News & Updates

GRO 3.0 opens for application

Communities can now begin the process to join the CFO’s economic development program.

Growth in the Rural Ozarks

Applications accepted through April 27 for third phase

Communities may now apply to participate in the third phase of the CFO’s rural economic development program, Growth In the Rural Ozarks. Since its inception, five rural communities — Marshfield, Sarcoxie, Salem, Aurora and Buffalo — have participated in the program. The new phase, referred to as “GRO 3.0,” will be open to 10 communities with regional affiliate foundations.

The goal of GRO is to help local rural communities create sustainable plans for long-term economic growth and community development. GRO began in 2016 and has become a model for rapidly deploying transformative methods. Participation in GRO 3.0 will require a three-year commitment with a total financial cost of $30,000, 20% of which must be matched by the community’s affiliate foundation.

Hrishue Mahalaha of Innovation Economy Partners, the lead facilitator of GRO, will be available for in-person meetings Jan. 28–30. Please contact Alice Wingo to schedule a meeting.

For more information about GRO 3.0, please see the video and other material below.

Contact Alice Wingo

Key Dates

  • Jan. 28–30: Opportunities for in-person meetings
  • Feb. 14: Letter of interest due to participate in the program and launch
  • Feb. 21: Launch local Community Confidence Survey
  • March 20: Conclude community confidence survey data collection
  • April 6: GRO team to send out results from the community confidence survey
  • April 27: GRO 3.0 applications due
  • May 15: Community interviews concluded, winners announced
  • June 1: GRO 3.0 launch

Community Selection Criteria

  • Dedicated and diverse local leadership
  • A strong community commitment
  • An acute local need
  • Track history and proven history to accomplish goals
  • Commitment to support the broader GRO program

Launching GRO 3.0 (PDF) Rapid Rural Transformation (PDF) Sample Community Confidence Survey (PDF)

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