In the News

SPARC Collaboration Workshop is August 1

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018


Nonprofit organizations, government entities and others interested in applying for the new SPARC grant are invited to attend a Collaboration Workshop on August 1, from 9 am until noon at the Masonic Hall, 115 E. Wisconsin, Russell. The theme is “Go Slow to Go Fast” and will be led by Patty Clark, an expert on rural communities and policy.

SPARC – The Strategic Partnership for the Advancement of Russell County – is the Russell County Area Community Foundation’s (RCACF)
largest grant program to date, awarding $75,000 to $175,000 over a multi-year period toward a project that promotes significant economic development, community collaboration, and has long-term, measured impact.

The 3-hour morning workshop is interactive with an option for groups to return in the afternoon for private, one-on-one consultations with Clark. These consultations are by appointment, and are first-come, first-served. This is a great opportunity to get individualized support and brainstorm with Clark about project development, funding resources, and avoiding pitfalls.

“The purpose of the workshop is to help people form partnerships that lead to great community change. Patty will review the economic and demographic data on Russell County and help you identify metrics to measure progress and impact. She will also give some great examples of how other parts of Kansas are using grassroots efforts to transform their communities,” said Angie Muller, RCACF Director.

The SPARC application process is online at It is multi-tiered, beginning with a letter of intent due September 1. Finalists will be announced mid-September and are eligible for a $2,000 technical assistance grant to further develop their idea. The grant will be awarded February 2019.

SPARC is funded by the generosity of the Russell County Area Community Foundation for the broad benefit of Russell County. RCACF was established in 2001 to create a permanent source of philanthropy to address current and future community needs through grant making and partnerships. Over the years, the Foundation and its generous donors have directed $2.5 million to meaningful causes and issues – from the arts and childhood education to historical preservation and park development. The Foundation is the largest local provider of grants and scholarships in Russell County.

To reserve your place at the SPARC workshop and schedule a private consultation with Patty Clark, please contact Angie Muller, RCACF Executive Director, at 785-445-3611 or email

About Speaker Patty Clark
Patty Clark believes that the strength of Kansas comes from the rural sector. Clark served both the Graves and Sebelius Administrations as Division Director for Ag Marketing and Community Development in the Kansas Department of Commerce. She also served as the Director of Public Policy for the Kansas Farm Bureau, worked in the Kansas Leadership Center, and held the position of State Director for USDA-Rural Development.