WICHITA, Kan. – The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) Board of Directors recently approved $2.7 million in grant funding to increase civic engagement and support local and national opportunities to create more equitable and healthier Kansas communities.
The following awards were approved by the KHF Board:
$1,788,540 – Direct Action and Research Training Center (DART) For a Faith-Based Civic Engagement Partnership with the Great Plains Conference of The United Methodist Church
In partnership with the Great Plains Conference of The United Methodist Church (the Conference), KHF is providing $1,788,540 over the next three years to DART to assist with faith-based civic engagement in Sedgwick and Wyandotte counties.
The Conference is charging congregations to move from mercy to justice ministry. Mercy ministry helps individuals, whereas justice ministry holds systems accountable. The Conference views justice work as a mechanism to reduce the racial and health disparities experienced by historically disadvantaged communities.
In an effort to find real ways the Conference could contribute to justice ministry in the communities it serves, it partnered with DART to launch the Doing Justice initiative, which expands Faith-Based Community Organizing (FBCOs) and creates locally led diverse faith-based civic engagement groups designed to address issues through a justice framework in Sedgwick and Wyandotte counties. Partial funds will also be used to build capacity for FBCO’s in Douglas, Shawnee and Johnson counties to address disparities magnified by COVID-19.
Legally, the Kansas Health Foundation is a supporting organization of the Conference. Be watching the KHF website for more information about this grant.
$579,000 – Kansas Community Investment Fund Continuation
KHF is contributing an additional $579,000 to continue funding the Kansas Community Investment Fund (KCIF) through 2022. This grant and matching dollars from NetWork Kansas will create a $1 million fund that will emphasize investments in projects impacting racial and health equity in Kansas. This initiative will increase funding to under-resourced areas and to entrepreneurs who have historically been oppressed, by helping local philanthropy and economic development partners invest in efforts that provide a financial return and advance more equitable and healthier Kansas communities.
This bridge funding broadens the Foundation’s impact investment strategy, which includes this initiative and its Kansas Healthy Food Initiative.
The KCIF initiative was created in 2018 through a $3.2 million KHF grant, in partnership with NetWork Kansas and Locus Impact Investing. The initiative helped establish an investment fund of $3 million (with equal payments of $1.5 million from KHF and NetWork Kansas) for small grants and loans that would be repaid to the fund over time. As of September 2021, this fund has allocated nearly $2.8 million in loans and $150,000 in grants to 35 nonprofit and for-profit organizations and leveraged more than $9 million in total capital.
$298,393 – University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships and Research for Grant Writing Assistance
The University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships and Research (CPPR) will continue providing grant writing and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, state associations/coalitions, school districts, state agencies and tribal communities to better pursue and obtain federal funding and national philanthropic grant awards designed to advance racial equity, criminal justice reform, civic engagement and enhanced family support programming to improve health in Kansas.
Since 2001, KHF has funded the CPPR to provide grant writing support to Kansas schools, non-profits and government organizations to better compete for national funding opportunities. From 2001 to 2020, KHF has provided $1.3 million in grant funding to KU CPPR, which has leveraged nearly $202 million in grants.
Between 2022 and Dec. 31, 2024, CPPR will expand efforts by engaging grant writers with content specialization in criminal justice, civic engagement, policy and advocacy efforts, racial justice, and family supports. CPPR will continue to support and coach state associations/coalitions, school districts, state agencies, tribal communities and nonprofits, specifically those led by, or serving, People of Color to advance racial and health equity across the state.
$50,000 – KSVotes.org to Increase Civic Participation in 2022 Elections
KHF is providing $50,000 to KSVotes.org to continue working to increase civic participation through its online voter registration and advance mail-in-ballot request tool. The website is available in Spanish and will be promoted to younger voters and low-turnout communities to help increase voter registration and turnout.
Health outcomes in communities are typically better in areas where populations are active and engaged in civic issues, including voter turnout. Removing barriers to voter registration and voter turnout helps incentivize more people to participate in the election process, specifically younger adults and Communities of Color.
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. During the past 35 years, KHF has provided more than $600 million in grants to improve health in Kansas communities.
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