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Evergy Community Investment Fund

Evergy Community Investment Fund

The Evergy Community Investment Fund seeks grant requests between $5,000 and $100,000 from Wichita nonprofits. The grant applications will be scored by the Evergy Community Investment Advisory Board (CIAB) or any other committee as authorized by Evergy.

Please note that the application will time out after a certain amount of time. It is recommended to answer the questions in a separate document before copying and pasting them into the application, so as to not lose progress if the application does time out.

What we fund

  • 501(c)(3) nonprofits serving zip codes 67208, 67214 and/or 67219
  • 501(c)(3) nonprofits based in or that have a chapter in Sedgwick County, Kansas
  • Projects focusing on either community and environment enhancement or youth enrichment and development

What we decline

  • Duplicated services available to central Northeast Wichita citizens
  • General support of operational expenses (See additional details below for more information)
  • Direct payment to individuals
  • Proposals from organizations based outside the specified zip codes or that are not based in or have a chapter in Sedgwick County

Desired project types

Community and environment enhancement

  • Enhancement of the look and feel of a neighborhood (e.g. housing façade improvements, neighborhood cleanup/blight removal, interactive art, murals, neighborhood naming stones, sidewalk installation/repair)
  • Enhancement of public spaces to promote a sense of community (e.g. park improvements, neighborhood celebrations and/or recreational activities, wayfinding signage, median beautification)
  • Service a community need (e.g. fresh produce opportunities, energy efficient housing improvements, small business development, entrepreneurship

Youth enrichment and development

  • Support early childhood learning (e.g. literacy programs, all day or half-day preschool programs)
  • Mentorship for students in grades three to 12
  • Encouragement of career advancement (e.g. career development programs for students in grades six to 12)
  • Provides work experience for teenage students (e.g. summer youth employment)

Additional details

  • Preference will be given to projects that are within direct visibility of the upgraded high-capacity transmission lines installed by Westar Energy.
  • While some amount of operational expenses of the nonprofit organization may be covered as part of the project covered by the grant funding, grants will not be made to a nonprofit solely to cover operational expenses. Operational expenses must be presented as a unique line item within the project proposal.
  • There will be no future funding for ongoing maintenance of any physical structures. Given the nature of a proposed project, if ongoing maintenance will be required in the future, the project plan must provide details of how that funding will be raised in order to avoid having the original project fall into disrepair.
  • Sponsoring nonprofit organizations must be of sufficient size (personnel and fiscal resources) to handle the proposed project. Established history of execution on similar projects is a plus.
  • Any project signage and/or publicity for funded projects must reference the Evergy Central NE Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation. Artwork design/font/colors will be approved by WCF prior to use.

Scoring criteria

  1. Reach within the community: projects that reach the highest number of people within the community and the impact is measurable. Studies conducted as evidence of such reach are desirable.
  2. Community support: projects that have an existing level of community support are desirable, as that can be an indicator of project success. Evidence of such support should be provided with the project proposal.
  3. Long-term impact: projects that result in a sustained positive community impact are desirable. As an example, projects related to education could be considered to have an extremely high amount of long-term impact depending on the type of skills or education focused on by the project.
  4. Sense of community: projects that appeal to a diverse array of citizens and result in an increased level of interaction between people are desirable
  5. Ability to leverage additional resources: projects that make use of existing sources of funds such that they can be combined with a grant from this fund to enable a much larger project are highly desirable
  6. Change agent within the community: projects that engage the community to embrace change or improvement are desirable

Eligibility

All applicants to the Evergy Community Investment Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation must be in good standing with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office, must be currently exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3), and classified as an organization to which contributions are deductible under Section 170(c)(2), normally a public charity under Section 509(a).

If an emerging nonprofit is certified by the Internal Revenue Service through a form 1023EZ, or is working with a qualified Kansas nonprofit as their fiscal agent, they may apply.

Grant details

The Fund will award $200,000 total in grants annually. Evergy maintains discretion to increase or decrease the level of annual grants based on the merits of project applications received. 

Funds may be granted to nonprofit organizations in a lump-sum or by progress payments at the discretion of WCF. WCF may also request periodic progress reports at its discretion.

Nonprofit grantees must maintain an accounting (including receipts) of grant expenditures, which may be requested at the discretion of WCF.

Nonprofit grantees that are not able to fulfill the stated objectives for which funds were granted must return all granted dollars to WCF.

Deadline

Applications are due June 30, 2020 at noon. Selected 2019 grantees will be announced by the end of August.


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