Future Fund applications are in. What happens next?

During August, the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas accepted grant applications for its Future Fund Giving Circle. This year, the Future Fund has $14,586 available for granting. But the applications we received requested a total of more than three times that!

So, like every year, those applications will have to be reviewed to determine which will receive grant awards and which will not be funded this year.

How do we do that? Read on to find out!

Background: What is the Future Fund?

The Future Fund is a “giving circle.” In a giving circle, donors pool their funds and jointly determine how to distribute them. The Future Fund’s founders (try saying that three times fast) decided that its funds would only be available for nonprofits, schools, churches, and government institutions within Crawford County, Kansas.

Other than that restriction, which organizations receive grants from the Future Fund is determined by the Future Fund Review Committee based on those organizations’ grant applications.

In the past, the Review Committee has funded grant requests for organizations such as:

A more complete list of Future Fund grantees going back to 2014 can be found on our Future Fund page.

Behind the scenes of the Future Fund: What we’re up to now

September is a busy month for the Future Fund. During August, local organizations submitted grant applications to the Community Foundation. September is when the Future Fund Review Committee meets to go over those applications and decide which projects to fund. Here’s a timeline for the month:

  • Last week: We mailed application packets to Review Committee members. Those packets included a copy of each grant application, information about committee members’ role, and an organizer to help them keep track of all the grant requests.
  • This week: Between now and the middle of the month, committee members will be reviewing Future Fund grant applications. In determining which grant requests to accept, committee members will consider several factors, including:
    • The requesting organization’s ability to complete the proposed project.
    • The efficacy of the project in addressing the need identified.
    • The efficient use of available resources.
    • The appropriateness of the requested budget for the project.
  • September 17: The Future Fund Review Committee meets. Committee members will discuss each application and together decide which proposals should receive a grant. For successful applications, the Committee will also decide how much money to award, which may be less than the amount requested.

Shortly after the Review Committee’s meeting, the Community Foundation will notify applicants of the Committee’s decision. Successful applicants will also receive a grant contract and grant-evaluation report. Money is distributed from the Future Fund only after the grant contract is returned.

Finally, at the completion of the project or by July 2020, each organization that received a grant will have to return the grant-evaluation report. That report helps us ensure that Future Fund money is being used properly by grantees, and it can impact which organizations receive grants in the future.

How to support the Future Fund

Unfortunately, the Future Fund can’t fund every grant request we receive—at least, not this year. But that’s where community members like you come in.

The Future Fund is open to donations of any amount from anybody. And if your total contributions in a single year are at least $250, you can become a member of the Future Fund and be eligible to serve on the Future Fund Review Committee.

In that way, you can not only help grow the Fund so more money is available for local charities, but you can also help direct how that money impacts our community.

Learn more about the benefits of giving to the Community Foundation.

Of course, you can help even if you can’t donate. You can share this post with friends and colleagues on Facebook so that they can learn more about the Future Fund or the Community Foundation’s many other funds. Or you can volunteer with local charities, enabling them to do more with the resources they have.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Future Fund, the Community Foundation, or charitable opportunities in southeast Kansas, please feel free to contact us today!

Photo by Tim Umphreys

Summer 2019 Newsletter Now Available

The CFSEK Summer 2019 Newsletter is now available! What you'll find in this issue: 

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CFSEK Announces Joshua McCloud is New Donor-Services Coordinator

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is pleased to announce Joshua McCloud as its new Donor Services & Community Outreach Coordinator, a newly created position at the foundation, according to Kit Parks, Executive Director of the region’s public charity.

Joshua comes to the foundation with a skill set tailored for donor-services work along with ties to southeast Kansas. Joshua has lived in Pittsburg since childhood. He graduated from USD 250 schools and Pittsburg State University, where he obtained a B.A. degree in Political Science. After completing his undergraduate degree, Joshua moved to Texas, where he earned his law degree from Baylor University. His studies there focused on business organizations, tax, and estate planning. Since that time, Joshua operated in his own law practice in Texas until returning to Pittsburg in 2015.

When asked about his new role at the community foundation, Joshua replied, “I am excited to be able to help advance the Community Foundation’s mission to encourage charitable giving benefiting the common good and quality of life for everyone in southeast Kansas. I look forward to working with donors and others in the community to help them understand how we can all help each other.”

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is a local public charitable foundation which awarded $238,000 in Foundation grants in 2018 and has facilitated $12.9 million in donations since its inception in 2001. The Community Foundation serves the region by providing donors with a wide variety of charitable interests and encouraging charitable giving that addresses present and future needs in our area.

Parks said, “It is with amazement and gratitude to have seen the Foundation’s growth in recent years, from assets of $18 million in 2015 to $42 million in 2018.  Due to this growth, it is the right time to add a new position to assist in our mission to serve our community.  The Foundation Board of Directors and staff are pleased to welcome Joshua McCloud to our team”. Joshua will join Community Foundation staff Executive Director Kit Parks, Office Administrator Kim Lynch, and Program Coordinator Sherri Stephens.

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas Announces Spring 2019 Grant Recipients

Spring has been a busy time at the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas (CFSEK)! Three funds have awarded 22 grants totaling $51,386.

Get Busy Livin' Foundation Grants

First up, we have the Get Busy Livin' Foundation, which awards grants up to $500 to area organizations for projects and activities that support and promote Youth Volunteerism. This spring, the GBL Foundation gave a total of $4,361 to 10 organizations.

Women's Giving Circle and Circle of Friends Grants

Also providing grants this spring, the Women’s Giving Circle and the Circle of Friends granted funds to 9 southeast Kansas organizations totaling $34,820. Part of the Rita J. Bicknell Women’s Health Fund, the mission of these giving circles is "to improve the health and well-being of women by supporting education, increasing awareness and sharing quality of life opportunities to benefit all women."

Elm Acres Foundation Grants

Finally, the Elm Acres Foundation, Inc., provided grants to three local organizations in the total amount of $12,205. The purpose of the Elm Acres Foundation is to provide support for at-risk youth in the southeast-Kansas community (Crawford, Cherokee and Labette counties), including supporting any entities that provide services for at-risk youth. 

Congratulations, Grant Recipients!

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas along with The Get Busy Livin’ Foundation, Women’s Giving Circle, Circle of Friends, and the Elm Acres Foundation would like to congratulate the 2019 grant recipients. For a complete list of organizations that received grants this spring from these funds, please visit the For Grantseekers section of our website.

About the Community Foundation

Established as the Pittsburg Area Community Foundation in 2001, the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is a public non-profit Foundation.  The Foundation serves the region by helping individuals, businesses and municipalities fulfill their charitable-giving goals in ways that benefit the common good and improve the quality of life. The Foundation inspires a passion for generosity in each community that we serve. If you would like to know more about the CFSEK, we invite you to explore our website in more detail or call (620) 231-8897.

Over $57,000 Awarded in Scholarships for 2019/2020

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is Pleased to Announce 2019 Scholarship Recipients 


The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas had the privilege to assist in granting scholarships totaling over $57,000 to 46 students for the 2019-2020 school year. The scholarships administered by the Community Foundation are funded by donors who believe in the youth of our area and support their pursuit of higher education. A scholarship fund established with the Community Foundation is another way a family can leave a legacy and impact the future of our community. 


If you would like to know more about establishing a scholarship fund, contact the Foundation office for more details at 620-231-8897 or email kit.parks@southeastkansas.org.  The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas would like to thank the donors and congratulate the following scholarship recipients:


M. Lee and Noretta Caldwell Scholarship


Nicole Aikins – Erie High School

Madison Batchelor – Fort Scott High School

Ashley Dillinger – Neosho Community College                   

Jenna Kendrick – Parsons High School                                    

Traci Lee – Labette Community College                 

Kylee Marler – Neodesha High School                    

Aidan O’Hara – Frontenac High School

Gabbi Sands – Girard High School

Alexandria Thomas – St. Paul High School

Zachary Yarnell – Erie High School           


Commerce Bank Scholarship                 


Hazel Harper – Pittsburg High School                                                      

Katelyn Radell – St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic Schools   


Craig Crespino Scholarship                      


Garrett Bolinger – St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic Schools                                      

Mya McCleod – Girard High School          


Pat Forbes Scholarship 


Aubri Piccini – St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic Schools


Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ Scholarship


Amanda Becker – Southeast High School

Tejay Cleland – Northeast High School *

Kreed Curran – Girard High School

Caroline McKnight – Frontenac High School *

Madison Nagel – Pittsburg High School

Morgan Noe – Pittsburg High School *

Katelyn Radell – St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic Schools *

Rachel Ruiz – Pittsburg High School

Cecilia Stockard – St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic Schools

*Chosen to receive Get Busy Livin’ Volunteer Abroad Grant


Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ Dragon Award


Joel Kafka – Pittsburg High School


Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ KPREPS Player of the Year Award


Jace Friesen – Basehor Linwood High School


Stacy Goedeke Scholarship


Kirsty Gordon – Kansas State University


Haberbosch Family Scholarship


Kari Shadden – Marmaton Valley High School

Karlie Stephens – Marmaton Valley High School


Bill House Hereford Scholarship


Josh Butler – Arkansas City High School

Ian Messenger – Arkansas City High School

Brianne Nelson – Oklahoma State University

Tatum Norwood – Arkansas City High School

Thomas Parsons – Kansas State University

Kayla Signer – Oklahoma Panhandle State University

Braden Snyder – Cedar Vale High School

John Wells – Sedan High School


Tyler Jeck Scholarship


Annie Snow – St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic Schools


William Lehman History Scholarship


Madylynn Ard – Uniontown High School


Minnis Oral Health Scholarship


Ruth Wilinson – Pittsburg State University


Joe & Margarita Sauer Scholarship


Abi Doherty – Girard High School

Gabbi Sands – Girard High School


Short Family Fine Arts Scholarship


Kamryn Kelly – Pittsburg High School


William Sollner Family Scholarsip


Heather Chase – Northeast High School

Alyssa Rosette – Northeast High School

Bailey Williams – Northeast High School


Vinylplex, Inc. Scholarship


Delaney Cedeno – St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic Schools

Brett Freeman – Pittsburg High School

Hayley Moyer – Girard High School

Cade Simmons – St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic Schools

Leah Wescott – Pittsburg High School