Our Funding Process and Priorities
The Sunflower Foundation provides opportunities for funding through multiple strategies, including requests for proposals, foundation initiatives and special projects.
While it is tempting to want to address many health needs in our state – to be "all things to all people" – we have learned that we will be most effective with our limited resources if we focus our grantmaking. After examining the state’s leading health issues, we have identified priority funding areas that fit our foundation’s origin, mission and interests. Learn more about these Areas of Interest.
“What makes a successful grant?” is a question we often are asked. Effective grantwriting helps present a good case, but the most important things are:
- A good idea.
- Knowledge of the underlying problem or issue to be addressed.
- Sound strategies – based on available science of what is effective or what has potential to be effective. It’s okay to take a risk and try a new strategy if you have researched your idea fully.
- The ability to implement and carry out the project.
- Lasting value and impact after the grant ends. How will the project contribute to improving health on an ongoing basis?
- The match of the project to the foundation's interest areas and the Request For Proposal (RFP). Always check RFP criteria to learn exactly what the foundation is seeking for each funding opportunity.
What We Don't Fund
- Ongoing general operating expenses or existing deficits;
- Fund-raising events;
- Individual medical care;
- Medical equipment;
- Direct support of individuals;
- Political campaigns;
- Organizations that practice discrimination.
Assessing impact is a challenging task that varies from grant to grant. Planning often is the most important step in achieving optimum results. That is why a logic model is a required step with every application. This tool helps applicants identify project goals, strategies and desired outcomes.
Not every grant is designed to create long-term social change – some grants provide information or awareness of issues, some grants increase the capacity of systems and organizations and some grants help find solutions (in practice or policy) for health issues Kansans face.
Every grant we fund is important, and all grants make a contribution. To help assess that contribution, the Sunflower Foundation asks three key questions:
- Who benefits from the grant?
- When the grant ends, what are its lasting effects?
- How has this grant improved the health of Kansans?