About Our Grants



The Grants Program of the Kearney Area Community Foundation (“KACF”) is a means by which not-for-profit charitable organizations may secure financial assistance for programs and/or projects which will enhance the quality of life for all residents of the Kearney area and surrounding communities. KACF is a ‘community’ foundation that collects and administers charitable funds under Section 509(a)(1) of the IRS tax code.

We channel gifts from donors to a variety of nonprofit organizations. KACF serves the Kearney area in three major ways: 1) seeking and soliciting gifts and bequests from individuals, families, corporations, and other not-for-profit organizations, 2) managing assets for preservation of principal, optimum return, and perpetuity of the donor’s intentions, and 3) distributing funds through grants.


The Foundation is able to administer these funds through gifts and bequests from individuals, families, corporations, and other not-for-profit organizations as well as the “Building For Tomorrow” Fund which includes unrestricted assets of KACF.  Unrestricted assets are those assets that have not been designated for a specific purpose or beneficiary and over which the KACF Board of Directors has full discretion. (Our tax exempt number is 47-0786586.)

Ultimately, each proposal is evaluated on its potential value to the community at a particular time in history — and on the imagination, resourcefulness and credibility of those submitting it.  Unfortunately, due to financial limitations, not all Grant Applications will be funded.


The KACF awards grants in eight different fields of interest:


Must serve Kearney, or surrounding area.

Typically, a community foundation serves the people of a certain geographic area. This means that only projects or programs in the Kearney area and surrounding communities are considered for support, unless in an unusual case where a donor has directed his/her support to assist an agency in another area. Grants are made to nonprofit, federally tax exempt (501(c)(3)) qualified organizations.  Grants can also be made to organizations delivering a project or program that qualifies as charitable activity or that has a fiscal relationship with a qualifying charity.

Single mission organizations or agencies (like the SAFE Center, HelpCare Clinic, etc.) may apply no more frequently than every 24-months after receiving a BFT grant from KACF.  Multi-mission organizations or agencies (like Buffalo County Community Partners, Kearney Public Schools and the University of Nebraska – Kearney) may apply every year, but no more than two requests may be submitted in any one year by any sub-groups (goal work groups, departments, school buildings, etc). Once the sub-group has been awarded a grant, they will need to sit out for two years before reapplying. The committee will consider grant requests on a case-by-case basis.

  • KACF Grants will not be awarded for for the following:

    • Annual fund drives, galas, or other special-event fundraising activities

    • Capital campaigns/renovation projects (unless we can make an impact with a small grant)

    • Debt reduction

    • Dissertations or student/faculty research projects

    • Emergency or disaster relief efforts

    • Established or new endowment funds

    • Indirect/administrative costs

    • Loans, fellowships, or grants to individuals

    • Religious activities (unless non-denominational and serving a broad segment of the population)

    • Political lobbying, or legislative activities

    • Private or parochial schools (unless serving a broad segment of the population), as well as other private organizations

    • Profit making enterprises (unless allowed by Federal Treasury Regulations)

    • Travel, tours or trips, including honor conferences, expanded studies

  • KACF Grants will not aid:

    • Agencies serving a populace outside of the KACF’s service area; or to programs that do not meet the mission of the KACF.

    • Institutions that discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, or age in policy or in practice

    • Umbrella organizations that would re-distribute the requested funds at their discretion


  • Selection criteria is based, in part, on the following:

    • Beneficiary Involvement – projects and programs that involve those people who are expected to benefit from the grant;

    • Capital projects such as construction, remodeling additions to existing buildings, and equipment purchases (only if our small grant can make a difference/impact);

    • Challenge gifts under which grant awards will be authorized, provided other donors make matching gifts; and to promote leverage for generating additional funds;

    • Innovative programs that represent an efficient approach to serving community needs and opportunities;

    • Ongoing program’s projection of longevity as evidenced by plans for continuation beyond the initial funding period;

    • Partnerships – those organizations which partner and work cooperatively with other agencies in the community;

    • Programs providing an impact that is likely to make a clear difference in the quality of life for a substantial number of people; and where a moderate amount of grant money can effect a significant result;

    • Seed grants to initiate promising new projects or programs, thus allowing them to demonstrate their usefulness to the community; and assist those populations not presently being adequately served;

    • Stability of the applicant as evidenced by positive financial statements, solid future funding, and other related factors;

    • Unusual or urgent funding; and

    • Volunteer involvement – programs enlisting volunteer participation and citizen involvement.


  • Once notified of approval for a grant, the organization may request payment as needed, or as performance requirements are met.

  • The grant recipient is responsible for arranging appropriate publicity regarding the receipt of the grant. Refer to the Funding/Partnership Recognition Suggestions document that is sent to the grant winners. 

  • The grant recipient is required to report, in some detail, how the funds were expended. Any pictures and/or press clippings would be appreciated.The KACF intends to periodically visit, request information, or monitor a project.

  • Misuse of grant funds will result in a recall of the funds and future grant support will be jeopardized.

Frequently Asked Questions About our Grants
  • Q:  Does KACF ever fund an entire project or program?
    A:  In general, entire projects or programs are rarely funded. KACF looks for those groups or organizations which have individually raised a portion of the required funds and/or have enlisted the financial support of other organizations.


  • Q:  What about ongoing programs?
    A:  For ongoing programs, applicants must have a plan for future funding and support from other sources. Grants are usually awarded only for a definite period of time, normally for twelve months or less. It is important to show a need for the grant and how our modest grant would make an impact to an existing program.


  • Q:  What else does that Grants Committee consider?
    A:  At a minimum, an agency or organization must; 1) definitely establish the need, quality, effectiveness, etc., of its service and the same of the project or program for which it is seeking a grant, and 2) exhibit a genuine commitment toward the project or program rather than being primarily concerned with the perpetuation of the organization.


  • Q:  Will the Grants Committee put restrictions on the grant?
    A:  The KACF reserves the right to place performance requirements (contingencies) on a grant award, such as requiring that the additional revenues needed to implement the project be secured prior to the grant being paid.


412 W 48th St #12

Kearney, NE 68845


Phone: (308) 237-3114

Fax: (308) 237-9845


8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Monday thru Friday