Employee Ownership Foundation

Charting Your Own Future

"We understand that a well managed employee-owned company is not a destination, it is a journey..."

- J. Michael Keeling,
President of The ESOP Association


Past Projects


  • In 2007 the Foundation made its final payment of its granted $20,000 to the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) to study in depth with extensive interviews why companies terminate their ESOP.

    Outcome: The NCEO research was finished and published in December 14, 2007, and prominently reported on in The ESOP Association’s newsletter and on the Web pages of both the Association and the Foundation.

  • The lead monetary grant to Rutgers University for research by leading employee ownership researchers Dr. Joseph Blasi and Dr. Douglas Kruse that collected data from 1100 ESOP companies compared to 1100 similar non-ESOP companies over an eleven-year period.

    Outcome: The conclusions of the research vividly demonstrate that ESOP companies did better than the non-ESOP companies over the eleven-year period by several measures such as sales, benefits, and survivability. This data provided ESOP advocates the tools they needed to successfully counter proposals to restrict ESOPs in private companies during the sometimes volatile public and Congressional debate on how to prevent employee losses from company stock declines, as was the situation for Enron and United Airlines employees.

  • The Foundation has granted money to update this 1998 research in order to provide current data on the performance of ESOP companies.

    Outcome: Data from this project again confirms employee owned companies are more productive than their non-ESOP competitors.


  • The Foundation was a major source of funds for a series of questions asked in 2002 and 2006 about how widespread is employee stock ownership in America (The questions were part of the most comprehensive study conducted in America by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago). The survey is known as the General Social Survey, and is widely used by academia, and the media in developing books, articles, and commentary. The Foundation, realizing the 2002 survey only begins the building of data on employee ownership, funded similar questions in the 2006 General Social Survey.

    Outcome: This research demonstrated widespread ownership of company stock by working Americans, and thus bolsters the case that our national government and its leaders need to give much more attention to employee stock ownership. Specifically, in 2006 17.5% of Americans working for companies with stock have company stock and 9.3% had company stock options.

  • Providing the major funding and some marketing for the joint venture with the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, Kent State University, the Employee Owner Retreat, which is a retreat for average pay employees in ESOP companies.

    Outcome: Developed in 1992 by The ESOP Association, the program educates over 100 employee owners a year in the workings of our capitalistic system, and how to be effective leaders among fellow employee owners in an ESOP company.

  • Retention of award-winning international public relations firm Fleischman Hillard during 2002.

    Outcome: While the two major 2002 stories on employee ownership, the collapse of Enron and the bankruptcy of United Airlines, had the potential to create an extremely negative atmosphere for employee ownership and ESOPs, and thus turn sour the view of society’s thought leaders and decision makers toward ESOPs, a concentrated media campaign, and development of proposals to limit employee stock ownership.

  • The Foundation conducts an annual survey of the sponsors of ESOPs to determine how the share value of the ESOP shares performed in comparison to the public stock markets, to determine the ESOP’s impact on the company, and to determine the company leadership’s view of the ESOP as a good thing, or a bad thing for the company.

    Outcome: This annual survey demonstrates that the majority of ESOP Association members outperform the stock market indexes (51% in 2004, 72% in 2005, 41% in 2006, and 50% in 2007, to cite the recent surveys), and garners more positive media mentions about ESOPs than any other activity under taken in the ESOP world each year.

  • The Foundation funded a National Center of Employee Ownership (“NCEO”) survey -compiling of non-U.S. stock compensation programs.

    Outcome: The compilation formed the basis of web-based information through the NCEO web site that is the most comprehensive source for quick information and summary description of nearly 100 counties’ policies toward stock compensation.


  • Grants of $60,000 to help provide development and implementation money for University of Pennsylvania CEO certificate program.

    Outcome: Not only did the partnership with the prestigious Ivy League University of Pennsylvania train twenty top CEOs in the unique leadership skills needed in an ESOP company, but also in an ancillary benefit led for publication of one of the most important research documents ever done on ESOPS. ESOP advocate and CEO of ESOP company Alliance Holdings, Inc., Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, David Frenkel, a University of Pennsylvania graduate was motivated to donate $25,000 unrestricted to the Center for Organizational Dynamics at the University to supplement the work of the ESOP/UPenn partnership. His gift lead to the publishing of the “Effects of ESOP Adoption and Employee Ownership: Thirty Years of Research and Experience.”

    This research paper concludes that 30 years plus of data on the impact of ESOPs impressively evidences that employee ownership through ESOPs proves the claims that ESOPs as a rule benefit employees and their companies in very significant ways.


  • In partnership with the Society of Financial Planners, the Foundation helped underwrite the audio, and web-based programming that teaches the basics of ESOPs to the Society’s members in a series of programs entitled the Jeffrey S. Buxton Lectures, in memory of the son of Dickson C. Buxton, one founder of The ESOP Association, and major donor to the Foundation.

    Outcome: It is estimated by the Society of Financial Planners that over 2000 financial planners have “tuned” in to the Jeffrey S. Buxton lecture series on ESOPs and that these financial planners have thousands of clients relying on them for advice on how to exit a closely held business.

View Projects 2012 |2011 |2009 | 2008 | 2007-2004


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