Q: What type of activities do you fund?
A: The Kansas Health Foundation provides funding within six primary areas: promoting the healthy behaviors of Kansans; strengthening the public health system; improving access to health care for Kansas children; growing community philanthropy; providing health data and information to policymakers and building civic leadership.
Q. What kinds of projects are not funded by the Kansas Health Foundation?
A: The following areas are excluded from receiving Foundation grants:
Contributions to capital campaigns
Operating deficits or retirement of debt
Endowment programs not initiated by the Foundation
Lobbying on the introduction, enactment or amendment of specific legislation and activities supporting candidates of political campaigns
Vehicles, such as vans or buses
Construction projects or real estate acquisitions
Direct mental health services
Direct medical services
Q: With so many needs in Kansas, how do you know you are working on the right things?
A: We focus on long-term solutions instead of quick fixes to today’s problems. The Kansas Health Foundation wants to help prevent Kansans from becoming unhealthy in the first place. Our goal is to do the most good for as many Kansans as possible with our limited resources. We spend lots of time listening to people across the state and then we consult with experts on the root problems that have been identified and create strategic plans for tackling those problems. As the health needs of Kansas change, our Foundation’s focus areas will change with them.
Q: You say that you want to help prevent Kansans from becoming unhealthy. How are you doing that?
A: The Kansas Health Foundation funds a wide variety of programs across the state designed to promote healthy behaviors that help prevent disease, including good nutrition, increasing physical activity and decreasing tobacco use. Some of our grants help Kansas communities fund walking trails, vegetable gardens, programs to improve oral health and projects to increase screenings for cancer as well as other diseases. And those are just a few of our efforts along these lines.
Q: What are the main goals the Foundation hopes to accomplish over the next few years?
A: Please visit the Grantmaking section of our website for this information.
Q: If I am interested in applying for a grant, what should I do?
A: Our Recognition Grant program, which gives Kansas nonprofits, schools and agencies as much as $2 million in grants each year, is open to any nonprofit organization working to improve health in Kansas. This is the main opportunity that nonprofits have to request funding from the Kansas Health Foundation. Using a competitive application process, this program awards up to $25,000 per organization. For more details, go to www.kansashealth.org/grantmaking/recognitiongrants
Otherwise, the Kansas Health Foundation generally does not accept unsolicited requests for funding. However, we are always open to hearing from Kansas nonprofits doing innovative work that meets our mission, so the Foundation accepts one-page letters of inquiry from organizations that believe they have a project fitting this description. To learn more about this process, go to www.kansashealth.org/grantmaking/letters_inquiry Q: Does the Foundation raise money for the grants it funds?
A: No. We do not solicit or accept donations. Instead, we seek opportunities to invest our resources in people and projects that meet our mission and create long-term, sustainable health improvements.
Q: How did the Foundation obtain its assets?
A: Our funding comes from an endowment created by the sale of Wesley Medical Center, and our asset base of approximately $450 million remains strong thanks to a dedicated team of advisers and investment managers.
Q: How much money does the Foundation give away each year?
A: That dollar amount fluctuates each year, depending on the size of our asset base. The total amount of our grantmaking typically ranges from $18 million to $23 million a year.
Q: Who decides which projects are funded by the Kansas Health Foundation?
A: Our major initiatives are approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors, and these projects represent the largest percentage of grant money given each year. For our Recognition Grant program, an independent review committee with Kansans from across the state evaluates all of those applications. Twice a year, that committee recommends projects for grants up to $25,000 based on how well they would meet Kansas’ needs at that moment.
Q: How is the Kansas Health Foundation connected to the Kansas Health Institute?
A: The Kansas Health Foundation founded the Kansas Health Institute in 1995 and continues to fund this Topeka-based organization, which conducts research and policy analysis on health-related issues. The Kansas Health Institute also provides state lawmakers with nonpartisan, objective data to help inform their decisions on health policy. The Kansas Health Institute is one of our key partners, but it is not run by the Kansas Health Foundation. KHI has its own staff, board of directors and goals.
Q: What is the Kansas Health Foundation’s connection to the Kansas Leadership Center?
A: The Kansas Health Foundation created the Kansas Leadership Center in 2005 and continues to fund this Wichita-based organization, which is dedicated to nurturing and building leaders throughout the state. The Leadership Center provides the training and resources necessary to unlock the often-overlooked leadership potential within each of us. Leadership is critical to help Kansans transform their communities into healthier places to live. While the Kansas Leadership Center is one of our key partners, it is not run by the Kansas Health Foundation. It is a separate organization with its own staff, board of directors and goals.