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Grants to Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska Nonprofits
and IHEs for Projects to Benefit Entrepreneurs

2022 Central Standards

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

05/20/22 11:59 PM CDT


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Grants to Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education for projects to benefit entrepreneurs. Applicants are required to submit a preliminary application prior to submitting a full application. Projects must address at least one of the following strategic priorities: supporting entrepreneurs representing all backgrounds, benefiting rural entrepreneurs, and supporting innovation.

Goals for Program:

The Central Standards RFP will seek to fund collaborations between organizations that improve the capabilities and / or programmatic impact of Entrepreneurship Support Organizations (ESOs) already operating in the Heartland. Specifically, the Kauffman Foundation intends this funding program to accomplish the following.

  • Build connections between entrepreneurship support organizations (ESOs) operating in the Heartland and with ESOs based outside the region. Each application must have multiple stakeholders with at least one of the organizations serving as the Lead Applicant. At least one applicant must be based in the Heartland.
  • The projects advance at least one or more of the strategic priorities of the Kauffman Foundation’s Heartland Strategy. 
    • Inclusive Prosperity in the Heartland: Funding programs and initiatives that support all entrepreneurs of all backgrounds in the Heartland.
    • Rural Revitalization: Funding projects that enable rural ESOs and communities to provide the support necessary for rural entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses.
    • Transitioning to an Entrepreneurship & Innovation-led economy: Supporting the development of vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems, build new idea economy-relevant clusters, and diversify the region’s economy. 
  • Set clear standards for supporting entrepreneurs in the region
  • Bring the best entrepreneurship support programs and tools from across the country to the Heartland
  • Expand promising programs already active in the region to support more entrepreneurs in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas
  • Align local, regional, and national funders with the work of supporting entrepreneurship in the Heartland by providing match funding.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 193126

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Proposals of up to $450K will be considered; the program team anticipates funding proposals of all sizes including proposals that are smaller than the $450K limit. While award amounts for individual projects will vary, the Foundation anticipates the average grant size to be between $50,000 and $350,000.

Term of Contract:

Applicants may request funding to be distributed over 12 to 36 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This call is open to nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions that provide services to entrepreneurs, including technical assistance, access to finance, education, and other resources. The Kauffman Foundation is seeking to fund collaborations between organizations to address challenges in the Heartland, consisting of the states of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Collaborating organizations will apply as co-applicants and will be required to provide documentation on both organizations.

Additionally, eligible applicants must meet all the following criteria:
- Located in the United States.
- Have a record of successfully serving underrepresented entrepreneurs and engaging them in the activities outlined above.
- Employ staff and leadership (including board members) that are reflective of the communities they serve.

The Kauffman Foundation is inviting applicants that meet the following requirements:
- At least two organizations are working together on the project and at least one of the organizations must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit. (Note: all grant funds must be used for charitable purposes.)
- At least one applicant is headquartered in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, or Kansas.
- The entrepreneurs supported by the project are based in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and / or Kansas (applicants can serve entrepreneurs in multiple states).
- Your project would benefit from receiving matching funds from the Kauffman Foundation. The Central Standards RFP will seek to extend the impact of Heartland-focused entrepreneurship support initiatives by matching the funding of local and regional funders.
- The proposed project aligns with at least one of the listed goals of the Central Standards RFP
- The co-applicants have raised, or are capable of raising, the required match support for the project.

For restrictions, see the URL for Full Text.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Prospective applicants can sign up for Office Hours calls with Kauffman associates to discuss their idea for submission and get feedback. Kauffman Associates will conduct monthly office hours during the application period.

Office Hours:
- January 6, 2022
- February 3, 2022
- March 3, 2022
- April 7, 2022
- May 5, 2022

To sign up for a call:

Pre-Application Information:

- Applications will be accepted starting December 10, 2021
- Final deadline for proposals will be May 20, 2022,11:59 PM (CDT)
- Grants will be awarded on a monthly basis starting in February 2022 as budget allows.
- Grant awards will be completed by summer 2022. All applicants will receive notice of their application status within 45 days of submittal.

Applicants should plan to submit materials well before each deadline.

Questions & Answers via email: Kauffman associates will accept questions related to this RFP and the application process via email. In order to allow time for a response, questions must be submitted by a minimum of 24 hours prior to the deadline for full proposals.

As part of the application process, the review team may require a web-based meeting with the co-applicants to discuss the proposal.

Applicants are expected to raise a 1:1 match for their request over the course of the grant but will only be required to document a minimum of 25% committed match at the time of application.

Terms & Conditions:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For questions about the goals or content of this RFP, please email

For applicants having problems with accessing or submitting the application, please reach out to the SurveyMonkey help desk:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Iowa;   Kansas;   Missouri;   Nebraska

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