The Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative mission is:

1.     to promote and support philanthropy in Kentucky; and

2.     to promote strategic grant making and private-public partnerships as a solution to the Commonwealth’s enduring challenges, starting with a focus on Early Childhood Education and Child Health/Welfare.

KPI continues to implement initiatives related to early childhood, grow a strong vigorous philanthropic network, and support community change through the promotion of community funds.


The Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative, Inc (KPI) was founded by retired corporate foundation executive Judith G. Clabes in 2008 as a 501 (c) 3 organization. Funds for its operations and programming are provided by private donors.


At the request of KPI, Governor Steve Beshear established the Commission on Philanthropy by executive order in December of 2008. Comprised of about 30 private philanthropists from across the state, the Commission made recommendations on the best opportunities for private-public partnerships to address the challenges related to Kentucky’s youngest citizens.

Following a review of the work of expert advisory committees, the Commission convened a statewide Summit on Philanthropy in October 2009, where the Power of Philanthropy report was unveiled. This report illustrated creative initiatives to improve the early development and health of Kentucky’s children.

KPI provided fiscal agency for the private funds that supported the work of the Commission, with no public monies involved.

Chaired by Judith Clabes, with Michael Hammons as executive director, the Commission concluded its work in January of 2010.


Coming together for Kentucky’s Children

Philanthropists from across the Commonwealth gathered to discuss the many ways philanthropy can – and does – matter. Attendees and presenters joined together in thought-provoking sessions about timely topics and enjoyed networking opportunities. They learned about cutting edge ideas for improving Kentucky’s future, starting with Early Childhood Education and Child Health and Welfare.

Prominent national speakers shared their expert opinions on the benefits of strategic philanthropy and expressed ways to focus on results. Pre-Summit workshops provided insight on the advantages of private/public partnerships, the role of advocacy and social marketing in order to make a bigger impact.


The Power of Philanthropy: Empowering Communities … Transforming Kentucky

The second annual Summit on Philanthropy focused on empowering the citizens of Kentucky to take charge of their lives, of their own communities — and to inspire private philanthropic support.

The message of the Summit was that the power of philanthropy begins with the power of one. Together, we can create the critical mass that transforms our neighborhoods, our communities, our counties and our Commonwealth. In a time when mega-billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet are challenging their peers to give half their wealth away, Author Wendy Smith shared how even small donations can change our world. Against the attitude that Kentucky is poor and powerless, participants learned from groundbreaking Transfer of Wealth research that Kentucky has considerable resources and opportunities to grow its philanthropic pool. Participants walked away with the understanding that empowerment and transformation start with a single individual who is committed to greater good.