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

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 Thursday, April 15, 2021. Last spring, the Blair Center for the Arts Foundation identified a need to offer high-quality entertainment to people in the area through a mobile outdoor cinema package to utilize while their main facility remained closed during the pandemic. “While the ability to help patrons relieve stress and anxiety through entertainment at the Blair’s current location is not an option, this entertainment could be brought to people in a safe way using outdoor cinema viewing,” said grantee Amy Walker-McGuire. Thanks to a[...]

Gifts to the community foundation are worth more in December

BELLEVILLE, Kan.— Republic County could earn additional dollars for charitable grants in the community through a county-wide Match Month gift matching campaign. In December, the Dane G. Hansen Foundation will match all public gifts to the Republic County Community Action Fund at the Republic County Community Foundation, up to $50,000. Every dollar donated will be matched with $1.50. The Republic County Community Action Fund is an unrestricted community grant fund that supports projects and programs focused on improving quality of life in Republic County. Over the last four years, the Match Month campaign has raised over $663,000 for the communities of Republic[...]