58%
Public Equities $679,672,305.49 9%
Fixed Income Securities $127,736,574.24 2%
Private Equity Funds  $552,806,325.85 7%
Hedge Funds $616,317,364.45 8%
Commingled Funds $1,049,871,847.46 13%
Real Estate Funds $168,200,636.54 2%
 Total$8,016,072,165.36 100%
Cash $64,052,501.16 17%
Public Equities $81,221,098.19 22%
Fixed Income Securities $62,359,606.74 17%
Private Equity Funds $48,480,119.69 13%
Hedge Funds $59,483,474.88 16%
Commingled Funds $37,342,973.53 10%
Real Estate Funds $17,297,117.26 5%
 Total$370,236,891.45 100%

Combined Foundation and Trust Asset Allocation

*Hover to view amounts

Summary of Grants

Grant Commitments by Year

Grant Payments by Year

Foundation Payout by Year

2014 New Commitments

During the past fiscal year, Sept. 1, 2013, through Aug. 31, 2014, WKKF made $350,432,386 in new commitments to 905 new projects and made grant payments of $295,891,872 to active projects. Grantmaking is divided into primary areas of: Education & Learning; Food, Health & Well-Being; Family Economic Security; Community Engagement; Leadership; and Racial Equity. Each year, the foundation commits up to 60 percent of its grantmaking to its priority places. Within the United States, those places include Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans. Internationally, they also include micro-regions in Haiti and Mexico.

New Commitments

Education & Learning
$ 81,608,105
Food, Health & Well-Being
$ 60,889,887
Family Economic Security
$ 47,474,017
Community Engagement
$ 24,569,608
$ 7,200,000
Racial Equity
$ 22,969,779
$ 29,942,385
$ 75,778,605

New Commitments (Amount committed by location)

$ 84,475,512
$ 17,266,614
New Mexico
$ 16,525,303
New Orleans
$ 9,906,729
National (Domestic U.S.)
$ 192,315,843
$ 29,942,385

News & Key Accomplishments

Take a look at some of the key news and accomplishments in 2014 for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Read news

News & Key Accomplishments


About W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.