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Board Chair's Perspective - March 2019

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

   By Kathleen Holt, Chair of the Board

Western Kansas Community Foundation will be conducting strategic planning over the next few months. WKCF began in 1996 when a group of community leaders saw the potential of a regilan community foundation to enrich western Kansas life. Since that time, we've expanded to cover 15 counties, hold nearly $30m. in assets and house more than 200 funds. Imagine the planning in which previous boards engaged to bring such impressive assets to our rural communities. And, if one stops to think about the fact that these funds will exist and grow in perpetuity, he or she can readily see that the leadership and planning of previous boards will continue serving future generations and communities.

In thinking about the importance of planning, I couldn’t help going to to listen to Keep Five in Kansas, a video emphasizing the goal of legacy funding in order to capture 5% of Kansas’ $7b. intergenerational wealth transfer between 2010 and 2019. In that same time, our 15 counties have seen the transfer of $2,445,876,376. That’s billions.

What we know is that if our changing communities are to remain vibrant, we must assure that everyone in each of our 15 counties knows of opportunities to establish endowed funds and resources for the future. We also know that with planning, one can leave an endowed legacy and still provide for loved ones and heirs. Indeed, between 2020 and 2029, another $3,146,266,271 will transfer from one generation to the next. Certainly, this opportunity provides a new “generation” of growth for community foundations like ours.

WKCF has contracted with Steve Alley of Ekstrom, Alley & Clontz of Tucson, Arizona, to guide us in strategic planning. Steve has extensive experience with community foundations of all sizes and brings a high level of expertise to the task.  He reminds us that each of us is an expert in our own communities, so if you have a vision, idea or input, I urge you to contact Conny Bogaard to schedule time to participate.

The WKCF Board is poised to set goals for sustainability and growth for the future. Baseball great Yogi Berra once said, “If you don't know where you are going,you'll end up someplace else.” I’m inviting you to join with the Western Kansas Community Foundation in planning so that the roads we take will serve each of Southwest Kansas counties in unique and individualized ways to make certain we grow the legacies of the past, the present and the future.


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