In the News

Greater Salina Community Foundation receives grant for north-central Kansas affilaites

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

By GARY DEMUTH Salina Journal

The Greater Salina Community Foundation has received a $500,000 grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation of Logan to help improve the quality of life for communities in north-central Kansas.

The grant will be divided among the Greater Salina Community Foundation and its nine affiliate foundations in the Hansen Foundation service area. Each foundation will be allocated $50,000 for grants to distribute to charitable projects in its service area through a competitive application process.

Individual community grants have been limited by the Hansen Foundation to $5,000 or less to maximize each foundation’s outreach effort.

Money will have huge effect

Receiving an extra $50,000 to distribute in 2015 to worthy Ellsworth County projects will have a huge effect, said Sara Soukup, Smoky Hills Charitable Foundation director.

“We’re going to be able to give out about four times as much grant money,” she said. “It will encourage organizations to apply that might not otherwise.”

Although grants will be individually limited to $5,000, a more costly local project can be supplemented by some of the unrestricted funds available through the Smoky Hills Charitable Foundation, Soukup said.

“Or if we have requests for amounts less than $5,000, we can give more grants,” she said. “It will really help us service the community.”

10 foundations benefit

The Dane G. Hansen Foundation was established in 1965 with the primary goal of making the communities of northwest and north-central Kansas a better place to live. The foundation was established through an estate gift from Dane G. Hansen, a Kansas resident with a personal interest in promoting education and helping young people to succeed.

In addition to Greater Salina Community Foundation and the Smoky Hills Charitable Foundation, Hansen grant recipients include the Community Foundation for Cloud County; Republic County Community Foundation; Ottawa County Community Foundation; Solomon Valley Community Foundation (serving Mitchell County); Post Rock Community Foundation (serving the Lincoln County area); Russell County Community Foundation; Smith County Community Foundation; and Heartland Community Foundation (serving Trego, Rooks and Ellis counties).

The grants will provide an opportunity for rural communities to address a variety of community projects, with emphasis on programs or projects that include community involvement and volunteerism.

GSCF to be custodian

The Greater Salina Community Foundation will serve as custodian of each affiliate foundation’s grant and will administer the grant processes together with the local foundation boards. Specific criteria and application deadlines will be announced for each foundation.

“We’re really thrilled to be chosen by the foundation to help distribute their generous grants,” said Betsy Wearing, president and executive director of the Greater Salina Community Foundation. “GSCF also will have $50,000 to break down in our community.”

Gary Poore, a trustee of the Hansen Foundation, said the $500,000 grant is a pilot project to encourage a sharing of new ideas for community improvement and to help provide more discretionary grant money for these north-central Kansas foundations.

“A number of these foundations have designated funds they have to directly distribute to a specified organization,” he said. “We’re putting this discretionary money in the hands of the foundations and not telling them who to give this money to.”

Poore said that during the upcoming year, the Hansen Foundation will track the feedback it receives on the pilot program’s effectiveness in attracting new ideas and projects.

“If someone comes up with something worthwhile, we may duplicate it in other areas,” he said. “We may expand on this, depending on what we find.”