To invest in Wichita’s workforce issues, talent development and lifelong learning. In 2018, the $1 million investment was the largest Fund for Wichita gift in the Foundation’s history.
North End Activation led by Empower
$250,000 to activate the North End of Wichita, which has a high percentage of the city’s Hispanic population. This was our first impact investment, leading to the creation of ImpactICT.
NXSTAGE led by NXTUS
A $250,000 gift supported a pilot competition, NXTSTAGE, which brought entrepreneurs from around the world to Wichita.
Wichita Promise MOVE led by WSU Tech
A $500,000 investment removed financial barriers for individuals from across the nation to relocate to Wichita, train in aviation sheet metal assembly and process mechanic panting and fill our workforce gaps.
WF partnered with The Salvation Army and The Wichita Eagle to administer Share the Season during the holiday season. In 2021, Share the Season transitioned with The Salvation Army leading this impactful program. Online applications and donations are available at sharetheseason.org.
During its existence, the program raised $4.2 million to provide help and hope to 3,700 families in need.
In response to the recommendations from Project Wichita and the Century II Citizens Advisory Committee, community organizations joined forces to create the Riverfront Legacy Master Plan that connects projects and both banks of the Arkansas River. See more of the final recommendations here.
Lead organizations involved alongside WF are:
Created as an opportunity for Wichitans to help tackle the four Focus Forward challenges. After completing a dare, we encouraged people to share it on social media using #IDidTheDareICT. View the cards here.
The Wichita Foundation engaged Reach Advisors, founded by Wichita native James Chung, for a multi-year, deep-dive predictive analytics project about the region’s future economic growth. This extensive process has been applied to many of the nation’s leading corporations and organizations to assist in reshaping the future of cities.
To elevate the conversation about academic readiness leading to workforce development and economic growth for the community. This involved research from Literacy Audit, Literacy Symposium and support for the Kansas Children's Literacy Festival, hosted by Storytime Village.
To celebrate three decades of philanthropic work in Wichita, WF granted to three focus areas.
#ThrowbackThirty Grant Competition
A competitive grant process that awarded organizations $1,500 for ideas that further the impact of the four challenges identified through Focus Forward. Grant recipients included:
Gift to the Community
Next Generation of Philanthropy
WF worked with USD 259 high school leadership courses to discuss charitable giving and address needs in their schools. Seven high schools received a share of the $16,000 awarded.
This 24-hour charitable giving campaign helped to raise awareness of the current needs of arts organizations, encouraged arts organizations to effectively use digital tools and inspired donors to increase financial support of their favorite arts organizations.
Thousands of donors raised more than $3 million for local arts organizations.
The Wichita Foundation, Downtown Wichita and the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Council partnered to host a series of community discussions about national trends on talent, opportunity and place to competitively position Wichita for the future. Featured speakers were: