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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs kick off CFO’s 2021–22 grantmaking year

July 26, 2021

Funding increased for Springfield, regional grant programs

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is deepening its commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with the first grant programs of its new fiscal year, dedicating additional unrestricted grantmaking funds for nonprofit agencies that work to uplift members of marginalized identity groups.

Total funds available in the Springfield-Greene County Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Grant Program have increased to $100,0000, with requests capped at $25,000. The program opened July 1 and will close at 11:59 p.m., Oct. 15, with grants announced before the end of the year. Ideal proposals will focus on increasing civic participation, changing public norms and improving community conditions for marginalized communities.

“Ultimately, our goal with this program isn’t to merely bring to light issues that face underserved individuals, but to create significant, lasting change to the Springfield community,” said Bridget Dierks, CFO vice president of programs.

The Ozarks Inclusive Opportunity Grant Program supports small grant requests to ensure the representation of diverse voices in community conversations, engagement and leadership in local communities across the region, Springfield included. In its second year, funding for the program has increased to $30,000, with requests now capped at $2,000.

“The CFO is proud to support the work of agencies committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in Springfield and across central and southern Missouri,” Dierks said. “We continue to commit grant dollars to this work because it is vital to the future success of our communities.”

The program is open throughout the year, with grants awarded on a rolling basis as funds remain available. Donations to the CFO’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund will further this grantmaking and can be made online.

Agencies can begin the application process for both programs online. The programs are open to 501(c)3 nonprofit agencies — including school districts, government entities and faith-based organizations with similar tax-exempt status — that serve communities across the CFO’s 58-county region in central and southern Missouri.

In addition to the two discretionary programs, the CFO also will continue to provide support for the Community Diversity and Equity Director at the Community Partnership of the Ozarks. Tyree Davis IV was hired last year to coordinate with DEI professionals at other Springfield institutions in an effort to break down structural barriers and develop a culture of equity and inclusion in the community.

Over the last year, he and CFO Program Coordinator Krista Moncado adapted the Inclusive Excellence model for nonprofit agencies. Originally created for colleges and universities, the diversity, equity and inclusion training model was first implemented in Springfield by Missouri State University. Davis and Moncado will now work to roll out the adapted Inclusive Excellence training to the CFO’s nonprofit agency partners.

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