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An updated strategy for greater collective impact

Igniting potential. Driving progress.

A rigorous, community-informed strategic planning process centers the Foundation’s work on the intent of Mr. Kauffman by refining the priorities that affect equitable economic mobility.

With the input of hundreds of grantees, civic leaders, and internal stakeholders, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is launching a new 2035 vision. During the last six months, trustees and staff engaged in deep conversations to chart the course for the next 10 years of the Kauffman Foundation’s work, ensuring alignment with Mr. Kauffman’s intent and the communities served.

2035 Vision

blue heart

With the Kauffman Foundation’s support, greater Kansas City will become a national model for equitable economic mobility, dismantling systemic barriers and setting generations of historically under-resourced communities on the path to prosperity.

“True community planning is a collaborative effort, where the steps are guided by the rhythm of the community input, ensuring that each detail reflects the shared goals and challenges of the entire community,” said Dr. DeAngela Burns-Wallace, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. “By using our collective wisdom, we can advance our shared commitments to inclusivity and sustainable progress.”

Dr. Burns-Wallace sought to ground the Foundation in the original vision and intention of Mr. Kauffman. By refining the priorities that affect economic mobility, the Foundation strives to foster greater transformation in the community and continue to serve as a national model.

The work centers equitable economic mobility, with three strategic priorities supporting that vision.  

  • College access and completion – equitable opportunities for all
  • Workforce and career development – at every stage
  • Entrepreneurship – supporting and sustaining business ownership

More than 50 national foundations, partners, and Kansas City-based organizations were interviewed in individual and group listening sessions as part of this process. Local organizations included Kansas City G.I.F.T., Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Nonprofit Connect, United Way of Greater Kansas City, and Kansas City Public Libraries, to name a few.  We heard their desires, needs, and hopes for the Foundation’s role in Kansas City and designed our plan with their input.

“For Kansas City to thrive, we must focus on economic development that doesn’t just create opportunities, but makes them accessible to all – ensuring that prosperity is shared by everyone in our community,” Tracey Lewis, president and CEO, Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, said. “We’ll achieve this by collaborating among agencies, developing deliberate policies and inclusive strategies to uplift historically marginalized voices and addressing systemic barriers to prosperity.”

By ensuring the Foundation’s activities deliver substantial effects, the organization can more impactfully work toward the 2035 vision. Early fall 2024, the Foundation will share more about partnership and funding opportunities, including specific types of initiatives and approaches helping to drive economic prosperity. 

Visit our strategy page for the latest information about the Foundation’s strategy.

For media inquiries, contact Lauren Aleshire, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 816-932-1105 or fill out our media contact form here.