OPINION

Community foundation grants keep pace with changing needs

Phil Hanson
Truman Heartland Community Foundation

Truman Heartland Community Foundation is excited to announce its 2021 competitive grants awards through the Jelley Family Foundation for Children’s Education and Community Grants programs. 

Phil Hanson

This year, a new, unrestricted grant-making fund from the Willa L. Fancher and Martha A. Taggart endowment added more than $80,000 to our grant-making budgets, producing a new record in THCF’s grant making with 62 grant awards totaling $336,582 awarded to agencies serving Eastern Jackson and Cass counties. 

Every year, we see the financial requests from the nonprofit sector grow as they strive to meet the needs of the communities they serve. With so many nonprofits doing positive, transformative work, our grant selections are incredibly challenging but also very rewarding. Awarding these grants is a tremendous responsibility donors have entrusted the Truman Heartland Community Foundation Grants Committee.  

Our Grants Committee comprises members of the THCF Board of Directors and local Advisory Board volunteers. As stewards of legacy gifts for grant making, the Grants Committee must be sensitive to the changing nature of the needs of our communities. They take this responsibility very seriously and do their best to ensure we fund the most effective and impactful programs that have the potential to make a real difference in our communities.  

A special thank you goes out to each of the THCF Grants Committee members for the countless hours they spent poring over more than 120 grant applications: Lynette Wheeler (chair), Cathy Allie, Don Claphan, Martha Cockerell, Michele Crumbaugh, Bryan Gash, Jake Greco, Lori Halsey, Warren Haynes, Liesl Hays, Cliff Jones, Mike Larson, Dave Mayta, Ritchie Momon, Glen Nash, Rosalie Newkirk, Steve Noll, Melissa Reimann, Merideth Rose, DeeAnn Stock, Jennie Swearngin, Allan Thompson, Dave Turner and Bob White. Thank you all for your dedication to the process and commitment to excellence.  

Grants made through estate plans are vital to the health of our Eastern Jackson County community. They provide much-needed funding to help our region remain strong and vibrant. It is genuinely heartwarming to think about all the selfless individuals who chose to positively impact their community through charitable giving, whether through a donor-advised fund, scholarship fund, or a legacy gift. Truman Heartland Community Foundation is honored to be chosen to support and grow their charitable giving 

I would encourage anyone who has a heart for philanthropic giving in their community to learn more about ways you can create change by creating a donor-advised fund.  

Phil Hanson is president and CEO of the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, based in Independence.