Stewart R. Mott Foundation

Stewart R. Mott Foundation


* Assets: $0 (2009)
* Grants Received: $0 (2009)
* Grants Awarded: $12,044,976 (2009)
* The Foundation ceased operations when Stewart R. Mott died in 2008

The Stewart R. Mott Foundation, originally known as the Stewart R. Mott Charitable Trust, was established in the mid-1960s by the late General Motors heir Stewart Rawlings Mott (SRM).

The events precipitating the formation of this Charitable Trust were as follows. In 1926 SRM’s father, Charles Stewart Mott, who was GM’s largest stockholder, set up a foundation in his own name for the purpose of strengthening community life in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. Politically conservative, the elder Mott felt considerable animosity toward his leftist son, whom he once described as having “twice the brains I have, but only half the common sense.” When the father denied SRM’s request to be added to the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation‘s board of trustees, the son, using trust funds as well as some money from his mother, created his own eponymous Charitable Trust (which later became a Foundation).

From its earliest days, the Stewart R. Mott Charitable Trust/Foundation’s philanthropic decisions were based on the “philosophy that our planet is imminently threatened by overpopulation and nuclear destruction, and to a lesser magnitude (but not less importantly) militarization; unaccountable government actions; the lack of accessible, affordable family planning and reproductive health care; and the unfair distribution of resources, civil rights, civil liberties, human rights, and social justice.” The Foundation’s grantmaking gave preference to “activist projects” geared toward promoting “tangible change,” rather than to groups engaged in “research-oriented activities.” Grantees were involved in the following four areas of national and international advocacy:

(a) Peace, Arms Control, and Foreign Policy: The Stewart R. Mott Foundation was a member of the Peace and Security Funders Group, an unincorporated association of individual philanthropists and foundations that give money to anti-war and environmentalist causes.

(b) Population Issues and Reproductive Rights: Supporting universal access to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand, the Mott Foundation in 1976 worked to bring mifespristone, an abortifacient pill, to the U.S. market.

(c) Government Reform and Public Policy: The Mott Foundation supported organizations advocating for amnesty and civil rights for illegal immigrants, racial preferences in the workplace and academia, and the elimination of such national security measures as the Patriot Act.

(d) Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: This grantmaking category overlapped considerably with the previous one.

Most grants awarded by the Mott Foundation went to recipients based in the United States, and were usually in the range of $5,000 $10,000. The list of Mott Foundation grantees included, among others: the Agape Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Democratic Action, Amnesty International, the Arms Control Association, Catholics for a Free Choice, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for International Policy, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Choice USA, the Council for a Livable World Education Fund, the Earth Action Network, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Greenpeace, the Institute for America’s Future, the Institute for Policy Studies, the Institute for Public Accuracy, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Abortion Federation, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Nation Institute, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, the National Council for Research on Women, National Public Radio, the National Security Archive, the National Women’s Law Center, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Peace Action Fund, the People for the American Way Foundation, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Planned Parenthood; Public Broadcasting System, the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center, the United Nations Committee on Disarmament, and the Women’s Action for New Directions Education Fund.

To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Stewart R. Mott Foundation, click here.

The executive director of the Mott Foundation was Conrad Martin, who also served as executive director of the Fund for Constitutional Government, a tax-exempt, publicly supported foundation created to “eliminate corruption in government and foster constitutional principals of governance.” Martin had also sat on the boards of the American Progressive Caucus Foundation, the Center for International Policy, and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

When Stewart R. Mott died in 2008, his Foundation ceased operations.

(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center, Undue Influence, and

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