OVERVIEW: The Harold G. and Sue Ann Hamm Foundation is primarily interested in medical research, specifically diabetes, but also has a modest record of giving on the local level to animal causes. However, the couple has divorced, meaning that the fate of the foundation is unclear and grantmaking quiet.
IP TAKE: The Hamms have divorced, and the implications for their philanthropy remain unclear. Sue Ann got a reported $1 billion settlement and because she often spearheaded the foundation's animal gifts, it's worth keeping a close eye on her next move. That said, apart from small contributions to the Santa Barbara Zoo, Hamm giving in this area has been confined to Oklahoma.
PROFILE: Founded by Oklahoma born and bred billionaire Harold Hamm and his ex-wife, Sue Ann, the Harold G. and Sue Ann Hamm Foundation is attuned to the particular issues facing Oklahoma. Here at IP, we've covered Hamm's fight against diabetes, a disease which has hit his state especially hard. The foundation has also set its eyes on another particularly Oklahoman problem, unregistered pet breeding. Animal advocacy groups argue that unregistered pet breeders operate dangerous puppy mills that subject dogs to inhumane conditions.
Hamm's ex-wife, Sue Ann Hamm, an economist and lawyer spearheaded this area of the couples' philanthropy when they were together. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, a non-profit that works in concert with the OKC Animal Shelter to find safe homes for dogs and cats. The society has also been active in advocacy and has received a steady stream of funding from the Hamm foundation. One year, Hamm gave gifts totaling around $135,000 and $90,000 the following year.
At the same time, Hamm's foundation also backed the Commercial Pet Breeders Enforcement Fund promoted by the Central Oklahoma Humane Society with separate gifts of around 183,000 and nearly 280,000.
One of the most convincing results of this philanthropy is the passing of Oklahoma's Commercial Pet Breeders Act which has been in effect since 2012 and aims to fine pet unscrupulous breeders and their problematic puppy mills. The key here is accountability and Hamm foundation's money in part helped facilitate this change.
On the other hand, in a recent year the Hamm foundation's only recorded donation was to the Casady School, a private school in Oklahoma City, and apart from Hamm's link to the humane society, Hamm has only made small donations to the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Santa Barbara Zookeepers Association and the Santa Barbara Zoological Foundation.
It's hard to know where the foundation goes from here now that the Hamms are divorced, but one thing is clear: Animal enthusiast Sue Ann suddenly has a lot of money.
Harold G. and Sue Ann Hamm Foundation
P.O. Box 803878
Chicago, IL 60680