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 9 staff members in the Salina office, one in the Russell office, and one in Hays.

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 14 regional affiliate foundations and serve 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 $200 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

Foundation welcomes new staff members

The Greater Salina Community Foundation announces the following new hires: Kora Copas Kora Copas has joined the foundation as a staff accountant. A native of Courtland, Kansas, Copas has a bachelor’s degree in business management and accounting from Kansas Wesleyan University. In her new role, she will support the foundation’s finance department in the areas of gift and grant processing, fund reporting and accounting operations. Prior to GSCF, Copas previously worked in the healthcare accounting field. Angela Kerner Angela Kerner is the foundation’s new affiliate operations coordinator. A lifelong Kansan, Kerner is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a B.F.A. in art history. In her new role, she[...]

Saint Francis Ministries receives YW Legacy Grant

On behalf of the Elden V. Miller Family Charitable Trust, the Greater Salina Community Foundation has awarded $4,077 to Saint Francis Ministries to support child victims of human trafficking. This grant will help provide specialized treatment for young girls who have survived child sex trafficking through Saint Francis’ Clover House, a residential therapy program. This gift from the Elden V. Miller Family Charitable Trust was awarded through the YW Legacy Fund, which is held at the community foundation. Established in 2006, the YW Legacy Fund supports initiatives that align with the mission of the former YWCA of Salina by providing annual grants to projects that strive to make Salina[...]