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Scott gives $4M gift

Gift Will Help Organization Expand on Wide-Ranging Health Philanthropic Work

TOPEKA, Kan. – Sunflower Foundation is pleased to announce that it has received a one-time, unrestricted gift of $4 million from billionaire philanthropist and novelist MacKenzie Scott.

“We are grateful for and humbled by Ms. Scott’s gift,” said Billie Hall, Sunflower Foundation president and CEO. “That she chose our foundation to be part of her philanthropic vision is a testament to the determined work of Sunflower’s many partners across Kansas – nonprofit organizations and public entities that remain steadfast in their efforts to improve the health of their communities and enhance the quality of life for all who call Kansas home.”

The foundation’s partnerships with rural communities and support of their ongoing efforts to strengthen health care systems, address food and nutrition security, create more opportunities for people to get outdoors and stay active, and empower Kansas’ nonprofit sector has been central to the foundation’s work over the past 10 years. Areas of focus include:

  • Supporting efforts to integrate behavioral health care into primary health care delivery systems to improve access to mental health services.
  • Partnering with rural communities and low-income urban neighborhoods on issues related to access to food, local grocery stores and healthy eating options.
  • Creating opportunities for Kansans to be physically active through programs that develop safe places to bike, walk and enjoy nature.
  • Developing evolving, responsive programs to improve the core capacity, organizational success, and collective impact of Kansas’ nonprofits.

Scott’s donation will help the foundation expand on work in these areas and others.

“This timely gift will accelerate and enhance our ability to advance equity in health care and find innovative strategies and solutions for improving and sustaining rural health systems,” Hall said.

Scott has pledged to give away at least half of her wealth in charity in her lifetime. She seeks to identify and award funds to high-impact, equity-oriented nonprofits working to support the needs of people and groups that historically have been underrepresented.

While its work remains statewide and in a diversity of communities, the foundation has made a concerted effort to better support its rural partners. Rural communities, in general, tend to receive much less philanthropic support than their proportion of the population. The foundation’s rural-based grant-making strategy has engaged thousands of Kansans who are working to make the state a healthier place, with nearly 40% of its grants and over 40% of its grant dollars distributed in the past 10 years having supported entities in rural communities.

And with the recent completion of its nonprofit center, the foundation has started a new chapter in its efforts to support and catalyze collaboration and assist organizations, both large and small, as they work to solve the state’s most vexing health challenges. 

“We are proud of the work we have done since our inception more than 20 years ago, and we remain focused on how we can better serve nonprofits and the thousands of Kansans working hard each day to make their communities healthier, more inclusive, more vibrant, and more prosperous for all,” Hall said. “This generous gift is a catalyst for the work that lies ahead.”


About Sunflower Foundation

Sunflower Foundation was established in 2000 as a statewide health philanthropy with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of all Kansans. The foundation believes that a thriving, sustainable nonprofit sector contributes to healthy communities, and we are committed to investing in mission-aligned nonprofits through grants, education, advocacy, collaborative learning, and capacity building. To learn more, visit the Sunflower Foundation website.

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