The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) launched a new initiative in March aimed at building community capacity to address economic development–the Kansas Community Philanthropy Innovators Network (KCPIN). The KCPIN initiative is funded through a grant of more than $820,000 to support the training and peer-learning institutes of eight Kansas community foundations.
The KCPIN will focus on building skills of community teams in a multi-year effort through training, coaching and technical assistance on community and economic development and impact investing. Four foundations were selected as the pilot group based on their demonstrated commitment to engage in community and economic development:
“For more than 20 years, we’ve had the opportunity to partner with community foundations to create healthier, stronger communities through the Giving Resources to Our World (GROW) initiative,” said Steve Coen, KHF president and CEO. “We envision this latest effort as a way to continue those partnerships and seek new and innovative ways to leverage our decades-long grantmaking.”
Each community foundation will work as part of a team with other members of their community, including chambers of commerce, business owners, local economic development representatives and other community agencies. Four additional foundations/communities will be selected in late 2020 through an application process.
The four pilot teams have each identified a six-month action plan to address a critical economic or community development need to build healthier, stronger communities. Topics include revitalizing downtown cores, strengthening local entrepreneurship, and leveraging technology to retain and attract businesses and residents to rural communities.
“We believe these community foundations have the capacity and interest in experimenting with new community development tools–like local impact investments–that will help leverage all available resources,” said Jeff Usher, KHF senior program officer.
As part of the grant, KHF has contracted with LOCUS Impact Investing (Richmond, Virginia) and Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group (Washington, D.C.) to manage the KCPIN initiative and facilitate the training, learning institutes, coaching and technical assistance. NetWork Kansas will also provide business development assistance.
For additional information about specific community action plans, contact:
Coffeyville Area Community Foundation
Janie DeVore Gillis
Hutchinson Community Foundation
Norton County Community Foundation
Topeka Community Foundation
The Kansas Health Foundation is based in Wichita, but statewide in its focus. With a mission to improve the health of all Kansans, KHF envisions a culture in which every Kansan can make healthy choices where they live, work and play. To achieve this, KHF focuses its work to address health equity in four impact areas: access to affordable health care, healthy behaviors, civic and community engagement and educational attainment. During the past 35 years, KHF has provided more than $600 million in grants to improve health in Kansas communities.
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