After a year-long effort, Ash Grove Area Community Foundation has raised $30,000 to start a permanent endowment and become the 50th regional affiliate foundation with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.
AGACF formally began the process of becoming a regional affiliate foundation of the CFO in June 2019. Board President Tyler Gunlock delivered the final gifts to the CFO on May 29 to complete the initial fundraising effort. The donations establish an endowed community grantmaking fund that will forever benefit the Ash Grove area.
“We received gifts from about 70 donors in the Ash Grove community,” Gunlock said. “Having a strong board and so many people behind us will prove beneficial in the long run.”
The founding board also includes: Jason Whitesell, Vice President; Rachel Griffin, Secretary; Mike Roberts, Treasurer; Pat Cook; Austin Houp; Ryan Squibb; Chris Thompson; and Ronessa Williams.
“We know that the people of Ash Grove love living here, and they believe in this town,” Gunlock said. “The community foundation is just one of the good things happening here.”
By establishing its community grantmaking endowment, AGACF qualifies for a $30,000 grant from Missouri Foundation for Health. The grant will provide $6,000 for five years to support grantmaking to address public health needs related to issues such as family income, education, jobs, neighborhoods and similar indictors.
The CFO started its affiliate network in 1993 in Nixa. The network has since spread to represent communities in 58 counties south of the Missouri River. The philosophy is based in the concept of community foundations as place-based organizations governed by local leaders who best understand the needs of their communities. The CFO’s 50 regional affiliate foundations are led by volunteers, which CFO staff supports by working together on asset and resource development, grantmaking and community leadership opportunities.
“We know that when a rural community establishes an affiliate foundation, the community grows stronger because of it,” said Brian Fogle, president and CEO of the CFO. “By establishing the Ash Grove Area Community Foundation, the community is making an investment in itself that will pay dividends for many years to come.”
Donors can contribute to the Ash Grove Area Grantmaking Fund online at cfozarks.org/affiliates/ash-grove-area.