Ewing Kauffman advised his associates to 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.

The majority of our funding is proactive and made to U.S. tax-exempt organizations that are independently identified by our staff.

The Kauffman Foundation is prohibited from making grants directly to individuals.

Learn more about our grantmaking guidelines


We work in partnership with organizations that share our vision and passion for education and entrepreneurship. We invest in organizations and programs only in these two areas of interest. We look for ways to advance promising national programs and to leverage additional funding and resources in these two areas. We work with partners by providing funding, consultation and technical assistance. 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 and all of our civic 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.

Read more about what we fund

What 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.

We Do Not Fund
Letters of inquiry regarding the following types of projects are immediately declined so we discourage submissions of proposals in these categories.

  • Requests from individuals, political, social, or fraternal organizations.
  • Fund endowments, special events, arts, or international programs.
  • Loans, start-up expenses or seed capital funding for private businesses or scholarships requested by individuals.
  • Institutions that discriminate on the basis of race, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability or sexual orientation in policy or in practice;
  • Programs in furtherance of sectarian religious activities, impermissible lobbying, legislative or political activities;
  • Medical research, profit-making enterprises, or programs targeted for people with a specific physical, medical or psychological condition.
Learn more about our process

Our 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 amounts vary depending the scope of the specific project and the size of the organization.

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. The Foundation does not accept proposals submitted via audiotape or videotape.

Please keep in mind that although your project may appear to fall under the guidelines of what we fund, the area of funding may not accept unsolicited proposals.

Please check our list of resources for individuals and organizations that may be able to provide you with additional guidance or support.

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.

Read this before you submit a letter of inquiry