The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas recently celebrated the milestone of reaching over $20 million in assets.

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is a public non-profit Foundation founded in 2001 by a group of citizens who shared an interest in encouraging charitable giving and a commitment to strengthening communities.  Specifically, the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas and affiliate Foundations of Girard and Fort Scott serve the region by helping individuals and businesses fulfill their charitable giving goals in ways that benefit the common good and improve the quality of life. 


Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded over $9.8 million in grants through its donor advised funds, unrestricted funds, designated funds, field-of-interest, scholarship, and organizational endowment funds.  As the local center for charitable giving, the Foundation works with individuals, families, corporations, private foundations, and not-for-profit organizations to carry out their charitable objectives and address community issues. Across the nation, 780 community foundations help create stronger hometowns where families want to establish roots, with recreational parks, social service programs and scholarship opportunities for local students. Community foundations are at the heart of cities and towns. They know the places of need in the area, and can direct resources to help solve problems.


Donors find that community foundations are an ideal fit for their philanthropy, offering people the opportunity to give back to causes they care about.  By partnering with the CFSEK, donors are able to achieve their charitable goals in ways that are easy, flexible, and effective.  CFSEK works with individuals who want to provide charitable gifts to create positive impact.   Look around our community. Many places you see and enjoy are in part, a result of charitable giving:  Immigrant Park, Miner’s Hall Museum, Europe Park, Pittsburg Public Library, Big Brutus, to name a few.  Many local organizations, such as the Family Resource Center, Children’s Advocacy Center, Angels Among Us, Healthcare Access for All and Homeless Solutions               have funds with the Foundation and can receive charitable donations and available grants.  These organizations provide services and projects for health and basic human needs, education and scholarships, children and youth activities and historical preservation, all making our community a better place.


Kit Parks, Executive Director commented “We are so fortunate to have had so many individuals, from the original founders, Board members over the years, to our current 23 individuals serving on our Board who have a personal passion for our area, plus a desire to utilize their skills and talents to support the Foundation.  Their belief in charitable giving which the Foundation promotes, helps bring about much benefit in this region and beyond.  The Foundation would like to thank donors, organizations and programs who are a force of good in our community”.


The Foundation works to achieve results for our community and is determined to continue the work in collaboration with our partners to realize a better quality of life for all.  For more information on The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas, call (620) 231-8897 or visit

CFSEK Looks forward to awarding 2017/2018 scholarships

Another scholarship season is upon us at the CFSEK. Thanks to generous donors, nine scholarship funds will award 23 scholarships this spring to graduating seniors and current college students. Scholarship applications are available at the CFSEK website at under For Scholarships. Each application has its own eleigibility requirements and application process. Read each application carefully and submit according to instructions by March 31, 2017. 

Good luck!

CFSEK 2017 Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees 2017


Kevin Mitchelson, President

Ron Rhodes, Vice President

Chris Ward, Secretary

Douglas Stuckey, Treasurer

Marty Beezley

Todd Coleman

Sharon Dean

Vicki Dennett

Linda Grilz

Dr. Paul Grimes

Joe Hart

Connie Kays

Rob Lessen

Ron Marrone

David Martin

Wilda Pentola

Pam Phalen

Diana Polston

Mark Schifferdecker

Judy Spigarelli

Montie Taylor

Wendell Wilkinson

Dr. Talaat Yaghmour

Leave a Legacy

 Plan a Gift for the Future and Leave a Lasting Legacy


Many have a desire to give back, to preserve the kind of life they have had and the things they have enjoyed. With a little planning, you can create a lasting legacy that will impact your community and future generations. A planned gift through your estate will continue to grow and give to your community …. Forever!

Consider what is important to you …… the church where you worship, the schools your children attended, the park where your grandchildren play or a local charity that you care about.  You can ensure that the things that make your community a great place to live, continue even beyond your lifetime.

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas Legacy Society consists of generous individuals who have made a planned gift through their estates. While personal and family obligations should always come first, a Legacy Society contribution assures the donor that their contributions will make an impact well into the future. Deferred gifts may be set up to go into any existing fund of the Foundation or you may choose to establish a fund to benefit the charity of your choice.

Legacy giving only requires a thoughtful intention to make a difference by identifying a charitable organization through a bequest in your will, trust or estate plan. You can designate a specific amount of money, a percentage of your estate or specific assets such as stock, real or personal property. Another way to leave a legacy gift is designating the Community Foundation as the beneficiary or co-beneficiary of retirement plans or life insurance policies. We encourage donors to talk to their attorney, financial planner and/or certified public accountant to determine which kind of planned gift works best for their financial situation and tax benefit.

Imagine the good that could be done if each one of us remembered a favorite charity or cause in our will or estate plan. Help us make our Southeast Kansas communities a better place to live. Consider leaving a legacy gift through the Community Foundation. For more information contact us at 620-231-8897.


Match Day 2016 A Success

Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas Raises $71,883 on Match Day in support of 20 local organizations


On November 29th, the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas hosted its first ever Match Day.  The purpose of the event was to celebrate giving back to the community on “Giving Tuesday”, the day proclaimed for giving.  The results were even greater than anticipated.  Over 200 contributions were received totaling $71,883.  20 local organizations benefited by increasing their endowed funds which will generate present and future income annually to address community needs. The Community Foundation distributed an additional $20,000 proportionately to the organizations, for a grand total of $91,883.


Two organization directors shared their thoughts on the giving to their endowed funds. Bev Clarkson, Pittsburg Public Library Director, stated in a message to the Community Foundation “The Match Day was an inspired idea and a tremendous success.  We appreciate all the good works that the Community Foundation does for the library and our community”.  Additionally, Angels Among Us Director, Diana Polston, shared the following, “I would like to thank our friends and family who were so generous in making donations for Match Day! We will be able to help so many cancer patients with financial needs and this reaffirms what great friends and what a supportive and loving community we have in Pittsburg, KS. Thank you to everyone who donated not only to Angels, but to all of the agencies who received donations!”

“These results reflect highly of our community and how compassionately people care about the wonderful work of our local nonprofit organizations. We are thrilled with the results and grateful to all who supported and contributed to our Match Day organizations. The success of this event is a tribute to the generosity of people in southeast Kansas” stated Community Foundation director, Kit Parks.