Letter from the President & CEO and Board Chair

Dear Colleagues,

In reflecting on our work in 2014, a photo of one of our grantees and a thank you note from them seemed to really capture what we’re trying to do at Sunflower Foundation:

"The support received from the Sunflower Foundation gave students the confidence needed to believe in themselves. Thank you so much for believing in us, too!” – Marilyn Alstrom, Executive Director of 20/20 Leadership

Marilyn was thanking Sunflower for the matching grant to build the trail at J.C. Harmon High School in Kansas City, Kan. The project was the vision of the students, and with the support of educators, parents and other partners, the students saw their hard work pay off. They learned firsthand that cultivating a better community can start with just a small idea and grow into a "symbol for hope and progress," as student D'Angelo Hicks put it.

The grant to Harmon High was one of 15 grants for trail projects in 2014, and one of 72 grants overall, which are detailed in this annual report, along with our financial information and an overview of who we are.

This report also includes three features about our key program areas:

  1. Healthy Living & Active Communities,
  2. Health Care, and
  3. Advocacy & Policy.

We have made long-term commitments in each of these areas because we know cultivating communities takes time, perseverance and local champions.

This year, we also invested in outreach and education aimed at helping Kansans obtain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. We awarded capacity-building grants so that organizationally sound and financially strong nonprofits can better meet important community needs and contribute to our economy. They make our communities better places to live. It is a privilege to be a small part of their growth and sustainability. Descriptions of all grants issued in fiscal year 2014 can be found in the grant list.

Cultivating communities requires investing in organizations and people, and believing in their work. It is our hope that we live up to this important value.

We hope you will take time to review the report and learn more about our work and our partners.