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

Community foundation awards $37,000 in community grants

Community foundation awards $37,000 in community grants SALINA, Kan.— The Greater Salina Community Foundation recently awarded over $37,000 to 10 charitable projects and organizations in Saline County. The following organizations received funding: The Kansas Food Bank, $5,000 to provide chronically hungry K-8 students and siblings free weekend food packets in the 2020-2021 school year.Little Samaritans Child Development Center, Inc, $2,400 to purchase new playground equipment to encourage and improve outside play and opportunities for pre-school students ages 3-5.Ashby House, $2,801.91 to create a youth recreational program to focus on encouraging active outdoor play for older children while they reside in the safe[...]

Over $80,000 in student scholarships available

SALINA, Kan.—The Greater Salina Community Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2021-2022 school year. This year more than $80,000 will be distributed to area students through the foundation’s 31 scholarship funds. Eligible scholarship applicants include graduating high school seniors, current college students and non-traditional students. Each scholarship has a unique set of criteria established by donors to the foundation. Depending on the scholarship, awards range from $250 to $10,000, and some are renewable for up to four years. Scholarships are not necessarily based on financial need. All scholarship applications must be submitted through the community foundation’s online scholarship portal by February[...]