Funding Areas

Areas of interest include higher education, churches, youth serving agencies, health facilities, community buildings, museums, civic projects, and low maintenance, energy efficient housing projects sponsored by qualified tax-exempt organizations.

In recent grant cycles, the Board of Trustees has awarded the majority of grants in four broadly defined areas:

Higher Education

In 2017, the Foundation awarded more than $10 million to more than 50 educational organizations. Grantees included community colleges, private colleges, and public universities.

Human Services

The Foundation awarded $7 million to human service nonprofits in 2017, and the majority of grants in this area went to groups that provide essential services to youth and families. Grantees included a range of youth-focused groups, including the Big Brothers Big Sisters, Cherry Street Youth Center in Chanute, Kansas Food Bank and Senior Services of Wichita.

Arts and Culture

Arts and culture projects received $7 million in 2017, including grants to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson Kansas, Nelson Gallery in Kansas City and Powell Gardens.

Health Care and Hospitals

This is a growing area of need in many of communities the Foundation serves. In 2017, $3 million was awarded to hospitals and health-care groups to build and improve their facilities.

Geographic Focus

The Sunderland Foundation primarily makes grants in the geographic areas that have connections to the Ash Grove Cement Company. Grants are awarded in Western Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Western Iowa, and, to a lesser extent, in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah and Montana. Grant proposals from organizations located outside these geographic areas are unlikely to receive consideration.

Areas of Exclusion

The Foundation generally awards grants to larger, well-established nonprofit organizations. Start-ups and small, grassroots organizations are encouraged to seek funding elsewhere.

In addition:

  • The Foundation does not award grants for annual operating expenses
  • The Foundation does not award grants for programs or endowments.
  • The Foundation does not award grants or provide sponsorship for special events.
  • Grants to primary and secondary schools are generally not considered.
  • No grants are made to individuals.
  • No scholarships are available from the Foundation.