Northwest Kansas community leaders recognize there is a deficit in the “leadership pool” in their communities. This deficit was reinforced through the Strategic Doing process as county residents came together to identify needs. The need for leadership development was identified in all 26 counties across the Dane G. Hansen service area.
Research shows individuals who participate in a community leadership program are empowered as they:
In response, the Hansen Foundation is announcing the Community Leadership Program initiative which aligns with their guiding principle: Leadership, management and volunteerism are essential ingredients of dynamic communities.
The Community Leadership Program initiative is for the creation of new and the modification of existing community leadership programs offered in the 26-county service area. Leadership programs should be designed to serve a county or multi-county area and not a specific community.
The grant will allow community leadership programs to apply a maximum of three times, for up to $3,000 per class.
The Community Leadership Program initiative will start January 2021 and end December 2026. Applications received by 9:00 a.m. on the 25th day of the month will be considered at the regular meeting of the Hansen Trustees the following month.
Typical community leadership programs are offered on an annual or bi-annual basis as determined by the steering committee. An average of 6 to 8 day-long sessions are held which includes both classroom style learning and touring of the area. Class trips to visit state government or another community of interest may be included.
Session topics center around individual and group capacity building and knowledge of the area. To build individual and group capacity, topics focus on:
• Nature of community leadership
• Personality assessment and valuing others’ differences
• Interpersonal communication
• Working with others, volunteerism, and getting things done
• Serving on boards and committees and running effective meetings
• Conflict management
At the local level, topics include:
• County history
• Economic development
• Education and workforce development
• Local government, including what’s involved in running for or serving in local government positions
• Community health
Classes are expected to complete a class project utilizing the Strategic Doing process which enables them to work together and complete a valuable project for the community. Fund raising for the project is the responsibility of the class.
January & February: Steering Committee formation, submission of grant application
March thru June: Program development and fundraising
July & August: Participant recruitment
September thru December: Class sessions
January thru March: Continued class sessions
April: Graduation and evaluation
April thru December: Class project and wrap-up celebration
If offering on an annual basis, the steering committee would start working on revisions following each of the class sessions and start their participant recruitment process again in July & August.