The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (sometimes simply called Kauffman Foundation) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, private foundation based in Kansas City, Missouri. The foundation was founded in 1966 by Ewing Marion Kauffman, who had previously founded the drug company Marion Laboratories. The Kauffman Foundation focuses on projects that encourage entrepreneurship, support education, and contribute to Kansas City civic life.
The Kauffman Foundation’s vision is to foster “a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities”. Its grant making and research activities are focused on advancing entrepreneurship, improving the education of children and youth, and supporting civic development in Kansas City.
The Kauffman Foundation has an asset base of around $2 billion and distributed over $17 million in grants in 2013.
Scholar and entrepreneur Carl Schramm left a Maryland healthcare consulting firm in 2002 to serve as president of the foundation until his resignation in 2012.
In addition to awarding grants, the Kauffman Foundation supports a number of ongoing programs, some of which are summarized below.
The foundation’s major entrepreneurship education programs include FastTrac, a network of affiliated non-profit and for-profit organizations that offer guidance for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs; Kauffman Entrepreneurs, a resources site for developing ideas and setting up new businesses; and Global Entrepreneurship Week, a series of events every November designed to encourage entrepreneurship among young people.
The foundation also supports new business creation in the U.S. through two research programs. The annual Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship series measures and interprets indicators of entrepreneurial activity in the U.S. at the national, state and (selective) metropolitan level. The foundation also contributes to the cost of the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE), which is a public-private partnership between the foundation, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) within the U.S. Department of Commerce.
In 2011, the Kauffman Foundation opened the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, which is a college preparatory public charter school for 5th through 8th graders in the Kansas City Public Schools district. Kauffman Scholars, Inc., founded in 2003, is another educational program supported by the Kauffman Foundation. Kauffman Scholars, Inc. is a multi-year college access and scholarship program intended to help low-income urban students in Kansas City.