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$250,000 for Outdoor Public Spaces in the Rural Ozarks The annual Coover Regional grant program supports 11 projects to improve parks, trails, gardens and other amenities. Learn More
by Brian Fogle, President & CEO

A Reminder to the Heart

As a recovering banker, I admit that I can sometimes be a bit too enamored with numbers. How many new funds did we establish compared to last year? What is our FTE-to-total-assets ratio? How well did our global equity allocation compare to the S&P 500?

I do that, too, with our community metrics. What is our poverty rate compared to peer cities? Wage growth rate? Educational attainment? I realize the nonprofit sector has been accused of leading too much from the heart, and business too much from the head. There are those days that the banker in me wants to jump in with my Excel spreadsheet and piddle around with formulas and measurements that can help me explain the world a bit better.

Recently, at the Community Focus Report release event, the right side of my brain was completely nerding out. Ahhhhh … data, and plenty of it. Yes! This was good stuff. Then Cara began to speak.

Cara Hodges is a courageous and remarkable young woman who shared her story with a crowd of hundreds at the Springfield Art Museum. We learned of her journey from an abusive relationship, fearful for herself and her children, to independence and confidence to leave that life behind. She told us how Isabel’s House had given her the time and support to help rebuild her life.

And then she said this: “I finally learned, I am enough.” Enough to be a mom. Enough to leave the past behind. Enough to once again have hopes and dreams. We gave her a standing ovation.

Her story is why we do what we do. Sure, it takes metrics and margin to support our work, but Cara, and others like her, are why we do what we do. It was a reminder to my heart that my head isn’t enough.

Brian Fogle is the president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

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