Capacity Building Grants

Capacity Building Grant Program

Sunflower Foundation recently awarded nearly $1.5 million in grants to help support the core operating capacities of 65 organizations (See full list below) serving nearly two-thirds of Kansas counties so they can better meet the critical health needs of their communities. This initiative strengthens the capacity of nonprofits to fulfill their missions, serve their communities and bolster their impact.

The foundation received 267 applications through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The funding opportunity focused on grantees serving diverse populations and providing a wide range of services, including health care, housing, community safety, economic development, education, food security, social cohesion, social justice, and transportation. Grant awards were capped at $25,000.

The foundation prioritized applicants that demonstrated they were meeting a need critical to individual or community health, as well as those that have limited resources and assets or have been historically overlooked by other grant opportunities due to lack of capacity or reduced access to resources or connections. 

The foundation has invested in capacity building grants since 2002. Since that time, the foundation has provided more than $13.4 million in direct funding to support the capacity needs of nearly 400 nonprofit organizations across Kansas.

Capacity Grant Program grantees

Allen Regional Transit (ART) Services is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing non-emergent safety-net and medical transportation services, including Medicaid trips and public transportation, to Allen County residents, ensuring equitable access to healthcare and essential services.
The Center of Grace is a community beacon providing diverse essential services including meals, hygiene items, education, healthcare, workforce training, and childcare, fostering equitable growth and support in Olathe through collaborative partnerships and a commitment to empowering individuals and families in need.
#BeMoreLikeClaire is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing Intimate Partner Violence through public education programs, exemplifying compassion and activism in memory of Claire VanLandingham, empowering communities to foster healthy relationships and safe environments.
BikeWalkKC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting walking and biking as solutions to environmental, health, and transportation challenges, advocating for policy change, providing educational programs, offering technical assistance, managing the region’s bike share program, and conducting data-driven research to improve community health and safety in the greater Kansas City area.
Build A Pro Foundation is a nonprofit based in Salina, dedicated to addressing labor shortages and fostering economic growth by facilitating registered apprenticeships, streamlining coordination between employers, education institutions, and workforce development entities across various industries, and ensuring long-term workforce success aligned with individual talents and community needs.
Building Peace is a Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution in Lawrence, dedicated to fostering restorative dialogue between victims and offenders, offering alternative conflict resolution services, and providing landlord/tenant mediation to prevent evictions, with a mission to cultivate a safer and more inclusive community through restorative practices and mediation.
The Bull City Community Foundation spearheads the Alton Housing Initiative, addressing critical housing needs in Osborne County by facilitating affordable quality housing projects to attract and retain talent vital for community growth and sustainability, collaborating with various stakeholders and leveraging innovative strategies to overcome housing challenges and foster economic revitalization in the region.
Caney Valley Agape Network is a grassroots all-volunteer community action agency, committed to providing food assistance, social services, advocacy, and self-actualization opportunities for distressed families across four counties, fostering community health and wellbeing through partnerships, education, and empowerment initiatives.
The Peabody Community Foundation serves as a philanthropic vehicle for addressing charitable needs in the Peabody community, with a recent focus on housing initiatives aimed at combating workforce turnover and sustaining the community’s vitality.
The Central Topeka Grocery Oasis Group is a grassroots organization dedicated to revitalizing a Topeka neighborhood by reestablishing a grocery store, leveraging community partnerships, grants, and sustainable practices to address food desert challenges and foster economic and social development, with a commitment to inclusivity and environmental responsibility.
The Cherokee County Health Department is dedicated to promoting community health and well-being through a range of programs including vaccinations, screenings, emergency management, and tobacco cessation, led by a team of registered nurses and administrative staff committed to serving the public and addressing community health needs.
Common Ground Producers and Growers is a pioneering organization dedicated to promoting racial equity, enhancing food security, and improving health outcomes in underserved communities across a twelve-county area in Kansas, operating the largest black-owned urban farm and providing vital services through the Common Ground Mobile Market and Mobile Food Hub, ensuring access to fresh produce, economic empowerment, and community well-being for all residents.
Community Green Farms is an organization dedicated to introducing hydroponic farming to educational and hunger relief organizations across Kansas, achieving its mission through grassroots fundraising and strategic partnerships to place innovative farm classrooms in high schools and distribute free grow towers statewide, fostering nutrition education, agricultural skills development, and food security for students and communities, ultimately revolutionizing access to fresh, sustainable produce and empowering future generations.
Destination Innovation empowers marginalized youth in Kansas, particularly BIPOC individuals, through transformative programs such as Camp Destination Innovation, Progeny, and Root the Power, fostering leadership, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and advocacy to address critical health and social issues and create a more equitable society.
Doniphan Darlings, Inc., the first and only childcare center in Doniphan County, was established to address the critical need for childcare services in the rural area, significantly reducing the childcare burden for families, creating employment opportunities, fostering partnerships with educational institutions and organizations, and positively impacting the community and the families it serves.
Eagle Nest Inc. is a nonprofit organization in Cowley County, operating since 2000, dedicated to strengthening families by empowering women to achieve self-sufficiency and success in life through personalized programs addressing barriers such as domestic violence, substance abuse, and extreme poverty, fostering a supportive environment that encourages personal growth and community engagement.
ECKAN is a nonprofit organization established in 1966, serving low-income individuals and families across 16 counties in East Central Kansas through essential programs and services aimed at promoting stability, health, and engagement, guided by core values of collaboration, diversity, equity, inclusion, education, empathy, integrity, and respect.
The East Topeka Senior Center serves seniors and adults with disabilities in Shawnee County, providing essential services such as nutritious meals, social activities, health information, and transportation to medical appointments, with a commitment to preserving independence, dignity, and comfort for its diverse participants, many of whom are at or below the poverty level.
The Fowler Action Committee Foundation, comprised of dedicated community volunteers, aims to enhance the growth of Fowler, a small rural community in Meade County, by addressing needs and bringing opportunities, such as improving internet service, housing quality, and the city park, through grants, fundraising, and collaborative efforts, ultimately enhancing the quality of life and attracting new families to the area.
Friends of Johnson County Developmental Supports, Inc. is dedicated to providing affordable, accessible, and barrier-free housing for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Johnson County, ensuring they can age in place and receive necessary support services.
Genesis is a vital food pantry serving Coffeyville, Liberty, and Dearing in Montgomery County, established in 1998 by local churches to provide food and financial assistance to families in need, all run entirely by volunteers, playing a crucial role in addressing the high rate of food insecurity in the community to provide essential support to prevent further suffering among families in need.
Girls on the Run of the Flint Hills is a transformative after-school program for adolescent girls, focusing on promoting health, youth development, and mental well-being through social-emotional learning and physical activity, serving a wide geographic area across multiple counties in Kansas, with a mission to empower young girls to develop confidence and healthy habits while mitigating harmful attitudes and behaviors.
The Graham County Little Roosters’ Daycare, established by a dedicated volunteer committee, addresses the critical need for childcare in Graham County through a group home daycare model, providing safe and nurturing environments for children, supporting workforce participation, promoting early childhood education, and ultimately contributing to the long-term social and economic well-being of the community.
The Grass Roots Institute of Kansas, Inc. was founded to address breakdowns in the rural food system through advocacy, technical assistance, and education, focusing on building capacity for addressing food system gaps in frontier-designated counties of northwest Kansas, aiming to promote healthy food choices, address food insecurity, and grow healthier rural communities with sustainable, robust food systems.
The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team (HBCAT), established in 2016, collaborates with local partners to address community needs, promote health equity, stimulate economic growth, and lead initiatives such as the Prairie Pathways Bike Route, showcasing its commitment to building a healthier and more vibrant Bourbon County.
Established in 2002, Integrated Behavioral Technologies aims to deliver autism treatment services to rural and low-income Kansas children by deploying a network of trained providers across the state, offering a spectrum of services from consultation and training to direct in-home applied behavior analysis treatment, ensuring equal access to effective learning environments for all children and populations regardless of income and disability status.
Jewell County Strong is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all citizens of Jewell County, Kansas, through initiatives aimed at community growth, embodying a steadfast commitment to building a vibrant, resilient, and healthy Jewell County.
The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition collaborates with various stakeholders to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding, working towards improving maternal and infant health and well-being, reducing disparities, and fostering a culture where breastfeeding is normal and widely supported.
Kansas City Community Gardens fosters healthy food access by empowering residents across the metro area to cultivate gardens through subsidized supplies, education, and access to growing spaces, offering programs supporting individual and family gardens, community partner gardens, and community orchards, alongside educational initiatives reaching thousands of students annually, all guided by the belief that everyone deserves access to healthy foods and the joy of growing their own.
Established in 1920, the Kansas Public Health Association (KPHA) has been a cornerstone of public health in Kansas, representing nearly 500 members and advocating for policies that improve the health and well-being of all Kansans, offering education, advocacy, and networking opportunities with a mission to address health disparities and create a healthier, more equitable future for the state.
The Kansas Recovery Network focuses on distributing naloxone, conducting overdose prevention trainings, and providing fentanyl test strips and peer services with a mission to save lives, raise awareness, advocate for evidence-based policies, address social issues, and empower individuals struggling with substance use disorder.
The Kansas Rural Center promotes a sustainable and just food and farming system through research, education, and advocacy, focusing on diversified farming systems to ensure healthy food, environment, social structure, and livelihoods in rural Kansas, with key programs including beginning farmer training, farm to school promotion, local food systems development support, integrated voter engagement, and grassroots policy engagement.
Founded in 1993, the Kansas Sampler Foundation preserves rural culture by educating Kansans about their state and supporting rural communities through programs such as connecting communities, supporting young people, creating communities of the future, and encouraging exploration of Kansas through initiatives like the Big Kansas Road Trip.
The Kansas Statewide Homeless Coalition works to ensure safe, appropriate, and affordable housing for Kansans through advocacy, education, and collaboration with local, state, and national partners, serving as the designated Collaborative Applicant for the Kansas Balance of State Continuum of Care to address homelessness across 101 largely rural counties, coordinating data collection, managing projects, and providing support services to end homelessness.
Legacy Ministries, Inc., founded in 2011, addresses the challenges faced by marginalized youth through its LegacyWorks Youth Development Program, offering employment opportunities, social support, and life skills training to break cycles of poverty and increase graduation rates, with a focus on practical workforce development and transition planning, supported by three social enterprises: GardenWorks, PotteryWorks, and CoffeeWorks.


Manhattan Emergency Shelter, Inc., established in 1985, operates a 47-bed facility providing emergency shelter, rapid re-housing, and homelessness prevention programs, serving approximately 400 homeless adults and children annually with a focus on case management to address housing barriers and promote long-term stability for individuals lacking a primary night-time residence.
McDonald Community Development, Inc., a newly established 501(c)3 nonprofit, focuses on enhancing community development through strategic planning, leveraging financial incentives, and pursuing projects to improve housing, promote healthy living, and expand educational opportunities.
The Health & Wellness Coalition (HWC) in Wichita, established in 2003, promotes physical activity and good nutrition through diverse partnerships and initiatives, receiving recognition for its impactful work in addressing health disparities and fostering community wellness.
The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coalition aims to improve crisis response and care coordination for individuals with behavioral health disorders in Wichita and South-Central Kansas through strategic collaboration and advocacy, addressing systemic barriers and enhancing workforce capacity to create positive outcomes.
Neighbor to Neighbor Abilene serves individuals and families in Abilene and Dickinson County by providing a range of free services and programs aimed at enhancing their quality of life, including family support, education, enrichment, and community engagement initiatives.
O’Connell Children’s Shelter serves at-risk children and families in Douglas County and northeast Kansas, providing emergency placement, long-term residential care, prevention services, and foster home support, with a licensed capacity to serve nearly 60 children, alongside multiple family services and prevention programs aimed at promoting academic success, preventing court involvement, and ensuring family unity.
OPTIONS is the sole provider of victim services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Northwest Kansas, serving a vast area spanning 18 counties with emergency shelter, rapid rehousing, and a comprehensive array of trauma-informed, survivor-centered services, committed to providing safe, confidential, and accessible assistance to all victims, ensuring their inherent dignity, respect, and healing journey are prioritized.
Southwick House, formerly known as Plumb Place, offers secure housing and intensive case management resources to women and women with children facing homelessness, housing insecurity, transitioning from state hospital supports, or reentering society from incarceration, receiving referrals from various organizations including mental health providers, public health agencies, law enforcement, and community support groups, ensuring that women in Emporia have access to shelter and support regardless of specific circumstances or affiliations.
The Quindaro Ruins Project Foundation, formed from the Western University Association of the AME Church and a longstanding Ruins Project Board, works to preserve the historic Quindaro community, aiming to honor its unity and resilience while uplifting the modern community through historical education and economic and health equity initiatives, driven by the vision passed down from the elders who once inhabited Quindaro.
Ready for Good aims to reduce juvenile crime by fostering youth development through job training, mentorship, and supportive work experiences at Ready for Good Furnishings, a nonprofit store hiring, training, and mentoring 50 youth annually, with the ultimate goal of creating a network of social enterprises to provide employment opportunities and support for transition-age youth.
Riverbend Habitat for Humanity, located in Atchison, implements programs like Aging in Place to support older homeowners, ensuring they can remain safely in their homes as they age, while also offering homeownership, rehabilitation, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives.
Shepherd’s Heart is a drive-through food pantry operating from Rolling Hills Community Church in west Wichita.
For over 40 years, the Rosedale Development Association has been dedicated to enhancing the Rosedale community in Kansas City, Kansas, through initiatives promoting economic development, community engagement, healthy living, environmental sustainability, and resident-driven decision-making.
Safe Streets Wichita works collaboratively with the community to prevent drug-related harms, promote mental wellness, and advance health equity through harm reduction strategies, youth empowerment, and community engagement, including initiatives like the first free intramuscular naloxone program in Sedgwick County.
Salud mas Bienestar (S+B) is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Spanish-speaking community members in Kansas with information, resources, and support to improve health literacy, promote better health outcomes, and address health inequities through outreach events, community training, health fairs, and the Promotora on the Field Program.
The Southeast Kansas Community Action Program (SEK-CAP), Inc. is a nonprofit agency serving twelve counties in southeast Kansas, offering anti-poverty services such as Community Services, Early Childhood Education, Housing, Transportation, and Weatherization, with a focus on empowering individuals and families to address the root causes of poverty.
Strengthening & Equipping Neighborhoods Together (SENT) Topeka is dedicated to catalyzing transformation in the Hi-Crest community by providing holistic support through education, housing and development, and community wellness programs, aiming to empower residents and foster a thriving neighborhood through dignified housing, access to resources, and community engagement initiatives.
The Shepherd’s Center of Kansas City, Kansas was founded in 1986 by area clergy and community representatives to serve the aging population, offering a range of programs and services including Adventures in Learning, minor home repair, health screenings, food delivery, and caring calls, all aimed at promoting successful aging and community connection for residents of Wyandotte County.
Stepping Stones Shelter, the sole facility of its kind in the 11-county southwest Kansas area, provides temporary housing for homeless individuals and families, offering resources and a 90-day program to support residents in finding employment, accessing community services, and reintegrating into the community, serving between 350 to 400 individuals annually, including recent immigrants and refugees, with bilingual staff and communication available in Spanish.
The Topeka Housing Authority collaborates across sectors to provide safe, affordable housing to low-income families, fostering community improvement and recognizing secure housing as fundamental to addressing health, substance use disorder, and employment challenges.
The Farm School at Gibbs Road, a nonprofit urban farm in Wyandotte County, empowers individuals through hands-on experiences, vocational education, and community-wide food projects, fostering social justice and sustainability while providing job training opportunities and healing experiences. 
Thrive Kansas is a newly established nonprofit dedicated to empowering rural communities across Kansas through initiatives addressing healthcare access, early childhood development, and substance misuse prevention and recovery.
Since its establishment in 1985, the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice has been a hub for promoting peace, justice, and community collaboration, focusing on various social issues such as multiculturalism and racism, and currently, TCPJ is actively involved in implementing Restorative Justice practices in local schools and communities to address juvenile delinquency and promote reconciliation.
Topeka Doula Project, Inc. offers free doula support and prenatal education to marginalized mothers and families in the Topeka area, aiming to empower mothers to make informed decisions about their care and improve their birth experiences.
The Summerfield chapter of Transition Plus Association is working to create supportive environments in rural communities for transitioning veterans, including small business education and skills training in vocations such as sustainable, locally-grown agriculture.
The Liberal Area Coalition for Families (LACF), established in 2001, has grown into a robust organization addressing community needs through grants, partnerships, and initiatives such as chronic disease risk reduction, underage drinking prevention, breastfeeding education, food assistance, early childhood development programs, and current projects focusing on voter engagement, health pathways, coping skills, and farmer’s markets.
Project Hope, initially conceived by a young physician and his wife in Hugoton, has evolved from a small pantry offering food, clothing, and houseware items to a thriving food bank serving over 190 families monthly, driven by a dedicated team of volunteers addressing the growing need within the community.
For over 50 years, United Community Services of Johnson County has been at the forefront of identifying needs, fostering collaboration, and prioritizing community investments, particularly through its leadership role in the Johnson County Continuum of Care on Homelessness, which coordinates services, data tracking, and solutions to prevent and address homelessness in the region.
Wallace County Community Development has revitalized community engagement and economic development efforts in Wallace County, securing grants, fostering community dialogue, and promoting positive change to combat stagnation and cultivate hope in the rural area.
The Kansas Birth Justice Society is committed to addressing maternal and infant health disparities in Kansas, particularly among Black and Brown communities, through culturally affirming support, grassroots activism, and systemic change initiatives, with a vision to create sustained health equity and reproductive justice.
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