November 27, 2021

These last two years have been extremely challenging for everyone. But as we approach the holiday season it seems like things may be returning closer to normal. We all look forward to family and friends gathering once again to celebrate the holiday season.

One thing that has not changed throughout the pandemic has been the generosity of the donors of your Community Foundation. Our fundholders were very generous in 2020. We had a great response from our Donor Advised Fundholders in the spring of 2020 as we kept them apprised of the needs of nonprofits in our community responding to the COVID crisis. They made grants of more than $250,000 to help nonprofits in our community responding to the Covid crisis, during a time that was very scary for all of us if you think back to April, May, and June of 2020. And these COVID response grants did not displace other grants. In fact, last year total grants from our Donor Advised Fundholders totaled nearly $1.8 million, an increase of 21% from 2019.

Speaking of things returning closer to normal, your Community Foundation recently had our annual Grants Luncheon at the Midwest Genealogy Center. We had to forego the event in 2020 so it was great to gather with our board members and advisory board members, grants committee volunteers, fundholders, and Youth Advisory Council students, to present grants totaling $427,323 to 61 area nonprofits. We also had representatives from Junior Service League who continued their practice of tying their annual grant making into our community grants process. Endowed grant making funds entrusted to our board to steward provided approximately $330,000 of this total and once again our generous Donor Advised Fund Holders responded when asked to help close the gap between the amount requested by our grantees and available funds. We had 18 fundholders respond with grants over $90,000 to bring the total to $427,000, a new record. Once again, their generosity continues to grow.

The Grants Luncheon was sponsored this year by Assel Grant Services and Mid-Continent Public Library, and we are very grateful for their support. At the luncheon we also formerly welcomed 19 new members of our Heartland Legacy Society who joined in 2020 or this year. The society now has more than 170 members who have made plans to make a gift through their estate to a fund at the Community Foundation. Legacy Gifts from members who have passed away provided $291,000 of the grants presented at the luncheon this year through endowed funds created by their generosity.

It’s clear that our donors clearly recognize that here truly is no greater feeling than giving back to your local community. Their generosity is truly a gift to our entire community. Happy Holidays!

Phil Hanson is the President and CEO of Truman Heartland Community Foundation. Truman Heartland Community Foundation (THCF) is a 501(c)(3) public charity committed to improving the communities in and around Eastern Jackson County through cooperation with community members and donors. THCF serves the region with assets of more than $50 million and annual grants surpassing $4.8 million. For more information on charitable giving, visit or call Truman Heartland at 816.836.8189.