Our Story

Legacy, A Regional Community Foundation (LEGACY) is a 501(c)3 non-profit philanthropic organization incorporated in September 1996 by volunteers. Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of Kansas on September 25, 1996. In LEGACY’s first year of operation Founder contributions of $2,750 established a permanent endowment for charitable purposes. Additionally, three pass-through grants were received. The local school district was awarded a grant for a computer technology upgrade and two grants supported local community events to improve the quality of life in our area.

In 1999, Pamela Moore was named the first Executive Director of LEGACY. Moore worked with many area groups to address community issues investing herself and LEGACY programs and projects such as Leadership Cowley County and Kids Impact Cowley County (KICC), in promoting school endowments in local districts and in vision planning for healthcare outcomes. Additionally, LEGACY’s leadership impacted cooperative efforts such as spearheading the entrepreneurship work group that became Vision 20/20, work with the health and mental health departments, and in sustainability and strategy for area non-profits such as Eagle Nest Inc. and the local United Way. One signature program developed by LEGACY, “Tiny Teeth” focusing on children’s oral health spread nationwide. Legacy Foundation was instrumental in the start-up of the Community Health Center located in Winfield and Angels in the Attic located in Arkansas City. Moore retired in June 2016 after Yazmin Wood was engaged as the new Executive Director.

Legacy Foundation again acted as a catalyst in January 2017 announcing a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process to promote a 12-month grant up to $10,000 for addressing children's health.

Previously the Council on Foundations bestowed National Standards-certification upon Legacy Foundation, signifying a commitment to the highest business practices of policies and accountability.

Legacy first achieved the GuideStar Platinum Level of Transparency in 2020. (View our full profile here.) GuideStar's database of over 2.2 million IRS-recognized nonprofits is the most complete, up-to-date nonprofit data available. Platinum Level is the highest level.

Moreover, Legacy Foundation is a member of the Kansas Association of Community Foundations (KACF), a collection of more than 100 local foundations in Kansas. In 2021 KACF selected Legacy Foundation as one of five community foundations for a three-year learning cohort sponsored by the Charles S. Mott Foundation in application of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Additionally, Legacy Foundation has been selected from throughout the nation by Indiana University-Lilly School of Philanthropy as one of three to be the subject of a teaching case study.

During the recent COVID-19 pandemic Legacy Foundation served as a resource for area people, especially by providing extensive support, assistance and project management to the community through area nonprofit organizations, including access to CARES funding distributed by Cowley County government.

Legacy Foundation is currently serving as Sub-Grant Coordinator for RISE Cowley's Storytelling Initiative as part of the Kansas Blue Cross Blue Shield Pathways Grant.

Since 2000, Legacy has received contributions totaling more than $13 million and distributed over $5 million in grants.