Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation

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Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation based in Cincinatti, Ohio.The organization is named for Lovett and Ruth Peters, the parents of current president Daniel S. Peters. L. Peters was heavily involved in the oil and gas industry, and also founded the Pioneer Institute at age 75, a member of State Policy Network, a network of conservative think tanks across the country. D. Peters described his father's values in Lovett's Boston Globe obituary:

"Mr. Peters was fervent in his belief in the supremacy of the free market, limited government, and the importance of education for all."[1]
Daniel S. Peter, President of Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation and Philanthropy Roundtable board member

The foundation primarily donates money to conservative think tanks, such as State Policy Network, and DonorsTrust, a Koch brothers backed organization to distribute funds to right-wing groups. Its other cause is geared towards reforming public education by supporting privatization of education through voucher schools, private schools, charter schools, and organizations with the same values, keeping with L. Peters value of a strong education. Some of these organizations include Alliance for School Choice and the Center for Education Reform.

Peters spent 17 years in executive positions at Procter & Gamble, [2] who was a member of ALEC's Private Enterprise Board, until they cut ties in April 2012. [3]

In 2011, the foundation reported $5,546,498 in total revenue, $1,838,191 in expenses, and $2,754,149 in total assets (fair market value). [4]

Ties to DonorsTrust, State Policy Network, Philanthropy Roundtable

In 2011 alone, the foundation donated just under to $800,000 to State Policy Network think tanks and its associate members, including the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Commonwealth Foundation, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Many of the associate members who received funds are organizations in favor of charter schools, voucher programs, and school choice programs, such as Alliance for School Choice and the Center for Education Reform. [4]

Peters is also a board member of Philanthropy Roundtable, an organization established by the Bradley Foundation to facilitate donations to conservative think tanks and organizations. Peters also chaired the Roundtable from 2002 to 2008. [2] The foundation also donated $60,000 to Philanthropy Roundtable from 2009-2011. [4] Peters expressed how his foundation has benefitted from its association with Philanthropy Roundtable:

"Let me turn briefly to The Philanthropy Roundtable—where I serve as a board member. I love the Roundtable because of the opportunity to network and learn from fellow entrepreneurs and philanthropists. I also appreciate the Roundtable’s K–12 education programs (our area of focus at the Peters Foundation). Let me just say that, if you can find a better program for philanthropists focused on reforming K–12 education, please let me know." [5]

Between 2009 and 2011, Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation has donated $375,000 to DonorsTrust, where donors can separate a large sum of funds to separate accounts to distribute to various right-wing causes. However, this process makes it extremely difficult to locate the true donor, and make it easy for wealthy individuals and corporations to hide their distributions when "funding sensitive or controversial issues." [6]

Groups Funded

Funding to SPN Members

Of the $4.2 million given in contributions from the Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation, just over $2.25 million were given to member organizations and associate members involved with the State Policy Network. These contributions from 2009 to 2011 include:

Other Contributions

Other contributions from 2009-2011 include:

  • Agudath Israel received a total $270,000.
  • Aspire Public Schools received a total of $30,000.
  • Aquinas Education Trust received a total of $75,000.
  • Bright Choice Foundation received a total $75,000.
  • Center for Civil Society received a total of $10,000.
  • Charles River Center received a total of $25,000.
  • Children's Scholarship Fund of Greater Cincinatti received a total of $25,000.
  • Education Reform Now received a total of $70,000.
  • Foundation for the Carolinas received a total of $10,00.
  • Hillsdale College received a total of $129,000.
  • Hispanic CREO received a total of $50,000.
  • Innosight Institute received a total of $120,000.
  • Innovative Learning Strategies received a total of $50,000.
  • Milton & Rose Friedman Foundation received a total of $50,000.
  • New Common School Foundation received a total of $50,000.
  • North American Council for Online Learning received a total of $140,000.
  • Ohio Association of Public Charter Schools received a total of $35,000.
  • Parents for Educational Freedom received a total of $20,000.
  • School Choice Ohio received a total of $100,000.
  • Success Charter Network received a total of $200,000.

Forms 990

  • Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation, 2011 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, 2012.
  • Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation, 2010 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, 2011.
  • Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation, 2009 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, 2010.

Key Personnel

According to the 2011 IRS filing, their staff members include:[4]

  • Daniel S. Peters, President
  • Kathleen Peters, trustee
  • Ed Kirby, trustee
  • Stephanie Saroki, trustee


1500 Chiquita Center, 250 E. 5th St
Cincinatti, OH 45202
(513) 562-1550 [4]

Articles and References

  1. Lawrence, J.M. Lovett 'Pete' Peters, founder of Pioneer Institute dies at 97, 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 Board of Directors: Daniel S. Peters
  3. Color of Change, ColorOfChange Applauds Procter & Gamble's Decision to End its Membership in ALEC, press release, April 23, 2012, accessed April 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 2011 Form 990 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "2011 Form 990" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "2011 Form 990" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "2011 Form 990" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "2011 Form 990" defined multiple times with different content
  5. Peters, Daniel S. ASF and the Philanthropy Roundtable: Why I Belong to Both 2010
  6. DonorsTrust, Donors Trust FAQ, accessed December 2012.