View and download a fact sheet that illustrates the Foundation's commitment to education, entrepreneurship and Kansas City.

Our Mission

To help individuals attain economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success.

Our Founder

Entrepreneur and humanitarian Ewing Marion Kauffman (1916–1993) established the Foundation bearing his name to support the causes he was passionate about—improving lives through education and entrepreneurship and helping to make Kansas City a better place to live and work. Today the Kauffman Foundation strives to continue by making an impact in these areas.

Our Strategic Direction

After a comprehensive exploration of changes in the local and national education and entrepreneurship landscapes, the Foundation in 2014 adopted a new strategic plan to better serve its mission. These goals and strategies will shape the Foundation's work, including how its acclaimed research and policy capabilities will be leveraged to support program area goals.

Changing the Face of Education

Through research and programs, the Kauffman Foundation works to increase the percentage of students in Kansas City reaching academic and life outcomes that prepare them for postsecondary success, to enhance the environment for entrepreneurship and innovation in education and to help create the human capital necessary for an entrepreneurial economy.

Examples of programs and initiatives are:

Ewing Marion Kauffman School
Public charter school opened in 2011 in KCMO. At full capacity will serve 1,100 students from grades 5–12. The school's college-preparatory curriculum is designed to accelerate student achievement in reading, math, and science. Located at 63rd Street and The Paseo.

Kauffman Scholars, Inc.
College prep and access program serving more than 1,400 students in KCMO and KCK from 9th grade through college who otherwise might not have the opportunity to attend college.

Teach for America
Since 2008, placed more than 510 talented teachers in district and charter schools in the Kansas City urban core, reaching some 10,600 students in 2013.

Leading Educators
Work to close the academic achievement gap faced by low-income students in Kansas City's district public and charter schools by developing effective "teacher-leaders" and bolstering the region's education talent pipeline.

Kansas City Education Funders Collaborative
A partnership among Hall Family Foundation, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, H&R Block Foundation, and Kauffman Foundation to leverage resources for local education projects of mutual interest.

Fund for Teachers
National program brought to Kansas City in 2013 that provides grants to pre-K—12 teachers who identify self-directed learning opportunities that will transform their careers, classrooms and communities for years to come.

Increasing Entrepreneurial Success

The Kauffman Foundation provides educational resources for U.S. entrepreneurs, works to accelerate metro-area entrepreneurship hubs, and helps supporting organizations that assist entrepreneurs. The Foundation also works to advance entrepreneurship by providing research-based knowledge to entrepreneurs, policymakers and others.

Examples of programs and initiatives are:

Kauffman FastTrac
Courses to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. More than 350,000 people worldwide have taken a course since 1993. 

1 Million Cups 
Free, weekly program to educate, engage and connect local entrepreneurs on a grassroots level. Founded in April 2012, 1 Million Cups has quickly grown to nearly 75 startup communities across the country.

Kauffman Founders School
Online education program that enables entrepreneurs to learn anywhere, anytime. Leading experts present rich content that founders can immediately apply to their businesses.

Global Entrepreneurship Week
Held each November, Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

Research and Policy Resources

The Foundation's extensive research and insights are presented in a range of online resources for policymakers and others interested in entrepreneurship issues, listed below.

Information on ever-expanding tracking and measurement of entrepreneurship, innovation, and youth education trends.

Entrepreneurship Policy Digest
Briefs covering policy issues related to entrepreneurship. Written for policymakers, the Digests deliver quick facts and actionable policy ideas distilled from the Kauffman Foundation's extensive research.

Links between entrepreneurship, economic welfare and economic growth.

Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship
Updates and expanded analysis on policies and initiatives that drive innovation and economic growth at local, state, and national levels.

Making Our Hometown a Better Place to Live, Work, and Play

The Kauffman Foundation contributes to Kansas City's efforts to improve the quality of life and to accelerate positive change in targeted areas. This includes sponsoring nearly 50 fundraising events per year to support local nonprofits and funding institutions and organizations important to Kansas City's economic and cultural well-being.