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Kansas City G.I.F.T is a movement dedicated to cementing a better future for all. Founded in 2020, they have fought for impactful change for families, our communities, and our city. They strive to be an actionable step after all the protests have ended, and to educate and empower others to take action. G.I.F.T. works to ensure that we close the racial wealth gap, reduce poverty related crime, and reverse the effects of systemic racism in our city.

The Challenge

Due to the discriminatory practices of Redlining in the 1920’s and 1930’s in Kansas City, Troost Ave. has long been seen as the dividing line between Black and white people of Kansas City, and the dividing line between high and low income communities.

Investing in Black owned businesses in low-income communities is a proven method of increasing the economic prosperity of the community. However, banks often hinder that prosperity by discriminating against African American and other entrepreneurs of color seeking small business loans.

Their Approach

Generating Income For Tomorrow’s goal is to create a clear path to economic prosperity and wealth for the African American community in Kansas City.

They are doing this by providing grants to Black owned businesses in Kansas City, with a specific interest in businesses that operate in low-income areas. G.I.F.T. knows that this creates more jobs and potentially converts an economically disadvantaged area into an area of economic opportunity.

After many hours of conversations, G.I.F.T. feel strongly that they can have the greatest impact on the community by providing grants rather than loans to the business that they fund. Success will be determined by business growth, job creation, and positive impact on the community. By doing this, they are reducing the transportation barrier, that prevents those who live in a community of high concentrated poverty from being able to get to good paying jobs, they can increase the wealth of the residents that already live in the community, thus having the potential to transform an entire area.

Their Program

After extensive outreach to Black business owners in Kansas City to assess the current needs of the community, the following program has been created:

  • I.F.T. provides growth grants in the amounts of $25,000 & $50,000 while also providing startup grants in the amount of $10,000.
  • I.F.T. provides all of their recipients with a team of technical assistance professionals in the realms of Business Coaching, Accounting, Marketing and Legal services
  • I.F.T. will give out a minimum of one growth grant and one startup grant per month

​Their hope is that G.I.F.T. will eventually be able to create 100-200 new jobs in low-income communities each year through direct job creation (initial grant funding) and indirect job creation (being a catalyst for business growth). Over the next 5 years they want to see a steady decline in the poverty rate of the Urban Core and work to fund the development of a Black owned grocery store in a food desert.

Want to help?

Your contribution matters If you want to support their mission, they have a goal of 15,000 people donating $10 a month. Click here to donate.

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