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Greater Kansas City Community Foundation 2020 Annual Report

August 6, 2021

In an unprecedented year, philanthropists responded to a variety of needs and causes. Our 2020 annual report is now available and details how individuals, families and companies gave back last year.

Black Funding Denied: Community Foundation Support for Black Communities

August 1, 2020

In light of the national uprising sparked by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (and building on other recent tragic movement moments going back to the 2014 murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri), NCRP is analyzing grantmaking by community foundations across the country to find out exactly how much they are – or are not – investing in Black communities.We started by looking at the latest available grantmaking data (2016-2018) of 25 community foundations (CFs) – from Los Angeles to New Orleans to New York City to St. Paul. These foundations represent a cross section of some of the country's largest community foundations as well as foundations in communities where NCRP has Black-led nonprofit allies.

A Regional Approach to Prosperity for All

September 16, 2019

This GrantCraft case study, developed for Candid's portal, explores how Kauffman Foundation implemented the Kauffman Scholars program to increase college completion for students in Kansas City, Missouri. It includes the perspective on how the foundation transitioned its strategy and included an emphasis on career-readiness and family support to help students persist through challenges and reach their goals.

2018 Annual Learning Report

January 1, 2018

At the Kauffman Foundation, learning and continuous improvement are core values that drive our work. Over the past year, associates, alongside grantees and other partners, developed new insights and lessons that can be applied to increase our impact moving forward. The Annual Learning Report summarizes four key themes from grant reports, external evaluations, and staff presentations to the Board of Trustees in 2018.

The Status of Women In Missouri: A Comprehensive Report of Leading Indicators and Findings

January 28, 2015

The status of women in Missouri reflects the status of women throughout the United States. Missouri women have the same opportunities, but also face similar challenges. The Institute of Public Policy, in concert with an academic advisory committee at the University of Missouri, has worked diligently to examine existing data, analyze actionable steps at the state level, and understand women's successes and challenges through a series of focus groups across the state. These focus groups gave the researchers the opportunity to hear from very engaged and diverse groups of women, and also a group of men.

Estimating the Size and Structure of the Underground Commercial Sex Economy in Eight Major U.S. Cities

March 12, 2014

The underground commercial sex economy (UCSE) generates millions of dollars annually, yet investigation and data collection remain under resourced. Our study aimed to unveil the scale of the UCSE in eight major US cities. Across cities, the UCSE's worth was estimated between $39.9 and $290 million in 2007, but decreased since 2003 in all but two cities. Interviews with pimps, traffickers, sex workers, child pornographers, and law enforcement revealed the dynamics central to the underground commercial sex trade -- and shaped the policy suggestions to combat it.

America's Big Cities in Volatile Times: Meeting Fiscal Challenges and Preparing for the Future

November 11, 2013

The Great Recession created fiscal challenges for the 30 cities at the centers of the nation's most populous metropolitan areas that continued well past the recession's official end in June 2009. For most of these cities, the fiscal brunt was borne later than for the national and state governments and recovery has been slow. Cities dealt with fiscal strain in a variety of ways: dipping into reserve funds, cutting spending, gaining help from the federal or state governments, and increasing revenue from tax and nontax sources. Although these strategies offered short-term solutions, many cities still faced declining revenue in 2011, the consequence of reduced spending, shrunken reserves, and rising pension and retiree health care costs. Property taxes, which can be slow to respond to economic swings, helped delay the early fiscal effects of the Great Recession for most of these cities, but they began to decline in 2010, reflecting a deferred impact of the housing crisis. This trend was compounded by increasingly unpredictable aid from states and the federal government that were dealing with their own budgetary constraints. Researchers from Pew standardized data from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports from 2007 through 2011, the latest year of complete data available, for all of these 30 cities. This report examines key elements of each city's fiscal conditions, including revenue, expenditures, reserves, and long-term obligations, and adjusted them for inflation to facilitate comparison across the years. These adjustments allow insight into fiscal trends across cities and over time. Direct comparisons between cities may be limited, however, by differences in cities' tax structures and the range of services each city provides

Leveraging Regional Assets: Insights from High-Growth Companies in Kansas City

July 1, 2013

As a typical Midwestern city, Kansas City and its successful entrepreneurs often are overlooked in economic development studies. We find, however, compelling evidence that the region has ample entrepreneurial success to celebrate, study, and share since numerous Kansas City area firms have appeared on Inc.magazine's list of the fastest-growing companies. We recently interviewed the founders of some of these firms in the city's information technology, biotechnology, and business services sectors about their views on the strengths and viability of Kansas City's entrepreneurial ecosystem. We gained valuable insights for area policy and economic leaders. Key findings of our interviews include:-Lack of venture capital or angel investment does not hinder the growth of Kansas City firms. Only a small percentage of the high-growth firmsinterviewed reported receiving investment from Venture Capital or Angel investors. Instead, most high-growth firms were self-financed or received financial assistance from founders' close friends and families. Some bootstrapped by adapting their firms to customer needs to achieve growth, while others scaled up only as revenues increased and additional customers were found. No matter how they were funded, the firms successfully grew their revenue. -Kansas City firms enjoy a substantial pool of talent in the region. Growing firms often have a long-term employee development strategy to hire young people and train them to be first-class professionals, including technical experts. Entrepreneurs also find the region's low cost of living and strong, Midwestern work ethic to be major strengths.-Most Kansas City entrepreneurs find support from customers, vendors, and/or collaborating firms in the region. This finding runs somewhat contrary to Swiss researcher Heike Mayer's recent conclusion that firms in the Kansas City region are disconnected. These regional connections lead to the firms' innovations and growth. -A number of high-growth firms serve only the Kansas City area or a limited market of regional cities, yet they see this limited regional focus as a business strength. Entrepreneurs and their support community should take note that a firm does not have to capture a national or global market to be highly successful. -Most Kansas City entrepreneurs report that locally based mentors have played a significant role in their success. Whether through informal or 2 formal channels, connecting experienced entrepreneurs to aspiring or nascent entrepreneurs and allowing mentor-mentee relationships to grow organically should be goals of the city's entrepreneurial support community. Further research is needed on how best to create and implement local mentorship programs.

Planning for Regional Competitiveness

May 4, 2013

Several efforts are emerging in the greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN (MSP) region (also referred to as the Twin Cities) to support more strategic partnerships and align investment decisions to support regional economic competitiveness. The Twin Cities region is known for its regional governance and collaboration on a range of issues including transportation, revenue sharing and waste water infrastructure. The region is also home to more Fortune 500 companies per capita than any other metro region and a population that is, on average, relatively well educated and financially stable. Concerns have arisen over the last decade that economic and racial disparities are increasing, and that economic growth including business start-ups and wage rates are not keeping pace with regional expectations. In response, the Metropolitan Council (Met Council) and the newly created Greater MSP Partnership, among other regional economic stakeholders,are refining their efforts to advance equitable economic competitiveness for the Twin Cities region. Through funding from the McKnight Foundation, the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) and MZ Strategies, LLC (the Project Team) partnered to survey a subset of regional planning agencies and examine efforts in Denver, Kansas City and Seattle metropolitan areas to highlight different approaches to economic competitiveness. The study provides a snapshot of regional economic innovation and collaboration necessary to achieve equitable economic growth in the greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area. The survey was distributed by NARC to directors and/ or lead economic development staff at 30 pre-identified regional agencies based on similarities and appropriateness to serve as a model for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region. Overall, 16 of 30 regions responded -- a response rate of 53 percent.

Ready, Willing and Able: Kansas City Parents Talk About How to Improve Schools and What They Can Do to Help

April 16, 2013

Are parents an untapped resource in improving and reimagining K -- 12 education in Kansas City? What do they think would enhance student learning and what are they willing to do to help their children get the education they deserve? These are among the questions explored in an in-depth survey of 1,566 parents with children now in public school in the Kansas City metropolitan area. This study finds the majority of parents in the Kansas City area ready, willing and able to be more engaged in their children's education at some level. For communities to reap the most benefit from additional parental involvement, it is important to understand that different parents can be involved and seek to be involved in different ways.The results of this research, detailed in the following pages, show that nearly a third of the region's parents may be ready to take on a greater role in shaping how local schools operate and advocating for reform in K -- 12 education. These parents say they would be very comfortable serving on committees focused on teacher selection and the use of school resources. Their sense of "parental engagement" extends beyond such traditional activities as attending PTA meetings, coaching sports, volunteering for bake sales, chaperoning school trips and seeing that their children are prepared for school each day. Yet, despite their broad interest in a deeper, more substantive involvement in shaping the region's school systems, relatively few of these "potential transformers" have actually participated in policy-oriented activities in the past year. Moreover, this survey finds that even though the majority of parents seem less inclined to jump into school policy debates, many say they could do more to support local schools in the more traditional school parent roles.

Shuttered Public Schools: The Struggle to Bring Old Buildings New Life

February 11, 2013

Large-scale public school closures have become a fact of life in many American cities, and that trend is not likely to stop now. This report looks at what happens to the buildings themselves, studying the experiences of Philadelphia and 11 other cities that have decommissioned large numbers of schools in recent years: Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Mo., Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tulsa and Washington.

Getting Better at Teacher Preparation and State Accountability

December 22, 2011

Profiles the goals, activities, implementation, and challenges of the twelve states that won Race to the Top federal funds to improve teacher quality and preparation program accountability; analyzes their strategies; and makes policy recommendations.