An innovative foundation focused on small, strategic grant-making
The Stewart R. Mott Foundation is an innovative foundation focused on small, strategic grant-making since 1968. The Foundation takes pride in turning modest investments into lasting systemic change.
The Foundation’s philanthropic mission originally focused on changing public policy to address the issues of nuclear armament and overpopulation. Since then, funding interests have grown to include exposing government corruption and the protection of constitutional rights.
The Foundation supports organizations active in the following program areas, as well as occasional special granting:
Peace, Arms Control and Foreign Policy
Population Issues and Reproductive Rights
Government Reform and Public Policy
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Recognizing that small grants can build capacity and create fundraising leverage for new organizations, the Stewart R. Mott Foundation provided initial support for many of our grantee organizations, often before larger and more mainstream funding sources were willing to do so. Since the beginning, the Trustees and associates have chosen to continue giving sustaining support to current grantees on an annual, renewal basis.
The Stewart R. Mott Foundation is based in Washington, DC.
Stewart R. Mott, Founder
Stewart Rawlings Mott was born in Flint, Michigan on December 4, 1937. His parents were Charles Stewart and Ruth Rawlings Mott. In 1926 Stewart’s father, General Motors’ largest stockholder, established the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation aimed at strengthening community life in Flint, Michigan. The remainder of his wealth was distributed among his children in the form of trusts, Stewart being one of the six.
Stewart’s philanthropic career began with the family foundation. When his ideas for reordering the priorities of the foundation were rebuked, he struck out on his own to fund his personal philanthropic position: population control and arms control. “At age 18 I realized that two problems confront planet earth that dwarf and aggravate all conventional problems: namely the threat of nuclear war and the continuing worldwide population explosion. Coming to grips with these realities, I decided to dedicate my life to help find solutions to these two problems through public service in philanthropy and politics.”
Stewart lived most of his life in New York, where he married Kappy Wells in 1979. The couple had one child, Samuel Apple Axle Mott.
Stewart shared his time between his home in New York and the Mott family home in Bermuda.
Conrad Martin is the Executive Director of the Stewart R. Mott Foundation. Additionally, Mr. Martin serves as the Executive Director of the Fund for Constitutional Government. Mr. Martin also serves on the Boards of the Center for International Policy, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and the American Progressive Caucus Foundation. Mr. Martin served in the Peace Corps from 1981 to 1983 as a Forage Agronomist on the island of Barbados. He is a graduate of Utah State University where he studied Agronomy and International Agricultural Development with a focus in Agricultural Economics. Born in Mexico, Mr. Martin is fluent in conversational Spanish and has traveled widely in South America, Central America, Europe and the Near East.
Kat Norris, Grants and Finance Manager
Kat Norris is the Grants and Finance Manager at the Stewart R. Mott Foundation. She was previously the development lead and communications assistant at PBS NewsHour. She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington, where she studied political science and was the associate editor of the student paper. She has interned at C-SPAN and the Genocide Intervention Network.
Sophia Cole, Grants and Program Officer
Sophia Cole is the Grants and Program Officer at the Stewart R Mott Foundation. Sophia has worked for many progressive non-profits advancing gender equity and civic engagement issues in the US and around the world, most recently at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a master’s degree in Public Administration from American University.