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RCACF Awards $38,400 in Grants

The Russell County Area Community Foundation (RCACF) awarded $38,400 in fall grants after receiving a record number of applications totaling over $200,000 representing a broad range of community projects.

“The foundation board is pleased with the fall grant applications involving more community groups and volunteers working together on new projects than ever before” said Mallory Davis, RCACF chairperson.

In the competitive environment with limited funds available to grant, the community foundation prioritizes grants based on three criteria: 1. The project should have strong community collaboration with multiple groups and volunteers working together; 2. The project should have a significant impact on the Russell County area; and 3. The project is supported with multiple sources of funding, such as grants and fundraisers.

“The community foundation board favors projects where the applicant has already invested significantly in achieving their goal,” said Chasen Katz, board Secretary-Treasurer. “Sometimes we see applications where RCACF is listed as the only source of funding and those applications score lower than projects where substantial funding already exists through the applicant’s own fund-raising efforts or volunteer in-kind contributions” Katz explained. “RCACF prefers not to be the sole source of funding for any project.”

Requests from tax-supported organizations for assistance with projects that are generally considered operational or could be budgeted as routine maintenance also score lower in the process.

“This fall we received many big grant applications in the early stages of project planning,” said board member Kristen Windscheffel. “As result, an emerging challenge for our Russell County area community is working together on a broader platform of community planning to establish priority and coordination of big projects for optimized community investment.”

Funds available through RCACF are available as result of generous donors and regional funders since establishment of the foundation in 2001. Today the foundation holds more than $20 million in endowments used to fund scholarship and community projects. Grant applications typically span projects involving community revitalization, school education, cultural arts, economic development, quality of life, and others.

“Working through grant applications each year is a humbling responsibility to assure wise investment of grant funds based on the establishing documents and intentions of generous foundation donors,” said board member Jeff Ochampaugh. “Our community can do great things working together and the community foundation along with all the projects past, present, and future are great examples of that” he said.

The Russell County Area Community Foundation is pleased to award these grants to organizations that benefit the Russell County area, including support for the parks, education, literacy, and seniors. Funding comes from the Kansas Health Foundation Children’s Fund, Dane G. Hansen Foundation, and the Kansas Health Foundation Public Health Fund.

The Arc of the Central Plains, $7,500

Russell Play Park

Black Gold Pheasants Forever, $3,000

Youth Trap Team

Bunker Hill Historical Society, $1,200

Museum ADA-compliant Entry Ramp

Russell Arts Council, $2,000

Dream Theater Ice Machine

Russell Development Inc, $5,200

Historic Park Picnic Tables

Russell Housing Authority, $10,000

Lincoln Manor Elevator

Russell Public Library, $2,000

Young Adult Area

USD 407, $7,500

Baseball Field Improvements Applications for the next grant season open February 1 and close March 30. The community foundation will hold a free grant writing workshop on February 13. For more information, contact Angie Muller, RCACF Executive Director, at 785-445-3611 or [email protected]