Linda Hall Library Foundation
5109 Cherry St
Kansas City MO 64110-2498
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 363 4600
Mission Statement
The Linda Hall Library Foundation engages in activities to promote public understanding of science, and to further scholarship in science, engineering, technology, and their histories. Its programs are designed to encourage the public, scholars, and researchers to learn, investigate, explore, and increase knowledge.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Lisa Browar
Board Chair Ms. Marilyn Bartlett Hebenstreit
Board Chair Company Affiliation Alaris Capital
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2014
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
The Linda Hall Library Foundation allows donors to contribute with cash, major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover), and checks made payable to the Linda Hall Library Foundation. Donations may be made with the Foundation’s giving envelope and through a secure giving page at The Foundation also accepts gifts of stock and securities as a method of payment for donations; donors are encouraged to contact the Development Office (816.926.8727 or with related questions. The Foundation’s recurring donation program, Science Sustainer, allows donors to set up recurring monthly, quarterly, or annual gifts at a level most comfortable for them. Individuals or couples who give at least $1,000 annually (cash, check, credit card, or stocks/securities) are recognized as members of the President’s Circle. Those who are interested in contributing in-kind materials to the Linda Hall Library’s collections are encouraged to visit for guidelines on what the Library can and cannot accept. (The Foundation does not accept in-kind donations). The Linda Hall Library Foundation and the Linda Hall Library do not currently provide volunteer opportunities.
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement The Linda Hall Library Foundation engages in activities to promote public understanding of science, and to further scholarship in science, engineering, technology, and their histories. Its programs are designed to encourage the public, scholars, and researchers to learn, investigate, explore, and increase knowledge.
Background Statement The Linda Hall Library Foundation was established in 2013 to work cooperatively with the Linda Hall Library to offer programs that increase public understanding of science, engineering, technology, and their histories. The organizations have entered into an agreement to share certain managerial and administrative expenses. The Linda Hall Library is one of the largest libraries of its kind not affiliated with a university or larger entity. Established in 1946, it has been a mainstay of the engineering and science professions, providing information to anyone in almost all of the engineering fields as well as in physics, biology, botany, chemistry, biochemistry, astronomy, astrophysics, geology, mathematics, architecture, technology, and railroads. Programs explore the ways these disciplines impact our daily lives and influence contemporary life. Public programs, such as lectures and exhibitions, are offered to the public free of charge thanks to the philanthropic support of individual donors, community foundations, and corporations. These programs target adults dedicated to life-long learning; high school students interested in science, engineering, or technology careers; and scientists, engineers, and technology professionals in the region. The Foundation also works with the Library to support advanced scholarship in science, engineering, technology, and their histories. The Library’s collections attract scholars from around the world. The work of these scholars explores how social and political factors influence scientific practice and technological innovation, and how these, in turn, affect politics, culture, and civil society. As we confront a history that implicates science and technology in such troubling issues as eugenics, nuclear proliferation, and drone warfare, and at the same time look to a globalized future with aging infrastructure systems and urgent environmental demands, an understanding of science and technology that is socially grounded and culturally sensitive becomes all the more imperative. The Library’s collections are at the heart of its shared work and programming with the Linda Hall Library Foundation. Preservation and conservation activities will play a more central role in our fundraising activities in the coming years. We invite the public to join us in these efforts to ensure the longevity of the Library’s collections, without which public programs, exhibitions, and scholarly research would not be possible.
Impact Statement The Linda Hall Library Foundation, partnering with the Linda Hall Library, provides a cultural space in which public understanding of science, technology, and engineering can flourish. The Foundation has exciting opportunities to create new programs and expand its audience in 2019 and 2020. These opportunities arise from the Foundation’s partnership with the Library, which launched a new 3-year strategic plan in February 2019. The Foundation is the Library’s strategic partner in the implementation of the Library’s strategic plan and it will play a vital role in the many new joint fundraising opportunities that the plan makes possible. For example, a special Venture Fund was created to fund the plan’s initiatives and the Foundation will work with the Library to raise money for the new fund. The Foundation also raises money to support other programs that are co-created and administered with the Library. These include the research fellowship program, free public programs, and preservation of the Library’s collections. The Foundation will help expand programming and experiment with different formats. More programs will be offered outside of the Library’s walls. Topics will focus on the intersection of science and technology with contemporary life, the ways in which science is portrayed in popular culture, and technological advances in our communities. The Foundation and Library will retain the popular evening lecture programs while adding interviews, panel discussions, brown-bag lunch forums, TED-style talks, film series, and audience-participation events such as trivia contests and hackathons. Livestreaming many programs will continue, making them available in real time to anyone, anywhere with an internet connection. STEM and STEAM education is a new area for the Foundation. These programs will explore the range of scientific and technological fields available for students interested in STEM careers, along with opportunities to interact with scientists and engineers.
Needs Statement The top funding needs for 2020 include: 1) Water Conference (cost: $88,200) to be held 10/30/20. This full-day conference will promote awareness of water issues by exploring global-to-local topics, including technical issues (quality, scarcity, excess) and social issues (value, access, identity). 2) STEM Programs (cost: $24,300) will include two career exploration programs for high school students, a collaborative STEM Day event, and teacher workshops. 3) Public Programs ($167,000), both onsite and community-based programs such as lectures, brown bag forums, science film series, hackathons, “Deeper Dive” courses, Nerd Nights, author events, and trivia nights. For the most up-to-date schedule of events, visit 4) Scholarly Research programs (cost: $130,000) includes the research fellowship program that brings national and international scholars to the Library. In 2020, a new scholar-in-residence position will be offered to Kansas City-area researchers who share a common interest in the transformative social effects of science and technology. The scholar will receive funding for a full academic semester of research.
Service Categories
Areas of Service
KS - Johnson County
KS - Wyandotte County
MO - Clay County
MO - Jackson County
MO - Platte County
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement The Linda Hall Library Foundation and the Linda Hall Library's collaborative public programs are devoted to engaging members of the metropolitan community in thinking about the ways in which science intersects with contemporary life. The Foundation and the Library have built a loyal audience of lifelong learners. Investments from individual donors, corporations, and foundations ensure the work of the Linda Hall Library Foundation and Linda Hall Library continues to enrich our community and deepen the public’s understanding and appreciation of the myriad ways in which science, engineering, and technology inform our lives and our futures. The Linda Hall Library Foundation has a strong partner in the Linda Hall Library. Increasing awareness about the Library and its resources and broadening local audience engagement with the Foundation and Library's collaborative programming are important goals in 2020, and beyond. Strengthening philanthropic support is also critical to the Foundation and Library's efforts to attract national and international scholars and researchers through the research fellowship program. Philanthropic support ensures public programs remain free to the public and strengthens Kansas City’s reputation as an international destination for advanced research. Finally, the collections are the basis for all programs and scholarship. The Library and Foundation share the responsibility of preserving the Library’s collections for future generations to access and use. The Foundation and the Library are excited to engage the public in the preservation of the Library’s collections. It is an opportunity to connect with donors in a new way and a chance to deepen the public’s appreciation of Kansas City as home to one of the largest print repositories for science, engineering, and technology related materials in the world.
Description Linda Hall Library Foundation and the Library co-produce free public programs related to science, engineering, and technology and the ways these disciplines intersect and influence contemporary life. Program formats include lectures by nationally and internationally known experts, brown bag lunch programs at various community locations, “deeper dive” mini-courses, science-themed movie nights at local theaters, trivia night competitions, and Nerd Nights. The Foundation partners with the Library to co-produce and implement these types of programs and the Foundation will continue to partner with the Library in 2020 as it experiments with new program formats and new venues. This experimentation and commitment to significantly increase public programs is part of the Library’s new three-year strategic plan, which the Linda Hall Library Foundation will serve as a partner to the Library for the plan’s implementation.
Program Budget $167,000.00
Category Science & Technology, General/Other Engineering & Technology
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Through thoughtfully designed and engaging public programming including lectures, exhibitions, and in-depth learning experiences, the Linda Hall Library Foundation will: 1) provide memorable educational experiences for attendees by featuring prominent speakers on relevant science and technology topics; and, 2) foster lifelong learning, science literacy, and public engagement. For most lectures, an electronic survey is developed to determine if a lecture attendee has increased his or her knowledge about specific science topics presented in the lecture. For the last two years, survey results show that approximately 85% of guests who responded to the program survey have increased their science knowledge after attending a lecture.
Long-Term Success The overarching long-term goal of the Linda Hall Library Foundation is to increase science literacy among adults and young adults in our region. The complex problems facing our world require a sophisticated yet accessible examination of the relationships between science, technology, and society. In addition, by showcasing the work and experiences of science, engineering, and technology professionals in ways that interest young people, the Linda Hall Library Foundation and the Library hope to inspire younger audiences to pursue science-related careers. The Foundation will serve as a strategic partner in helping the Library achieve the goal of making Kansas City one of the most science-literate cities in the country.
Program Success Monitored By Attendees at most programs are asked to assess the success of the program based upon their comprehension of the material presented, the knowledge they derived from the material, and the value of the information obtained to their own lives. Staff will conduct post-program electronic surveys to obtain the evaluation data and comments. Open-ended questions provide attendees the opportunity to respond in their own words about their experience with the exhibitions and programs and to offer suggestions on how the Linda Hall Library and the Linda Hall Library Foundation can improve future program experiences for attendees. For example, in 2018, the Foundation and the Library purchased a half-dozen hearing assistance devices for use by lecture attendees who are hard of hearing. The survey comments revealed that many guests were having difficulty hearing guest speakers. An upgrade to the sound system and the purchase of the new devices were in direct response to this feedback.
Examples of Program Success As of October 2019, the Linda Hall Library Foundation, in partnership with the Linda Hall Library, is on track to offer 70% more public programs than was offered in 2018. Attendance in the first ten months of 2019 exceeds attendance numbers for all of 2018, with approximately 3,000 program attendees versus 2,800 respectively. Through open-ended questions and in-person conversations, the vast majority of program attendees indicate that they learned something new and/or deepened their understanding of a STEM-related topic after attending a Foundation program at Linda Hall Library.
Description The Linda Hall Library Foundation and the Linda Hall Library raise funds to support the Research Fellowship Program. The program invites doctoral students and scholars of exceptional promise to apply for fellowships ranging from 1 week to 4 months. The Library’s collections are a tremendous resource to research fellows, particularly those focused on engineering, natural history, physical science, astronomy, life sciences, environmental studies, aeronautics, earth sciences, Cold War science, infrastructure studies, and mathematics. The program offers two types of fellowships, travel and residential. With the exception of the new Scholar-in-Residence, fellowships may not be awarded to Kansas City area residents. Awards cover travel and living expenses up to $750/wk for travel fellows, $3,000/mo. for pre-doctoral fellows, and $4,200/mo. for post-doctoral fellows. Fellows work full time at the Library on their projects and are asked to give a lecture to the public while in residence.
Program Budget $130,000.00
Category Education, General/Other Library
Population Served Adults
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success For the Linda Hall Library Foundation and the Linda Hall Library, the short-term success of the Research Fellowship Program may be defined by the number of qualified applications received, the number of fellows granted research stays, and the number of public lectures delivered by the research fellows. For the research fellows, short-term success is highly individualized, but generally consists of the ability to use the Library’s collections and staff support to complete the research outlined in their fellowship applications. During the review process of applications, key criteria include the importance of the Library’s collections to the research project and the feasibility of the project. In the last two years, 28 fellowship awards were approved and to-date 17 are completed. The 28 fellows hail from 12 states and 5 countries. For more detailed information about the program, visit
Long-Term Success The ultimate long-term success of the fellowship program is the positive and, in some cases, invaluable impact the Library’s collections and staff resources had on a research fellow’s work. For many of the scholars, their fellowship provided the research materials needed to complete their dissertations, achieve a competitive research award, or complete the final chapter in their first book manuscript for publication. Additionally, for the Library and the Foundation, the long-term success of the research fellowship program also involves securing adequate funding each year to support the fellows and their work, with the eventual goal of endowing the program for the long-term.
Program Success Monitored By
Fellows are asked to complete a survey at the end of their program. Library staff use the survey results for continuous improvement of the program. Questions include:
  • Describe the work you did during your Linda Hall Library fellowship.
  • How well did the resources of the Library meet the needs of your research?
  • How will this fellowship contribute to your scholarly work?
  • Do you have suggestions for acquisitions to strengthen the collection in your research area?
  • Please comment on the facilities and services offered. Did they meet your needs? Do you have suggestions for improvement?
  • Was the Library staff helpful to you? What could they have done to improve or enhance your experience?
  • Were there opportunities for intellectual exchange with other scholars during your fellowship?
  • Was the fellowship amount adequate to meet your expenses?
  • How did you learn about the fellowship?
Examples of Program Success Excerpted comments from research fellows’ exit-interviews include: “The resources at the Linda Hall Library were spectacular. I had a list of items to look at when I arrived and found even more while I was working”; “Having the physical copies of the works I am working on allowed me to work much more efficiently and allowed me to see details…that I would not have seen in reproductions”; “This fellowship gave me access to texts I couldn’t find elsewhere”; and “The actual physical resources were excellent: the bound railroad pamphlets were amazing because while I’ve seen one or two other places, I had never seen such a large collection.”
Description On 10/30/20, the Library and the Foundation will collaborate with regional organizations to present an all-day Water Conference to explore the question: What are current water issues relevant to Kansas Citians and what does the future hold if we continue our current trajectory? The conference will promote awareness of water issues by exploring global-to-local topics and social issues. Other goals are to: Be solution-oriented to not only explain issues, but also offer discussion about what’s being done (or could be done) to prevent or mitigate future problems; Make the science relevant to the educated general public so people will walk out knowing the issues and understanding what they can do to help, and; Provide connections to local organizations. Target audience is the general public, with a focus on local business and government professionals who are not in the water business and high school and college students. Anticipated attendance is 200-225.
Program Budget $88,200.00
Category Environment, General/Other
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success This one-day conference is designed to engage the curious and concerned Kansas Citian who desires to know more about the future of water and especially those water issues facing the city and the region. As of October 2019, the speakers, keynote, and breakout sessions are still being determined. There will be pre- and post-surveys administered to the attendees to gauge increases in awareness and knowledge, as well as a measure of how likely an attendee will engage in future action(s) as a result of their attendance at the Water Conference. Indirect evaluation methods may include reported upticks in public engagement with the collaborating organizations and the local resources provided to conference attendees. This may include an increase in: website visits, public inquiries, and requests for resources and information.
Long-Term Success The long-term success of a one-day conference is difficult to measure beyond the pre- and post-surveys described in the Program Short-Term Success section. Possible indicators of longer-term change may include an increase in voter turnout and support of water-related and infrastructure issues on local ballots; an increase in public engagement with local and regional politicians to discuss water-related issues; and a possible uptick in volunteer engagement with organizations and government agencies that work on water and environmental issues.
Program Success Monitored By Pre- and post-conference surveys will be used to help measure the increase in awareness and knowledge conference attendees have about water issues and, in particular, water issues facing Kansas City and the region.
Examples of Program Success The Water Conference will be a success if a majority of attendees indicate in their survey responses that they increased their awareness and knowledge about water issues after attending the conference. Other examples of program success include attendees reporting that they will take some form of action or change one or more behaviors based on the information they learned at the conference, as well as a measurable uptick in public engagement with the collaborating organization’s websites, requests for additional information and resources, etc.
Description STEM education is a new area for the Linda Hall Library Foundation and the Linda Hall Library. In 2020, the Foundation will work with the Library to expand STEM-related programs and collaborations. It is a year of experimentation to understand how the Foundation and the Library may best serve teachers and students in middle school, high school, and college with STEM programming and experiences, and how best to collaborate with other STEM organizations. STEM programming goals include: 1) Serve as a venue for meeting of STEM organizations; 2) Develop a reward and recognition program for high-achieving high school students in STEM areas, their families, and teachers; 3) Provide programs focused on STEM career exploration and experiences for students; 4) Complete the planning and preparation of Kansas City’s first Invention Convention (set for April 2021) for students in grades 6-12 (KS & MO) and the opportunity to go on to the national competition in Dearborn, Michigan.
Program Budget $24,300.00
Category Science & Technology, General/Other Science & Technology, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Short-term goals include measuring an increased awareness among students in grades 6-12 of the STEM-related careers available to them, and an increased understanding of the education and skills they will need to obtain those careers. Through a series of planned teacher workshops in 2020 related to the Invention Convention, the Foundation and Library will use feedback from teachers who participated in the workshops to understand how the two organizations can best benefit the STEM ecosystem in Kansas City and the metro area.
Long-Term Success The 2020 calendar year will give the Foundation and the Library the feedback needed to determine which STEM-related programs provide the most value to the Kansas City metropolitan region. In 2021, the organizations will be in a stronger place to determine which programs and collaborations will continue after 2020 and the potential long-term success each will produce.
Program Success Monitored By The Linda Hall Library Foundation and the Linda Hall Library will seek extensive feedback from teachers, students, and other STEM organizations in the Kansas City metro area to help determine the kinds of programs and resources that the Foundation and the Library may provide to enhance and strengthen the STEM community. Pre- and post-program surveys, in-person conversations, needs surveys, and/or focus groups will be used to collect qualitative and quantitative data that will inform program planning, implementation, content, and, eventually, the decision-making process to determine what programs and collaborations will continue into 2021.
Examples of Program Success At the end of 2020, the Foundation, in partnership with the Library, will be able to clearly define the role it will play in the production and delivery of STEM-related programs and resources to the Kansas City metro area.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Lisa Browar
Term Start July 2008
Experience Lisa Browar was appointed President of the Linda Hall Library in July 2008, and the Linda Hall Library Foundation at its inception in 2013. Prior to accepting these positions, she was University Librarian at The New School in New York City from 2002 until 2008. She previously held posts with Yale University’s Beinecke Library (1979-82), Vassar College (1982-87), the New York Public Library (1987-1996), and the Lilly Library at Indiana University – Bloomington (1996-2002) where she was the first woman to fill the director’s position. Raised on the East Coast as well as in the Midwest, Lisa holds a B.A. in English from Indiana University, an M.A. in English and American Literature from the University of Kansas, a Master of Library Science (M.L.S.) from Indiana University, and an Executive M.A. in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Paid Full-Time Staff 0
Paid Contractors 0
Volunteers 0
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
By working with other leading civic, cultural, scientific, and educational organizations in the Kansas City area wishing to explore the relationship of science to contemporary life, the Linda Hall Library Foundation will add value to its programs and amplify the discussion of science and technology in metropolitan Kansas City. Collaborations to date include: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, The University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City Public Library, MRIGlobal, and the Kansas City Art Institute. These collaborations have helped expand our audience and increase interest in topics that affect us all. Future collaborations with leading STEM-providing organizations will establish the Linda Hall Library Foundation, in partnership with the Linda Hall Library, as a resource for students involved in STEM and STEAM endeavors, and as a sponsor for reward and recognition events that promote STEM education.
CEO Comments

The Linda Hall Library Foundation and the Linda Hall Library have certain purposes in common and have agreed to provide certain services to each other and share expenses incurred in relation thereto in carrying out the functions of the respective organizations, including but not limited to staffing costs. Presently, the Foundation has no direct employees.

Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Marilyn Bartlett Hebenstreit
Company Affiliation Alaris Capital
Term Dec 2013 to Mar 2027
Board Members
Mrs. Alison H. ArmisteadAlaris Capital
Ms. Marilyn Bartlett HebenstreitAlaris Capital
Mr. Michael J. BrownEuronet Worldwide
Anne C Dema Ph.DWilliam Jewell College
Mr. Stephen DunnJ.E. Dunn Construction Company
Mr. John A. MacDonaldChinquapin Trust Company
Mr. Nicholas K. PowellColt Energy
Mr. Charles SoslandSosland Publishing
Mr. Charles A. SpauldingOakwood Real Estate Partners
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 65%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 2
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2019
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2018, 2017, 2016: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.
  • Foundations/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals. 
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$215,402$250,318$267,737
Administration Expense$85,358$83,855$93,527
Fundraising Expense$233,672$190,913$120,708
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.651.331.04
Program Expense/Total Expenses40%48%56%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$152,332$234,686$219,745
Current Assets$152,332$234,686$219,745
Long-Term Liabilities$196,570$90,869$245,839
Current Liabilities$1,855$1,138$3,658
Total Net Assets($46,093)$142,679($29,752)
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities82.12206.2360.07
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets129%39%112%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Individual Donor $147,717 --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Hebenstreit Family Foundation $100,000 --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation $100,000 --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Comments
The Linda Hall Library Foundation works together with the Linda Hall Library to co-produce public programming that informs, enlightens, and leads learners to a greater understanding of science. The Linda Hall Library Foundation seeks to raise funds from foundations, corporations, and individuals for programming. Organizational administrative expenses will be addressed through a cost-sharing agreement between the two organizations. 
Other Documents
2018 Public Programs List for LHLFndtn2018View
2017 LHLFndtn Lecture Series2017View
Biennial Report_Linda Hall Library Trusts & Affiliate2016View
Organization Name Linda Hall Library Foundation
Address 5109 Cherry St
Kansas City, MO 641102498
Primary Phone (816) 3634600
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Lisa Browar
Board Chair Ms. Marilyn Bartlett Hebenstreit
Board Chair Company Affiliation Alaris Capital
Year of Incorporation 2014