The Community Foundation of the Ozarks today announced that it has surpassed the $100 million milestone in making grants and distributions throughout the Ozarks over its 38-year history.
This milestone reflects grants and distributions made through the CFO’s grantmaking programs, the affiliate foundation community grantmaking programs, donor-advised grants, scholarship awards, and distributions made on behalf of non-profit agency and school partners.
Founded in 1973 as the Community Foundation of Greene County, Inc., the non-profit, tax-exempt organization was formed “to provide a way for the charitable desires of people of large means and small to be given permanent useful expression in furthering the welfare of the community.”
The original incorporators were organized by former Mayor Jim Payne, who later was elected to the Greene County Commission. The incorporators and past and present board members were recognized for their service at Wednesday’s announcement.
The Community Foundation’s first grant was made in 1974 when an anonymous donor contributed $10,000 for a petting zoo at the Dickerson Park Zoo. It operated as a volunteer organization until 1988 when Jan Horton was hired as its first staff member. Later named the first president, Horton was succeeded by Gary Funk, who served from 2003 until July 2010 when Brian Fogle was named the CFO’s third president.
“There are a million different stories represented in that $100 million and all were because of the founding board members who cared about their community, and wanted to leave it better than they found it,” Fogle said. “They have left a lasting legacy.”
Re-named the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Inc., in 1994, the organization now includes 43 affiliate foundations, 381 non-profit agency and school partners, 1,965 funds and assets of $172 million as of Dec. 31, 2010.
The announcement was made Wednesday to coincide with the Metropolitan Springfield Red-Flag Response Challenge Grant presentations to 19 non-profit agencies that received $217,093 in matching funds. With these matching funds, the agencies raised more than $434,000 to support programs representing early childhood development, hunger, health and human services, education, and housing stabilization.
For the third year, this annual grant cycle has been linked to the “red flags” identified in the Community Focus Report for Springfield-Greene County. The grants were awarded to sustain and enhance successful existing programs that work to address community red flags. After the challenge grants were announced in October 2010, the agencies had until Feb. 28, 2011 to raise their matching funds.
The requests for this grant cycle totaled more than $400,000. The CFO expresses its appreciation to the volunteer grant committee comprised of: Dr. Gloria Galanes and Dr. Tom Prater, Co-Chairs and CFO board members; David Yaktine; Dr. Janie Vestal; Ferba Lofton; Tom DenOuden; Debbie Shantz; and Carol Cruise, with staff support from CFO Executive Vice President Julie Leeth.