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Norton County Community Foundation Announces New Position and Expanding Projects

The Norton County Community Foundation (NCCF) has hired its first Director of Operations and Communications, Bethany Shirk. The addition of this position is in response to the continued growth of the foundation and will support the Executive Director in efforts to implement the ongoing and upcoming initiatives of NCCF.

Ongoing initiatives include community development efforts through partnerships with nonprofits and civic organizations in the county, aiding in both funding and planning for various programs and projects. The foundation’s robust grant program gives grants totaling nearly a quarter million dollars each year. Additionally, the management and promotion of downtown development space continues to be a priority for the NCCF Board of Directors. Serving as a catalyst for change and growth in the community, the NCCF board and staff will continue to utilize existing programs to further these efforts.

The Norton County Community Foundation is also eager to announce participation in two new initiatives: the Kansas Community Philanthropy Innovators Network and NW Kansas Gives.

  • The Kansas Community Philanthropy Innovators Network (KCPIN) was launched by the Kansas Health Foundation in order to build community capacity to address economic development. NCCF has been selected as one of four foundations to be in the pilot group, where teams have created a six-month action plan to address a critical economic or community development need. The initiative being pursued locally is called “Norton Rural and Remote.” This effort aims to increase median income, expand workforce opportunities, and aid professional recruitment in Norton by providing work-from-home options within the county. It also plans to transform part of the Heaton building into a shared workspace.

  • NW Kansas Gives is an effort by the Dane G. Hansen Foundation to educate Northwest Kansas residents and encourage thoughtful, planned charitable gifts as a part of overall estate planning. Norton County Community Foundation will soon offer a variety of resources and tools, including professional estate planning services and legal assistance, to educate and support donors who choose to leave a legacy.

“As a Norton County native with experience in large non-profit organizations, Bethany is perfectly qualified for this new role that will move Norton County Community Foundation to the next level of organizational effectiveness and impact for our community,” said Tara Vance, Executive Director. “Adding her to the team while also growing our projects and initiatives means the staff and board of the community foundation is positioned to provide a new level of service and impact for Norton County.”

For more information about the Norton County Community Foundation or any of these projects, please contact Tara Vance, Executive Director, at 785.874.5106 or

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