Monday, Nov. 29, was a typical day of activity for the CFO. We received 137 separate gifts totaling $97,334 to funds held at the CFO, and made 12 grants and distributions totaling $85,100. It is part of our work that makes us the 69th largest of the 800-plus community foundations in the U.S., but the ninth busiest in terms of transactions. Those rankings represent the region that we live in — very generous, but not necessarily wealthy.
The difference, though, was the historical milestone we just passed. With Nov. 29’s grants and distributions, the CFO crossed the $500 million threshold for grants and distributions made since our founding in 1973.
More than just a number, though, are the stories behind each of the half-billion dollars that have gone out through the CFO, from the first — our initial community grant of $10,000 helped fund the petting zoo at Dickerson Park Zoo in 1975 — to all those since. Like the scholarships that have allowed students in rural Dade County to be the first in their family to attend college. Or the grants from a family’s donor-advised fund that support the causes that they love and help accomplish their charitable goals. Or grants that turned a firehouse in St. James into the coolest student-run coffeehouse on the planet. Or significant charitable resources to help give a community hope and a brighter future after a devastating tornado ripped through Joplin.