First Regional Agency Partner Workshop Draws Group to St. James

A group of central Missouri agency partners attended the first of a series of two-hour workshops and also got to learn the story behind the Firehouse Coffee Shop in St. James where the meeting took place.

The session included updates on Cause Momentum, the CFO’s new online crowdfunding platform and the upgraded Donor Central software that allows agencies to access fund information on a 24/7 basis. Carol Silvey, the CFO’s senior associate for advancement based in West Plains, offered her wisdom gained over many years of foundation work at Missouri State University and the CFO. She urged the agency partners to work with their board members to strategically approach broadening their potential donor base.

Terrill Story, a St. James counselor and adviser for the school’s Youth Empowerment Project chapter, explained how the coffee shop came to be. The group was awarded $20,000 from a 2011 Coover Place-Based Education grant (due Friday for this year’s round). The City of St. James offered to donate an old fire station located directly across from the school. Over that summer, Story and the YEP students leveraged the grant funds with other donations of cash, materials and in-kind services and plenty of elbow grease to have the coffee shop ready by the time classes resumed in the fall. The St. James Community Foundation provided a $2,000 grant for the project.

Today, the Firehouse Coffee Shop serves coffee, sandwiches and snacks to students who hang out after school, attend tutoring sessions, or enjoy local musicians and entertainers who use the stage space on Friday evenings.

The free regional AP meetings continue with three more sessions. All sessions begin at 10 a.m. and will conclude by noon. Registration is at 9:45, coffee and pastries will be provided.

Prospecting for Donors and Finding the Gold: Carol Silvey

March 21 – Mtn. Grove YMCA (1 YMCA Drive, Mtn. Grove)

Building a Braver Board: Bridget Dierks

March 26 – Clinton Rotary (200 W. Franklin, Clinton)

April 2 – Joplin Wildcat Glades Conservation Center (201 Riviera Drive, Joplin)

Please RSVP to these sessions by contacting Bridget Dierks or online at