Ewing Kauffman advised his associates to invest in people and be willing to take risks as we look for opportunities to promote positive education and accelerate entrepreneurship in America. We consider our grants to be investments, and we look for a return on the grant investments we make.
Program Areas and Funding Guidelines
We work in partnership with organizations that share our vision and passion for education and entrepreneurship. We look for ways to advance promising national programs and to leverage additional funding and resources in these two areas of interest. We work with partners by providing funding, consultation and technical assistance. We invest in organizations and programs only in these two areas of interest. Occasionally we operate our own programs. We decline a large number of otherwise worthy proposals that do not meet these objectives.
Geographic Areas for Funding
The Kauffman Foundation only funds programs within the United States. The majority of our education grants go to organizations within the Kansas City metropolitan area. The Kauffman Foundation's entrepreneurship efforts fund programs and activities nationally and within the Kansas City area.
The Types of Grants We Fund
In general, Kauffman Foundation grants are limited to programs and/or initiatives that have significant potential to demonstrate innovative service delivery, in support of education and entrepreneurship.
Organizations that work in the two areas of interest to the Kauffman Foundation are welcome to apply for funding. However, we are only able to fund a small number of the proposals received each year.
What We Do Not Fund
Please note below the types of grants we do not fund. Letters of inquiry regarding those types of projects are immediately declined so we discourage submissions of proposals in these categories.
The Kauffman Foundation does not fund:
The Foundation does not fund the following:
Our Application Process
The Kauffman Foundation does not use a grant application form or formal application process. We do not have proposal deadlines or established funding limits. We have not established maximum or minimum dollar amounts. Grant size ranges from a few thousand to several million dollars, depending on the size of the organization and the scope of the project. We look at the amount needed for each specific project based on scope of work.
After reviewing our funding priorities, if you feel there is a strong match with your request, you may submit a letter of inquiry, preferably less than three pages long. This letter should include the information shown below.
Before You Apply
We encourage all grant seekers to take time to learn about our funding priorities as discussed here before submitting a letter of inquiry. For an overview of our funding interests and descriptions of programs sponsored or funded by the Kauffman Foundation, please study this Web site.
Who: A description of your organization and a brief summary of your organization's achievements in relation to the problem or need you are addressing in your proposal.
What and How: A statement of the problem or need you plan to address and an explanation of how your organization will respond to it. Include a brief statement of what you expect to achieve through your efforts.
When: Explain the timeframe for the proposed activities.
How Much: Estimate the cost of the entire project or activity and include the specific amount requested from the Kauffman Foundation. If you are seeking or have secured funds from another organization to help support your proposal, include that information as well.
Please Note: All grant funds are required to be used for direct project/program expenses. No portion may be used for indirect expenses.
Due to the large volume of materials we receive, please do not send annual reports, publications, bound materials, letters of support, invoices, photographs, videos, cassettes, compact discs, news clippings, books, magazines or newsletters.
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2046
Our Proposal Review Process
We will honor your request by responding to all letters of inquiry. All letters are screened to determine if they relate to the Foundation's funding priorities, and a response will be sent. The route a grant proposal takes through the Foundation depends on the size of the investment, how closely it aligns with the Foundation's goals and whether funding is available. At this preliminary stage, we discourage personal visits to the Foundation by prospective grantees. Along the way during the grant review process, we may contact the organization to clarify the request.
Letters of inquiry that meet our initial criteria are reviewed in greater depth. However, the review process often takes several weeks to complete. If a grant request falls within the Foundation's programming interests and guidelines, and if the Foundation decides to further consider that request, we may ask the organization to develop a more detailed proposal. We also may respond to requests by approving or declining a proposal as it is submitted, or request clarification and/or offer technical assistance. Organizations selected to receive a grant will be expected to provide an Internal Revenue Service tax classification letter.
We realize that seeking funding can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. We remind grant seekers that the Kauffman Foundation is able to fund only a small percentage of the requests we receive. We, therefore, encourage grant seekers to learn about our funding priorities before taking time to apply for funding. We are unable to fund many proposals because they do not fall within our guidelines or they do not fall as high within our programming priorities as other requests that are before us — not because there was anything lacking in the request.
If a proposal does not match the priorities outlined here, we suggest grant seekers identify other potential sources of funding. One resource many find valuable is the Foundation Center, a clearinghouse for information on foundations nationwide. Visit the Web site at http://www.foundationcenter.org.
Thank you for your interest in the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and for taking time to learn about the education and entrepreneurship efforts that we support.