Harry Cooper Supply Company Campaign for the Ozarks

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Since 1908 the Harry Cooper Supply Company has been providing quality products and services to customers throughout the Missouri Ozarks. But the company’s commitment to excellence goes far beyond the marketplace. The Harry Cooper Supply Company and the Cooper Family have been regional leaders in volunteerism, charitable giving and community involvement. Their public service is illustrated by Harry Cooper’s leadership of the Springfield Community Chest in the 1930s, James H. Cooper’s generous support of parks and recreation, and John T. Cooper’s efforts to support animal welfare. The family’s philanthropy has made a lasting impact on our region.

It is fitting then, that the Coopers chose to celebrate their century of business and service by making possible the Harry Cooper Supply Company Campaign for the Ozarks. This regional effort was designed to build and strengthen the community-based philanthropy efforts of nearly 40 regional affiliate community foundations. CFO made matching grants available to its affiliate foundations, made possible by the generosity of the Harry Cooper Supply Company. This dollar for dollar challenge grant was part of an overall regional effort to:

• Enhance community grantmaking endowments
• Establish administrative/operations endowments
• Promote appropriate and best practices by community foundation board of directors

Unrestricted grantmaking is the most tangible way that a community foundation delivers on its mission to enhance the quality of life in our communities. Because these endowment funds are unrestricted, they can be used to address immediate community needs while providing the flexibility to attend to future problems. However, unrestricted endowment funds are the most difficult to build. This challenge grant strengthened our unrestricted funds and helped build our capacity to serve the community now and for years to come.

The Harry Cooper Supply Company Campaign for the Ozarks is the latest chapter in a legacy of giving spanning four generations. And there is a certain harmony to this; the Coopers established the very first funds with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

In 2010, the Harry Cooper Supply Company Campaign for the Ozarks entered a second phase, part of CFO’s Rural Schools Partnership, designed to assist rural schools in the Ozarks by providing $250,000 in challenge grants for educational endowment building. For this second phase, 25 school districts and community foundations worked to raise $20,000 for academic-oriented endowments and receive a $10,000 match. Read more about this program on the Rural Schools Partnership site.