Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

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Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation logo.jpg
Founded 1966
Founder Ewing Marion Kauffman
Focus Entrepreneurship and education
Method Research and grant making
Key people
Wendy Guillies, President and CEO[1]
Revenue (2014)
Expenses (2014) $119,188,682[2]
Endowment US$2.0 billion
Website kauffman.org

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (sometimes simply called Kauffman Foundation) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, private foundation based in Kansas City, Missouri.[4] The foundation was founded in 1966 by Ewing Marion Kauffman, who had previously founded the drug company Marion Laboratories. The Kauffman Foundation focuses on projects that encourage entrepreneurship, support education, and contribute to Kansas City civic life.


The Kauffman Foundation's vision is to foster "a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities."[5] Its grant making and research activities are focused on advancing entrepreneurship, improving the education of children and youth, and supporting civic development in Kansas City.[6][7] The Kauffman Foundation has an asset base of around $2 billion[4][5] and distributed over $17 million in grants in 2013.[4]


In 2002, academic and entrepreneur Carl Schramm left a Maryland healthcare consulting firm to serve as president of the foundation until his resignation in 2012.[8][9] Schramm's tenure was marked by conflicts over the foundation's mission and grant-making strategy, and he faced criticism for focusing on maximizing impact by awarding larger grants to fewer recipients and for de-emphasizing work in and around Kansas City.[10] Conflict also arose over the extent of his executive authority, which prompted the Missouri Attorney General to recommend that the foundation strengthen its conflict of interest provisions and give the board of directors more decision-making authority.[11]


The Kauffman Foundation awards individual grants and supports a number of ongoing projects, summarized below.

Entrepreneur support[edit]

The foundation promotes entrepreneurship by sponsoring:

  • FastTrac, an entrepreneurship education program and network of affiliated non-profit and for-profit organizations that offer guidance for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs;[12]
  • 1 Million Cups, a weekly educational program that spans over 170 cities in the U.S., allowing a startup to share their business with the community, get feedback and questions, and ending with the question 'What can WE as a community do to help YOU?'[13]
  • Kauffman Entrepreneurs, a resources site for developing ideas and setting up new businesses;[14] and
  • Global Entrepreneurship Network, a series of events every November designed to encourage entrepreneurship among young people.[15]

K-12 education[edit]

In 2011, the Kauffman Foundation opened the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, which is a college preparatory public charter school for 5th through 8th graders in the Kansas City Public Schools district.[16] Other K-12 education projects supported by the Kauffman Foundation include:

  • Kauffman Scholars, Inc., a multi-year college access and scholarship program founded in 2003 to help low-income urban students in Kansas City.[17]
  • SchoolSmartKC, funded by the Kauffman Foundation, the Hall Family Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation, focuses on improving public education in Kansas City, particularly through public charter schools.[18][19]

Research on economic growth & entrepreneurship[edit]

The foundation also supports new business creation in the U.S. through several research programs. The annual Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship series measures and interprets indicators of entrepreneurial activity in the U.S. at the national, state and (selective) metropolitan level. The foundation also contributes to the cost of the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE), which is a public-private partnership between the foundation, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) within the U.S. Department of Commerce.[20]


  1. ^ "Wendy Guillies: President and CEO". Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Retrieved 18 January 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  3. ^ "Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Profile". LexisNexis Academic (database). 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  4. ^ a b c "Kauffman Foundation Grantmaker Record". Foundation Center Directory Online. 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  5. ^ a b "Foundation Overview". 
  6. ^ "What We Do: Kansas City Programs and Initiatives". Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Retrieved 1 August 2017. 
  7. ^ "Grants List". Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Retrieved 1 August 2017. 
  8. ^ Anft, Michael (2 October 2003). "A Divided Vision: Critics dispute changes at the Kauffman Foundation". Giving. Chronicle of Philanthropy. Vol. 15 no. 24. ISSN 1040-676X. Retrieved 18 January 2018. (Subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ Preston, Caroline (3 January 2012). "Kauffman Foundation President Departs". Chronicle of Philanthropy. ISSN 1040-676X. Retrieved 18 January 2018. 
  10. ^ Strom, Stephanie (20 October 2003). "Uproar in Kansas City Over Foundation Chief". National Desk. The New York Times. p. A8. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 22 January 2018. 
  11. ^ Strom, Stephanie (5 March 2003). "Missouri Tells Charity To Change". National Desk. The New York Times. p. A17. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 19 January 2018. 
  12. ^ Kauffman FastTrac. "About Us". Retrieved 22 January 2018. 
  13. ^ "1 Million Cups". Retrieved 2018-07-17. 
  14. ^ Kauffman Entrepreneurs (13 January 2017). "Welcome to Kauffman Entrepreneurs!". Retrieved 22 January 2018. 
  15. ^ Global Entrepreneurship Network. "GEN Partners". Retrieved 22 January 2018. 
  16. ^ "Our Purpose". Ewing Marion Kauffman School. Retrieved 1 August 2017. 
  17. ^ "About Us". Kauffman Scholars, Inc. Retrieved 1 August 2017. 
  18. ^ Williams, Mará Rose (25 April 2017). "New education fund in Kansas City just gave nearly $2 million to two charter schools". Local. The Kansas City Star. ISSN 0745-1067. Retrieved 19 January 2018. 
  19. ^ Williams, Mará Rose (11 April 2017). "Philanthropists tap the village to raise student performance in Kansas City schools". Local. The Kansas City Star. ISSN 0745-1067. Retrieved 19 January 2018. 
  20. ^ "About the Survey". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 1 August 2017.