Republic County to grant Dane Hansen funds


Growing grant opportunities

Dane Hansen promises new funding source for community foundations
By The Belleville Telescope

The potential pot of funds to grow local projects just got bigger. The Dane G. Hansen Foundation announced this week a commitment to infuse up to $150,000 in new funds for 2016 in each of the 26 counties in its service area, including Republic. The funds will support immediate needs for local community grants and build or grow permanent funds for future community grants. Along with a commitment to renew $100,000 in grants to each county, the Foundation trustees announced a new initiative designed to encourage the growth of permanent funds in each county. Each community foundation will select a particular month in which it will host a matching-event or campaign. The Dane G. Hansen Foundation then will provide a 100 percent match for every dollar raised for the participating community foundation’s endowed, unrestricted community grant fund, up to a maximum of $50,000 per county. Tim Gottschalk, chair of the Republic County Community Foundation, said the board has not yet set a date for the local drive for the matching grant.

`Recognize own needs’

The Dane Hansen Foundation’s total commitment for this initiative will be from $2.6 million to $3.9 million. Funds will be disbursed in each county through its community foundation or grant advisory committee. “We recognize that local communities are in the best position to recognize their own needs, and the Hansen Foundation is pleased to be able to provide the resources to assist them in meeting those needs,” said Hansen Trustee Gary Poore. The announcement of the additional dollars was revealed to community foundations March 16 in Hays at the Hansen Foundation’s first-ever Community Foundation Forum. More than 100 community-minded people from across northwest Kansas gathered for the event. Attendees included representatives from community foundation boards, grant advisory boards, economic development professionals and other civic professionals from the Hansen Foundation’s service area.

At the forum, the Trustees announced a commitment to renew $100,000 in expendable grants to each county for projects to be determined by local community foundations or advisory boards. In 2015, the Foundation made similar awards to community foundations: $50,000 was awarded in April and again in September. The dates will be the same for 2016. “The money provided by the Hansen foundation has enhanced our community greatly and has brought great publicity to our community foundation,” said Sandy Labertew, Post Rock Community Foundation, Lincoln.

“Our community, its leaders and our citizens have chosen to succeed,” said Ashley Hutchinson, Cloud County Economic Development Corporation. “I’m excited the Hansen Foundation is providing a role in helping with that mission.” For more information, contact Betsy Wearing, Coordinator of Programs, Communications and New Initiatives, 785-452-8888. For more information on the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, visit our website at www.



It’s time to do our part

by Deb Hadachek

Every year when I go through the list of Dane Hansen Scholarship winners I think “Boy, are we lucky to be in this region.” Then, the Dane Hansen Foundation started to quietly fund a flurry of community projects in the 26 area counties it serves–hospitals, libraries, community centers, theaters, wellness programs, fire departments and the like. Lo and behold, a year or so ago, they told counties “Here’s $50,000–find projects that do good in your communities and fund them.” And then–another $50,000.

And then the announcement this week that the Hansen Foundation will contribute a 1-to-1 match for what local community foundations can raise up to $50,000 for endowed, unrestricted funds. I’m starting to think I really, really like this Dane Hansen guy. My kids, along with hundreds of others, have received help in paying for their college educations with Hansen Foundation scholarships. Dane Hansen was born in Logan and never lived more than a stone’s throw away from his birthplace. Republic County gets to share in his bounty because his road and bridge construction company did work here in the early 1900s. That company grew from an earth-moving business he established because his family raised mules.

It’s not enough to be grateful to Mr. Hansen and the Foundation established in his honor. This new matching grant gives Republic County an opportunity to step up and participate in his generosity–if the Hansen Foundation can provide a $50,000 match, we can surely come together to raise every dollar to get the full benefit. The Republic County Community Foundation says that by 2020, $137.9 million will transfer from one generation to the next in Republic County. If 5% or $6.9 million could be preserved in community foundation endowments, it would create close to $345,000 in annual grants to Republic County. If one man who did some business in Republic County can contribute so much to our future, surely those of us who have earned most of our livelihood here can give five percent to ensure good things for future generations.