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Hello! My name is Patty Mellinger. I grew up in the Hutchinson area and graduated from Buhler High School. I received my bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Bethel College. Most of my working years were with Harvey County Parents as Teachers. I worked for 15 years as a parent educator, serving families in Newton, Hesston, and Halstead.


I have been married to John for 31 years and we have two grown daughters, Lauren Miller (Dalton) and Courtney Stucky (Kyle). We are blessed to have our family living close, Lauren in Topeka and Courtney in Newton. We also have a funny dog that is a Schnauzer/Havanese mix, named Winston.


I am excited to be the Program Assistant with the Central Kansas Community Foundation! I have been working in the “for profit” sector in Wichita for the past few years, and I look forward to being back in Newton in the non-profit world again, serving the Newton community and Central Kansas.



Megan Smith is founder and owner of G2 Solutions, LLC specializing in non-profit consulting along with custom marketing and communication solutions for non-profits and small businesses. 

She has 15 years of non-profit and small business experience and brings a broad background and skillset to the table when collaborating with partners. The focus of her contract with CKCF in 2023 will be cultivating donor relationships, coordinating the new CKCF Spring Soiree and rolling out a new opportunity for affiliate foundations. 

Megan enjoys the opportunity to work creatively and build relationships with local organizations. She is a graduate of Hesston High School and Baker University; Megan and her family live in Hesston.  


Community foundations: Unparalleled resources for local giving with major impact 

As economic times get tough, more and more people are asking how they can make the biggest difference right in their own backyard. Indeed, local giving is a topic that has even made its way into the opinions of the mainstream media, causing many charitably-inclined people to pay more attention to the impact their dollars are having on the causes they love.  


Sometimes the greatest needs really are right here at home. As donors explore charitable giving opportunities and receive requests for funding from charities near and far, it can be helpful to read first-hand accounts of why other philanthropists have been so inspired by uncovering local needs that they simply were not aware of.  


Over the years, researchers have consistently validated the important emotional elements of giving to familiar and nearby organizations to foster the rewarding sense of connection that is such an important driver of repeat philanthropic behaviors. Today’s donors want to be able to actually see the results of charitable investments. 


Here are three suggestions for anyone who wants to get started on a “give local” journey.


First, scan the local news. Many people are very accustomed to scrolling the news feeds on phones and catching the national and international headlines. Local news can be hard to find, but those outlets do still exist! In particular, many television stations’ websites include a local news tab. Spend five minutes scrolling through the local news for three days in a row, and you might be surprised at how much you learn about your own community. Make a mental note of issues that raise your eyebrows or make you ask yourself “I hope someone is doing something about that.”


Second, with this research in hand, run a few quick Google searches with the key words you’ve identified, along with the terms “nonprofit,” “charity,” and the name of your town or city. Sometimes these searches will illuminate organizations you might have heard of or even be involved with already. At the very least, you will begin to frame your own description of the local causes you care about.


Third, reach out to the team at the community foundation. The community foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our region, and that is possible through the work of nonprofit organizations and people like you who support them. The community foundation team will know which nonprofits are addressing the issues you’d like to learn more about and can provide advice about how your charitable dollar can make the greatest possible difference. 


The community foundation is unparalleled in its ability to be flexible and responsive, providing outstanding, personal service designed around your needs while at the same time working closely with legal, tax, and wealth advisors to ensure that you are maximizing the financial elements of your charitable giving plan. 


We look forward to working with you to make as big a difference as possible in the causes you love and make our community an even better place for everyone. 

More articles in this month's Donor Connection on our website!



Looking for some past information? We now have an archive of our newsletters on the CKCF website!

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Central Kansas Community Foundation | Douglass Community Foundation

El Dorado Community Foundation | Elk County Community Foundation | Florence Community Foundation

Franklin D. Gaines & Beverly J. Tipton Foundation | Fredonia Area Community Foundation

Goessel Community Foundation | Halstead Community Foundation

Hesston Community Foundation | Hillsboro Community Foundation | Newton Community Foundation

Newton Public Library Foundation | North Newton Community Foundation

Peabody Community Foundation | Trinity Heights UMC Foundation | Valley Center Community Foundation

Remington Area Community Foundation | Women’s Community Foundation