Fred Kavli established the foundation exclusively to advance science for the benefit of humanity. In fulfilling this mission, our board of directors and employees work to ensure the activities of the foundation comply with the laws and regulations which govern us, and that we operate to the highest ethical, moral and legal conduct. As ambassadors of the foundation, and stewards of our founder’s legacy, we are guided by the foundation values and follow the policies shared here.

We are a participant in Glasspockets, a Foundation Center initiative that champions philanthropic transparency in an online world. Our Glasspockets profile is available here.


The Kavli Foundation is a nonprofit, exempt from federal income taxes under Section 501(c)(3), and is classified as a private foundation under Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Operational Policies


The Kavli Foundation operates with a distinct endowment model, which provides funding to establish Kavli Institutes that conduct basic research in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience and theoretical physics. It also includes the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards and a partnership with the National Academy of Sciences. While our endowment model is the primary way of fulfilling the foundation’s mission, we also have select, strategic efforts we support that strengthen the relationship between science and society and bolster the scientific enterprise. Today, the entire Kavli Foundation philanthropic enterprise totals more than $1 billion.

The Kavli Foundation Philanthropic Enterprise 2019: $1 Billion

2019 Operational and Programmatic Expenditures


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Advancing science for the benefit of humanity.

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