People Make the Difference; Connecting Them Makes Momentum


KC Connector Project

Ewing Marion Kauffman believed he was a common man who happened to achieve uncommon things in his life. He also believed that all the money in the world could not solve problems, but, working together, there was no problem we could not solve.

In that spirit, the Kauffman Foundation supported a pilot program to recognize and connect the many unsung heroes in our community working together to solve our community’s challenges and help achieve success through education and entrepreneurship.

Called the KC Connector Project, this pilot program worked with an internationally recognized anthropologist and data scientist, Karen Stephenson, to dig deep into our community and find those who are doing great work in education, entrepreneurship or both.

In the past several years, Kansas City’s economy has improved, employing more people and creating greater opportunity for our citizens. Many in our community are also working together to ensure young minds receive a stronger education, from pre-kindergarten to support success after high school. By celebrating the work of individuals across the region devoting their time and skills to creating important opportunities in our community, the Foundation believes we can continue this momentum.

The actions of these hard-working community members don’t always make the news, but their talent and efforts contribute to making us an innovative and vibrant community by creating a stronger education system and building a more inclusive economy.

Our focus at the Foundation is to listen to the community first, seek to understand the problems and then dream big with people to build and invest in innovative programs that deliver uncommon results. We invested in the KC Connector Project as a step to develop closer relationships with the people working on the ground every day to support programs in education and entrepreneurship that empower people to shape their futures and be successful. The Foundation is committed to working with these unsung heroes, and the many more, who daily take on the big challenges to make KC even better.