The Kansas Health Foundation and the Central Kansas Community Foundation recently hosted an affiliate summit, talking about the growth not only of the community foundations and funds managed by the Central Kansas Community Foundation but also GROW II matching grants that have been leveraged locally. 

The summit was at the Kansas Learning Center for Health, Halstead.

The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) GROW II matching grant program is about improving the lives of Kansans through both healthier people and stronger communities. It was designed to increase philanthropy in Kansas, to improve the health of Kansas children and to develop a network of local partners, including Foundations like CKCF.

CKCF Executive Director Angie Tatro reported the Foundation has grown from $8 million under assets to $18.8 million under assets since the award in 2011. She attributes the growth largely to the awareness generated from the matching grant opportunity. 

Specifically, the CKCF and its affiliates, Halstead, Hesston, Peabody, Hillsboro and Butler County, raised more than $6 Million in eligible match during the grant, and Kansas Health Foundation then matched more than $1.7 million for health initiatives in Kansas and Halstead still has a chance through the remainder of 2017 to meet their match.

Halstead Community Foundation was awarded in 2012 a $300,000 matching grant from Kansas Health Foundation, to date they have approximately $120,000 in remaining matching opportunity.

“Halstead is a community like all of ours that will benefit greatly by fulfilling this match opportunity,” Tatro said.

In all participating GROW II communities, a Kansas Health Foundation Public Health Fund and a Foundation Operations Endowment are established by the matching funds.

Grant recipients are funding grants for playgrounds for kids to get exercise, better access to healthcare through clinics in rural areas and emergency kits with supplies for use by law enforcement during a crisis.

“Back in 2012 the Hesston EMT applied for a $250 grant to develop an emergency kit, complete with medical supplies, a tourniquet and keys to the school and other government buildings.” Susan Lamb, Hesston Community Foundation director shared. “During the Excel shooting February 25, 2016, the kit was employed and the tourniquet was used to save the life of at least one individual. This grant was funded through the KHF- Hesston Fund, established with matching funds.”

According to KHF President and CEO Steve Coen, GROW II has allowed the KHF to leverage more than $42 million across Kansas to meet the health needs of Kansans.

“When the Kansas Health Foundation started the Giving Resources to Our World (GROW) program in 1999, our goal was to help build the capacity of community foundations and encourage healthier communities,” said Coen.  “We are very proud of the Central Kansas Community Foundation (CKCF) and its affiliates who continue to grow their resources and help provide local grants for the unique, health needs of their residents.  We appreciate the generosity of individuals and families who give to the CKCF to support stronger, healthier communities across Kansas.”