Tom McDonnell, the chief executive of the $2 billion Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, is reworking the foundation’s image to make clear it’s a Kansas City-based entity.
Just a year ago McDonnell replaced Carl Schramm, Kauffman’s previous CEO. While Schramm was CEO, the foundation started to get a reputation that it had turned its back on the city to cultivate a worldwide reputation.
The foundation spent $32.4 million last year in Kansas City and $9.7 million nationally. For years the foundation has spent nearly three-fourths of its money locally, but that didn’t help the reputation the foundation had gained under Schramm.
Though still working to increase the global scope of Kauffman’s two-part mission — to improve education and entrepreneurship — McDonnell is reworking the foundation’s image to make clear it’s a Kansas City-based entity.
Over the years, it has given tens of millions of dollars to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and millions to the Kansas City Public Library, Union Station, Liberty Memorial, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and other local institutions.
McDonnell says he has no plans to change that kind of giving.