After a decade of service as president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Carl Schramm has stepped down to return to scholarship and business. An entrepreneur himself, Mr. Schramm has set an example of excellence in philanthropy and become an invaluable resource for promoting social welfare and entrepreneurship, honoring the legacy of founding donor Ewing Marion Kauffman in the process.
The Philanthropy Roundtable has worked very productively with Mr. Schramm and the Kauffman Foundation over the years. He has been a featured speaker at many of our events, and we have featured him and the Kauffman Foundation in the pages of Philanthropy magazine. In gratitude for the last decade of service, and in anticipation of Mr. Schramm’s continued contributions to the field in the years to come, we present a few excerpts from his interviews and profiles in our archives.
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“Every time we help an entrepreneur take the risk of starting a business, we strengthen the American economy. That’s what this foundation is all about.”
In 2009, The Philanthropy Roundtable presented “A Stimulus That Works: Philanthropic Strategies for Boosting Entrepreneurship,” a special conference hosted by the Kauffman Foundation. Some of the nation’s top entrepreneurs, experts on entrepreneurship, and donors gathered in Kansas City, Missouri, to explore how philanthropists can advance entrepreneurship as a central growth engine of our economy. Read the special report from this 2009 Philanthropy Roundtable meeting.
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“From Rockefeller and Carnegie to Gates and Kauffman, foundations are the creatures of generous individuals whose wealth was created through entrepreneurship. They created new products, new companies, and, in many cases, new industries. These entrepreneurs wanted their money used into the future to improve human welfare—their foundations are thus a reconstitution of that entrepreneurial wealth to help democratic capitalism expand opportunity, freedom, and prosperity. The vision of the founder should guide the foundation as it seeks to fulfill this role.”
Read the full interview, “Examining the Role of Foundations in Free Society,” from the November / December 2007 issue of Philanthropy.
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“The promotion of entrepreneurship is essential for our economic growth. It is critical to the advance of democracy, and should even be central to our foreign policy.
“Entrepreneurship is the process in which one or more people take economic risk to create a new organization that will exploit a new technology or innovative process that generates value to others.
“It is imperative that we see entrepreneurship as central to our economic life, because it is the only way to maintain the leverage we need to remain an economic superpower—and to continue to enjoy our standard of living. . . .”
Read the full interview with Carl Schramm, on The Entrepreneurial Imperative, from the September / October 2006 issue of Philanthropy.
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“Businesspeople are often characterized as hard-nosed because their drive to understand—it’s life and death for them. In foundations, the sense of life and death doesn’t exist, which can mean the loss of the edge and discipline that come from worrying about the market test of your work. My training suggests that we foundations must find a way to create the appropriate discipline for our work. In Kauffman’s case, we’re trying to be certain our interventions achieve the express aspiration we articulate at the beginning of a grant.”
Read the full interview, “Taking Risks,” from the November / December 2003 issue of Philanthropy.
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Kauffman Foundation trustee Benno Schmidt has been appointed interim head while the search begins for a new president and CEO. Mr. Schmidt is a leading innovator himself in primary, secondary, and higher education. Read his 2004 interview with Philanthropy magazine.