Mission & History

Our Mission

Our mission is to build permanent endowment funds and meet charitable community needs. The Foundation achieves its mission by:

  • Enabling donors to fulfill their charitable desires
  • Increasing the capacity of nonprofit organizations to fulfill their individual missions
  • Facilitating prudent management and care of funds
  • Promoting community philanthropy through education
  • Providing affiliate services to neighboring communities
  • Meeting needs through grants, scholarships, and pass-through funds

Our History

The Foundation was established in 1999 by a committed group of individuals who wanted to create a vehicle that would promote endowment building in the Salina community.  The group recruited a Board of Directors who donated the funds and time to complete the paperwork to create the nonprofit corporation.  A founding donor campaign was initiated and completed within the first year.  Board members secured $2.9 million in gifts and pledges from more than 100 donors to form an administrative endowment for Foundation operations.  In 2000, the Foundation’s first Executive Director was hired and served in the role until 2015.  Today, the Foundation has grown to six staff members in the Salina office and one in the Russell office.

The Foundation’s name was chosen with care to reflect a desire not to limit the scope of its work within the boundaries of Salina.  With Salina being the “hub” of a region of smaller communities, the Board of Directors felt it was important to allow these smaller communities to be included, thus resulting in the addition of the word “Greater” to its name.  The first affiliate was established in 2000.  Additional affiliates were added over the years and GSCF now hosts twelve regional affiliate foundations and serves north central Kansas.

Since 1999, the Foundation has enabled donors to generously contribute through its 501(c)(3) status to benefit charitable organizations in Salina and throughout the nation.  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 distributed more than $20 million on behalf of its donors.  The Foundation’s assets are now over $145 million. Currently it is the largest community foundation in the state and has grown to include more than 600 funds, serving the needs of hundreds of nonprofits, initiatives and funds throughout greater Salina and north central Kansas.

The Greater Salina Community Foundation continues its vision to multiply the impact of charitable giving by connecting community members, nonprofits and other partners to look forward to a brighter future.  Much has been accomplished and we are ready to do more.

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

Recent News

Over $37,000 awarded during August grant cycle

  During its recent August grant cycle, the Greater Salina Community Foundation awarded over $37,000 in grants to 10 area nonprofit organizations. Funding was provided through the foundation’s L.P. “Pat” Mullen Fund and the Kansas Health Foundation Fund for GSCF. Recipients include: St. Johns Military School, $5,000 to develop a combination makerspace and STEAM lab where cadets in grades six through 12 can explore a variety of STEAM activities through the school’s Explorers Club and in academic classes. Saline County Back to School Fair, $5,000 for the 2019 Saline County Back To School Fair, which provides free backpacks and school supplies to[...]

Next Saline County ‘Strategic Doing’ to be held October 2

Saline County’s next “Strategic Doing” session will be held at 1 p.m., Tuesday, October 2, at the Salina Public Library’s Prescott Meeting Room, 301 W. Elm St., Salina. During this session, working groups will have the opportunity to share project updates, ask questions about funding and determine next steps as they continue to move their projects forward. Over the past year, Strategic Doing participants have identified and prioritized community needs into 10 areas: adult education and employment training; affordable housing; a pre-school for the Ell-Saline school district; early child services; environmental education; local foods; community marketing and branding; mental health services; a[...]