CFSEK Job Opening: Executive Director

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is seeking a full time Executive Director. This position assumes responsibility of overall management of the Foundation with $52 million in 170 fund balances, including asset development, marketing, grant-making administration, community involvement and collaboration with the Board of Trustees and affiliate Foundations in Girard and Fort Scott.

Qualifications: Good written, social and verbal communication skills, computer proficiency, detail oriented, organized and possess excellent customer relationship skills. College degree and non-profit or donor relations experience preferred. A complete job description can be found at

Competitive salary and benefit package includes health and life insurance, paid time off and retirement. Submit a cover letter and resume to CFSEK, PO Box 1448, Pittsburg, KS 66762 or by 6/24/21. You may also apply via LinkedIn or Indeed.

CFSEK is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

CFSEK Executive Director Kit Parks Announces Retirement

After six years of service as executive director of the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas, Kit Parks has decided to retire at the end of July.

Kit was hired to serve as CFSEK’s executive director in early 2015. During Kit’s tenure, the Community Foundation has increased in size and in impact. When she was hired, CFSEK had $15 million in assets and had made $1.2 million in grants during the previous year. As she retires, the Foundation’s assets have grown to nearly $53 million, and last year grants totaled almost $2 million.

“Kit has been indispensable to the success of the Community Foundation these last six years,” said Connie Kays, president of the CFSEK Board of Trustees. “We will miss her talent and passion.”

Douglas Stuckey, who served as president of the Board when Kit was hired, added, “We had high expectations for Kit thanks to her years of experience in non-profit leadership, and she has surpassed them all.”

Kit plans to use her retirement to travel and enjoy more time with her grandson.

The CFSEK Board of Trustees and staff will miss Kit’s leadership and camaraderie. We wish her a long, healthy, and happy retirement!

Announcing the 2021 Rita J. Bicknell Women's Health Fund Grant Recipients

Each spring the Rita Bicknell Women's Health Fund (WHF) Giving Circles meet to review grant requests to fund projects to "improve the health and well-being of women by supporting education, increasing awareness and sharing quality of life opportunities to benefit all women."

As CFSEK celebrates our 20th year of "benefiting the common good and the quality of life" in SEK communities, we are proud to be affiliated with the WHF and the great work they do.

Since 2007, the WHF Women's Giving Circle has supported 65 organizations with over $300,000, and the Circle of Friends has donated $43,600 to 34 organizations!

We hope you enjoy reading about the 2021 recipients and their projects to improve the health of women in SEK.

Women's Giving Circle 2021 Grants

  • Angels Among Us - "Financial Assistance to Cancer Patients" will support any and all financial needs of cancer patients in the Southeast Kansas area throughout their treatment process.
  • Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas - "A Simple Solution to a Woman's Difficult Problem" will provide pelvic-floor-muscle physical therapy for low-income women.
  • Community Mental Health Center of Crawford County - "Beyond Trauma: A Healing Journey for Women" will host a women's evidence-based trauma group in coordination with area community agencies.
  • Community Mental Health Center of Crawford County - "Technology Connection" will create a room at the Women's Reintegration House with technology needed to search for jobs and housing, replace identification documents, and improve skills with training and education.
  • Fostering Connections - "Teen Girls Life Skills Classes" will provide social, emotional, and life skills to teenage girls in foster care.
  • Labette Health Foundation - "OB/GYN Expansion" will provide the Labette Health birthing center with a new, portable birthing cart ensuring needed medical supplies are available in birthing rooms.
  • Mount Carmel Foundation - "Next-Generation Equpment" aims to provide specialized care to the women of our region with the purchase of new hysteroscopy equipment.
  • Pittsburg State University School of Nursing - "Birthing Bed for Victoria" will purchase a birthing bed to accompany "Victoria," an advance-obstetric simulation patient, for nursing instruction.

Circle of Friends 2021 Grants

  • Catholic Charities - "SEKS Neighborhood Financial Stabilization" is a project that provides housing intervention and supportive services to single women and mothers in financial crisis or instability.
  • Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters - "Empower Night" will provide a Little Sister/Big Sister match activity to celebrate, encourage, and strengthen young women.
  • Ronald McDonald House of the Four States - "Nursing Mother's Kits" will provide encouragement and support as mothers nurse NICU babies.
  • Special Olympics Kansas - "Women's Health in Special Olympics Kansas" will screen and apply health data in the development of individual programming for Special Olympics female athletes.

CFSEK General Funds Grants for 2021 Are Now Available

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas (CFSEK) is pleased to announce that the 2021 General Funds grant application is now available through June 30, 2021. General Funds grants are available for non-profit programs and services for basic human needs and youth activities. This year's grant application can be found on the General Funds page of our website and is due by June 30, 2021.

Keep reading to learn more about CFSEK General Funds grants.

What are CFSEK General Funds grants?

The Community Foundation's mission is to serve the region by encouraging charitable giving benefiting the common good and the quality of life. We inspire leadership with programming that is responsive to the interests and needs of those we serve now and in the future.

In pursuit of that mission, CFSEK offers grants to help non-profit organizations addressing a wide range of needs in Southeast Kansas communities. Since 2004, the funds directly managed by the CFSEK have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to numerous Southeast Kansas non-profit projects.

In 2020, the CFSEK General Funds grant cycle awarded $141,300 to support 44 organizations in Bourbon, Cherokee, Coffey, Crawford, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, and Wilson Counties. 2020 grants ranged in amount from $700 to $8,022, with an average of $3,170. For a full list of 2020 grant recipients, see our General Funds page or the 2020 Grant Celebration newsletter.

For 2021, CFSEK is offering a total of $145,000 through General Funds grants. $88,348 will be available for youth activities, and $56,652 will be available for programs addressing basic human needs.

Who can apply for CFSEK General Funds grants?

CFSEK General Funds grants are only available for 501(c)(3) organizations, educational institutions, units of government, and religious organizations. If you're uncertain whether your group or organization is eligible for a grant, please contact us for help.

The following types of project expenses are typically not funded:

  • Ongoing operating expenses, salaries, or stipends
  • Mileage reimbursement or travel costs
  • Building or construction projects
  • Religious activities, unless the project serves the general public regardless of religious affiliation
  • Political activities

How to apply for a General Funds grant

To apply for a General Funds grant, download the grant application (downloads PDF) from our website or request it by emailing Sherri Stephens. You can submit your application in one of three ways:

  • Email to (Preferred)
  • Mail to:
    Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas
    P.O. Box 1448
    Pittsburg, KS 66762
  • Hand delivery to the drop box outside our office in the basement of the Commerce Bank building in Pittsburg:
    100 S. Broadway, Ste. 100
    Pittsburg, KS 66762

Your application should be typed and should include proof of non-profit status if not already on file with CFSEK. Please review the instructions included in the application carefully before submitting it.

Applications must be returned to CFSEK by June 30, 2021.

Celebrating 20 Years of Philanthropy in SEK


The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year! To kick off the festivities, we're publishing a special-edition newsletter that you can read by clicking the button below.

In this issue, you'll find:

  • A celebration of our founding at 20 years.
  • Excerpts from past newsletters, annual reports, and brochures, including how the Foundation was started, why it was started, and some of the developments it has enabled over the last two decades.
  • 20 statistics commemorating CFSEK's 20 years.
  • A special thanks to all our founders, board members, and staff.

We have more celebration planned for this year, so be sure to keep visiting our website regularly, sign up for our email lists, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to stay up to date.