Mission Statement

The Kearney Area Community Foundation enhances the quality of life in the Kearney Area by promoting the spirit of charitable giving and effectively responding to the community's needs.


The Kearney Area Community Foundation vision is to maintain a philanthropic culture to assure that donors and the community are served in an atmosphere of trust and professionalism which will, in turn, allow the Kearney Area Community Foundation to make a meaningful and positive impact on the residents of our community, now and in the future.

Grant Funds Available to Area Organizations

Winter KACF Logo
The Kearney Area Community Foundation announced that they will be awarding grants to area organization in August. Applications are accepted on a bi-annual basis with the approaching deadlines of February 1 and August 1. Application forms may be secured online at or by calling (308) 237-3114.


Organizations are encouraged to read the grants guidelines to determine if the organization qualifies for a grant. The second step is to fill out the application, the third step is to make nine copies, and the final step is to mail the application and copies to the Kearney Area Community Foundation, 412 W. 48th, Suite #12, Kearney, NE 68847 so they are postmarked by February 1.


The KACF awards grants in eight fields of interest:

– Arts/Culture
– Health
– Community/Civic
– Human Services
– Economic Development
– Recreation
– Education
– Religion (non-denominational)


If you have any questions please call 308-237-3114 or email the Kearney Area Community Foundation at [email protected].

Click here to read more about the Kearney Area Community Foundation’s grants.

Thank You!

From the bottom of our hearts, the Kearney Area Community Foundation and participating nonprofits say THANK YOU for being part of Give Where You Live 2015! Your generosity has affected countless lives through Kearney area nonprofit organizations that address our community’s needs in a continuously changing world. Together we are strengthening our community.
We set out to raise awareness of our community’s current philanthropic needs, cultivate new funding streams and inspire donors to increase their financial support of their favorite causes. We couldn’t have done it without your help! Together we raised over $638,198 for 146 local nonprofits!
The Kearney Area Community Foundation committed $100,000 in Challenge Match Funds, Nonprofit Bonuses totaling $3,000 and Golden Tickets of $4,800 for a total of $107,800 in order to motivate donors to make the most of their gifts!
And last, but certainly not least, take a moment to click here to check out the Kearney Area Community Foundation’s event sponsors. Whenever possible, show them your gratitude and support because without them, this event would not be possible.
Thank you for donating during Give Where You Live – you have all been part of something very special!
Would you like to help improve next year’s event? Please take a moment to provide your feedback by following the link below. If you participated as both a nonprofit organization and a donor, please complete the survey twice. Click here to take the survey.


The Kearney Area Community Foundation Announces Upcoming Community-Wide 24-Hour Giving Day

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The Kearney Area Community Foundation announced today that it will be sponsoring the third annual 24-Hour giving day called “Give Where You Live” on December 3, 2015.  This community-wide event will benefit more than 145 charitable causes in and around the Kearney area that improve the quality of life for Kearney area residents!


Give Where You Live is a one-day fundraising event on December 3, 2015, that will unite donors in the Kearney area to support nonprofits and improve our quality of life. Give Where You Live is a community effort led by the Kearney Area Community Foundation that will encourage area nonprofits to build their capacity, find new donors and identify new funding streams. KACF’s goal is to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in one day by encouraging local residents to support their favorite charities.


“This was such a huge success the last two years, so we are bringing back the 24-hour giving day.  We are committed to our mission of promoting the spirit of charitable giving and effectively responding to the community’s needs,” said Judi Sickler, Executive Director of the Kearney Area Community Foundation. “We believe that the Give Where You Live campaign accomplishes just that!”


Last year was the second year for a 24-hour giving day raising more than $420,625 on December 4, 2014, which included prizes, match monies and other incentives.   Donations came in from 1246 unique donors that made more than 2949 different gifts for 120 organizations/causes.  “We were blown away; this is such a generous community,” said Sickler.  “We think it will be even bigger and better this year.  We have 145 organizations registered to participate this year, which is 21% more than last year.”


“The Kearney Area raised more than $873,000 the last two years combined through the Give Where You Live campaign!”, Sickler added.


How it Works

On December 3, our communities in the Kearney area will come together online and off for 24 hours of generosity. Every donation made during Give Where You Live will help qualify the organization for prize money and awards, furthering the impact of the donor’s investment.


Donors go to the website: and look at the list of local nonprofit organizations registered for the giving day. Donors can begin making online gifts today through midnight December 3.  If online giving doesn’t fit the donor’s style, they may stop by the Kearney Area Community Foundation office on Thursday, December 3, at 412 W. 48th Street, Suite 12, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to donate with cash or a check.  The Foundation will also be able to accept gifts of grain or stock.


Donations, up to $20,000 per donor, qualify to receive funds from the Give Where You Live Challenge Match Pool.  Today that Challenge Match Pool is $100,000 (doubled from the last two years) and is provided by the Kearney Area Community Foundation and generous sponsors.


“For example, if the community raises $500,000 on that day and the Challenge Match Pool is $100,000, every dollar donated will be matched 20 percent”, said Sickler.  “So a $100 gift now means the donor’s charity will receive $120.  It is a fun way to help expand your gifts to your favorite local charities!”


Sickler added that there are other incentives to donate on December 3.  The top three organizations that receive donations from the greatest number of unique online donors will receive Nonprofit Bonuses of $1,500, $1,000, and $500 respectively.   In addition, 24 “Golden Tickets” – $200 prize grants – will be given randomly to donors’ charities every hour throughout the day.


“We learned a lot from last two years and made several improvements,” Sickler said.  “I would just encourage donors to check out the website to learn more about the giving day, special events during the campaign, contests, challenges, prizes and much more!  We encourage donors to use this campaign to make gifts to organizations they haven’t supported in the past, as well as make an additional gift to their favorites!”


145 Local Organizations Participating (as of November 15)

ALS in the Heartland

Alzheimers Association – Greater Plains Chapter

American Red Cross

Amherst Public Schools Foundation

ARC of Buffalo County, Inc.

Archway Society

Boy Scouts of America – Overland Trails Council

Bravehearts Equine Therapy and Learning

Buffalo County Community Partners

Buffalo County Goodfellows, Inc.

Buffalo County Historical Society

Campus Kitchen Project

Central Community College Foundation-Kearney Learning Center

Central Elementary School

Central Nebraska Veteran’s Memorial

CHI Health-Good Samaritan Foundation

Child Evangelism Fellowship

Classic Car Collection

Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska


Crane River Theatre

Crossroads Center Rescue Mission

Double R Horse Rescue Fund

Elm Creek School Foundation

Faith Christian School

Families Care, Inc.

Family Advocacy Network

Fellowship of Christian Athletes Fund

First Lutheran Preschool

First United Methodist Church East Lawn Mission Trailer

Fort Kearny Outdoor Expo

Fort Kearny Shooting Sports Association

Friends of the Axtell Public Library

Friends Program of Kearney

Gibbon Ball Association

Gibbon Boosters, Inc.

Gibbon Community Center

Gibbon Community Foundation

Gibbon Legion

Girl Scouts – Spirit of Nebraska

Girls on the Run

Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska

Good Samaritan Society – Kearney 


HelpCare Clinic

Helping Hands Ministry

Hollyjean’s Hope Cat Spaying

Junior Achievement

Junior Golf Classic Fund

Justin Balfany Memorial Tennis Association

K-9 Freekz Rescue Fund

Kearney Area Animal Shelter, Inc.

Kearney Area Arts Council

Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce-Mark Benjamin Memorial Scholarship

Kearney Area Children’s Museum

Kearney Area Habitat for Humanity

Kearney Area Storytelling Festival

Kearney Area Symphony Orchestra

Kearney Catholic High School Foundation

Kearney Cemetery Beautification Fund

Kearney Community Learning Center

Kearney Community Theatre

Kearney Concert Association, Inc.

Kearney Dawn Rotary

Kearney Dobytown Kiwanis

Kearney Family YMCA

Kearney High Booster Club- Spotlight on the Bearcats

Kearney High School Band Boosters

Kearney Housing Agency

Kearney Jubilee Center

Kearney Literacy Council

Kearney Little League

Kearney Noon Rotary

Kearney Optimist Club

Kearney Public Library

Kearney Public Schools Foundation – Share the Stage

Kearney Rail Viewing Platform

Kearney Sertoma Club

Kearney Teen Reach Adventure Camp

Kearney Tennis Association Fund

Kearney Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program

Kearney Volunteer Fire Department Fund

Kearney Whitewater Association

Kearney Woman’s Club, Inc.

Kearney/Buffalo County CASA Fund

Kenwood Walking Bridge

KHS: Grow with Agriculture

Kids & Dreams Foundation


Loper Wrestling Legacy Fund

LOSS Team of Central Nebraska

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Nebraska

Meadowlark Elementary PTO

Merryman Performing Arts Center

Midwest Family Mental Health

Miss Kearney/Miss Tri-City Scholarship Pageant


Mother Hull Home

Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)

Museum of Nebraska Art

National Audobon Society (Rowe Sanctuary)

Nebraska AIDS Project

Nebraska Children’s Home Society

Nebraska Firefighters Museum and Education Center

Nebraska Safety Center

Nebraska State Senior Games  

Nebraska Veterans First

Park Elementary Learning Commons Project

Peterson Senior Activity Center  

PFLAG Kearney

Platte River Children’s Chorale

Pleasanton Community Fund

Pleasanton Fire & Rescue

Pleasanton PIK (Parents Interested in Kids) Fund

Pumpkin Patch Preschool

Ravenna Community Foundation

Residential Assistance to Families in Transition (RAFT)



Royal Family Kids Camp

Royal Neighbors

S.A.F.E. Center, Inc.

Salvation Army

Senior College of Central Nebraska, Inc.

Shamrock Shuffle  

Shelton Area Goodfellows

Shelton Area Lions Club

Shelton Cemetery Beautification

Shelton Fireworks  

Shelton Helping Everyone Live Longer Cancer Fund (SHELL)

Shelton Historical Society  

Shelton Public School Foundation

Shelton Teens Against Negative Decisions (STAND)

Shelton Youth Sports Club

South Central Nebraska Area Agency on Aging

Special Olympics Nebraska

Tasha Keiter Memorial Youth Golf

TeamMates Mentoring Program – Kearney

Todd Becker Foundation

United Campus Ministries

United Way of the Kearney Area, Inc.

University of Nebraska at Kearney Foundation


World Theatre Foundation Fund

Yanney Heritage Park Foundation

Zion Lutheran of Kearney Foundation


Nonprofit organizations were able to register to participate after pledging that at least 80% of funds raised will stay in the Kearney area.  Registration is now closed.  There is no cost to donors or organizations to participate in the 24-hour community-wide Give Where You Live giving day; however Razoo does charge a processing fee.


Sponsors for the Give Where You Live giving day (as of November 15)


Central Valley Irrigation

Kearney Regional Medical Center

Sherwood Foundation

The Tye Law Firm, PC LLO



Charter Media

Culligan of Kearney

Hits 106 (KQKY)

Johnson Imperial

Kearney Hub

Midlands Contracting, Inc


Nebraskaland National Bank

NTV & Fox News

Platte River Radio

Redmans Shoes & Ranch Wear

Younes Hospitality



Barney Insurance

BD Construction

Mitch and Katie Bean

Best Western Plus

Blessing Construction, LLC

Cash-Wa Distributing Company

Contryman Associates, PC

Eakes Office Solutions

Heartland Bank

Horizon Designs, Inc

Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce

Kearney Floral Company

Kearney Visitors Bureau

LIPS Printing

Nebraska Lottery

Oldfather Financial Services

ProSelect, Inc

Viaero Event Center

Wells Fargo

Yanda’s Music & Pro Audio



AmericInn Lodge & Suites

Ashley Furniture Homestore

Baldwin Filters

Barney Financial Services

Bruce Furniture

Bush Family Dentistry

Copycat Printing

Dermatology, PC – David N Kingsley MD

First National Bank

Five Points Bank

Hellman, Main, Coslor, & Kathol, PC

Kearney Powersports

LandMark Implement, Inc

Moonlight Embroidery

Parker, Grossart, Bahensky, Beucke & Bowman

Steinbrink Landscaping

Vertical Focus Realty/Kearney Rental Pros

West Pharmaceutical Services

Wilkins Hinrichs Stober Architects, LLC



Affiliated Brokers Insurance

Alpha Rehabilitation, PC

Arbys/ Motel 6

Barney Abstract & Title Co

Black Oak Investment Counsel, Inc

Central Nebraska Spinal Surgery Center, PC

Century 21 Midlands

Construction Rental

Cunningham’s Journal

Edward Jones

Elizabeth House

Ellerbrock-Norris Insurance-Tracy Pritchard

Farm Bureau Insurance – Rich Peters

Farmers & Merchants Bank

First Care Medical, PC

Good Samaritan Society – St. Lukes

Great Plains Asbestos Control, Inc

Great Western Bank

Hilltop Mall

Integrity Dental Arts

Jacobsen Orr

Kearney Clinic PC

Kearney Eye Institute

Kearney Federal Credit Union

M & J Signs

Marcotte Insurance

Mollees Motor Works

Nebraska Central Telephone Co

Nebraska Neurosurgery & Spine Clinic PC

Nelson’s Furniture

O’Brien Straatman Redinger Funeral Home

Risk & Insurance Solutions

Ron and Joyce Lieske

T. James Enterprises

The Breakfast Cart

Tonniges & Associates, PC

Town & Country Bank

UNICO Group of Kearney

Craig and Nancy Weber


Wilke’s True Value


The Kearney Area Community Foundation is a 20-year-old tax-exempt public charity, which recently reported October 2015 assets of $16 million.  Since 1995, the KACF has granted more than $40 million in grants, scholarships and program support to the community.


The Kearney Area Community Foundation enhances the quality of life in the Kearney Area by promoting the spirit of charitable giving and effectively responding to the community’s needs.  KACF manages more than 200 charitable funds.  The Foundation represents communities as far north as Litchfield, as far south as Norton, Kansas; as far west as Oshkosh and as far east as Shelton.  The Foundation board is made up of 18 members of Kearney and surrounding area.

Sahlings Create Endowed Scholarship Fund for Students Getting CDL

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The Kearney Area Community Foundation (KACF) is pleased to announce the receipt of a generous $225,000 donation by John and Sonia Sahling of Kearney, to create an endowed scholarship fund for non-traditional students.  The scholarship fund will annually provide five $2000 scholarships to local non-traditional students getting a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) through the Nebraska Safety Center at the University of Nebraska Kearney (UNK).

“Sonia and I believe in giving back to our community that has been so good to us over the years.  We understand that there is a growing need in the Kearney area to provide education for workers in our community that want to better themselves by improving their skills.  We hope this endowed scholarship fund will provide assistance to community members forever,” said donor John Sahling.

KACF Executive Director Judi Sickler stated, “I love the Sahlings vision.  By providing nontraditional students with a training opportunity, they can begin to earn better wages.  By getting a CDL, it improves the quality of life for those that want to live and work in Kearney.  In return, this has a ripple effect, by helping local businesses and employers retain and attract the skilled labor they need to be successful and grow their business.  The need for this type of nontraditional scholarship was brought to the Sahlings and without hesitation they were onboard.  Kearney is fortunate to have so many great donors that quickly tackle area needs.”


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