In 2021, the Dane G. Hansen Foundation announced a three-year initiative to support Northwest Kansas Technical Colleges.
The Foundation recognizes that technical colleges provide an important avenue for Northwest Kansas residents to obtain marketable skills that lead to meaningful employment, and that many of those potential careers are needed in Northwest Kansas communities.
There are three technical colleges in the Hansen Foundation’s 26-county service area: North Central Kansas Technical College in Beloit and Hays; Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland; and Salina Area Technical College in Salina.
Technical colleges have high placement rates for graduates, encourage entrepreneurial careers and boost the economy. Degrees offered at the technical colleges often are those most needed in Northwest Kansas: welding, plumbing, construction science, nursing, automotive, diesel mechanics, commercial driver certification, precision agriculture, and culinary arts, to name a few. Business management courses are also offered to assist with establishing and maintaining a new business.
Even though these colleges provide significant value to area students as well as the communities where they are located, they do not have local taxing authority. Technical colleges are not able to utilize mill levies that are available to school districts or community colleges. Funding comes primarily from tuition and state funding, which has not increased in the last 10 years. As a result, support from donations and grants is becoming more important to the viability of these colleges.
This initiative will include direct assistance for each college in the form of a $200,000 grant. Grants will be awarded annually for three years, for a total of $600,000 in discretionary funds.
In addition, for long-term support, the Hansen Foundation is offering a three-year matching grant challenge to accelerate the growth of endowed funds within the technical college foundations.
The Hansen Foundation will match gifts of up to $150,000 per college, each year for three years. The match requires that both the donor funds and the matching Hansen donations be placed in a permanently endowed fund(s) to benefit the technical college and/or its students. Though unrestricted endowments offer the college the most flexibility, gifts to permanently endowed funds for a particular program or for scholarships will also qualify.
The Hansen Trustees believe technical colleges are critical to the future of Northwest Kansas. The match is an effort to provide an accelerated path for the colleges to accumulate sufficient endowed funds to ensure operational stability, and to assist the college foundations with efforts to share their story and attract donors.
For information on how you can make a meaningful gift to the technical college in your area, please contact: