The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation gets plenty of deserved hometown love for all it does to help many Kansas Citians build better futures for themselves.
Yet the foundation still finds itself challenged to find the best ways to improve education and enhance entrepreneurial activities in this community. Distributing dollars for the appropriate local causes isnt as easy as it might look.
Current CEO Tom McDonnell understands those challenges, as he acknowledged in a recent Star article.
But the consummate Kansas City insider also properly and optimistically looks ahead to the opportunities his foundation has to create a stronger region through its philanthropic investments.
McDonnell offers more of a refreshing local-first approach than many saw in his predecessor, Carl Schramm.
During Schramms sometimes tumultuous decade at the helm, he pressed for the foundation to gain a national reputation, especially in entrepreneurial matters. That left him open to charges that Kansas Citys interests didnt get enough attention.
Given its $2 billion in assets, the Kauffman Foundation often is called on to lead the way in deciding which local education and entrepreneurial projects are financed. As much of those funds as possible should be used to attack problems faced by the Kansas City area.