About Us

Our Mission

Our mission is to meet charitable community needs through leadership, grants and donor services.
The Foundation achieves its mission by.:

  • Building permanent endowments which benefit local communities;
  • Inspiring and enabling donors to fulfill their charitable desires;
  • Facilitating prudent management and care of funds;
  • Increasing the capacity of nonprofit organizations to fulfill their individual missions;
  • Advocating for issues which promote community philanthropy;
  • Facilitating grants, awards, and scholarships.

Our History

The Foundation was established by a committed group of individuals who wanted to create a vehicle that would promote giving in our community. In 1999, attorney Peter L. Peterson wrote a white paper outlining a plan to establish a community foundation in Salina. Ten individuals formed a committee to study the issue. They determined they wanted to move forward, recruited a board, and borrowed money from within the board to file the paperwork to create the nonprofit corporation.

The Foundation’s name was chosen with care to reflect a desire not to limit the scope of its work within the boundaries of any one city or county. Rather, the Foundation recognizes that our community is a growing, changing one, and boundaries only limit our potential. Donors come primarily from central Kansas, but could come from anywhere. Likewise, grant recipients may be right next door or out of state.

A founding donor campaign was initiated and completed within a year. Board members secured $2.9 million in gifts and pledges to form an administrative endowment to provide support for Foundation operations. There were more than 100 Founding Donors.

The first executive director was hired in 2000. Today, the Foundation has five staff members in the Salina office, and one in our Russell office.

The first Foundation Board set a goal to have $10 million in assets in 10 years. On the Foundation’s 10th anniversary, GSCF had assets of more than $50 million and had made cumulative grants of more than $20 million!

From the start, the Foundation served as a platform for regional affiliate foundations. The first affiliate, Smoky Hills Charitable Foundation (serving Ellsworth County) was established in 2000. Additional affiliates were added in 2001, 2002 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013. In all, GSCF hosts twelve regional affiliate foundations and serves most of north central Kansas.

The Foundation story is long and fruitful. Programs include the Youth GrantMaker’s Council, A Young Donor Circle, a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce to offer Leadership Salina, Women Helping Women and annual Elementary School Marathons. In addition, the Foundation offers annual education programs for nonprofit organizations and professional advisors.

View this timeline to see brief snippets of the Foundation’s growth over time.

Recent News

Republic County Community foundation awards over $138,000 in spring grants

Republic County Community foundation awards over $138,000 in spring grants BELLEVILLE, Kan.— During its spring grant cycle, the Republic County Community Foundation awarded over $138,000 to 16 projects throughout Republic County. The following organizations received funding: Republic County, $36,000 for updates to the fairground’s public restrooms.City of Scandia, $25,000 for maintenance on the sewer system in Scandia.City of Courtland, $15,000 for community center improvements.Blair Center for the Arts Foundation, $15,000 to purchase outdoor movie screen equipment.Republic County, $10,000 for updates to the National Bohemian Cemetery.USD 426 - Pike Valley, $7,610 to expand the Agricultura Education department.USD 109, $6,000 to update the livestock pens at the fairgrounds.Belleville Public Library, $6,000 for updates[...]

Community foundation accepting applications for spring grants

Community foundation accepting applications for spring grants BELLEVILLE, Kan.—The Republic County Community Foundation is now accepting applications for spring grants. Online applications are due Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Last spring, the Ag Ed instructor at Pike Valley identified a need for a small engines course to meet student interest and skills. “Our district has many students interested in mechanically driven career interests, such as engineering, ag technology, programming, and mechanical operations,” said grantee Katie Carlgren. Thanks to a grant from the community foundation, the students of Pike Valley Jr/Sr High School will have opportunities to explore mechanics and engineering through the Briggs and Stratton Small Engines Training and Educational Kit. “We will[...]