Looking forward: Greater awareness and education
Over its decade of existence, the BCCF has spent a considerable amount of time to help share information about the foundation.
“I always looked at our meetings and events as outreach. If one new person comes in and hears our story, it’s worth doing,” Curless says of her mindset around events. “For the 10 years early on, that’s why I was plugging along: Just got to get one more person to hear this story. That was one of our early challenges with explaining to people what we’re about, what we are.”
While those educational efforts still exist today, another layer of information the board wishes to share is around what kinds of gifts are possible — and that other contributions, such as land and livestock, are also gladly accepted, and particularly relevant in the agricultural area.
“The Kansas line really ought to move over two thirds of a county because we’re dirt farmers, grain-based, not so much cattle and all the things that you’d see in ‘real’ Ozarks,” Bunton says. “Somewhere in there would be the line ‘Gateway to the Ozarks,’ which has been used in the past. Agriculture is big business.”
In addition to continuing that mission of education, the BCCF board is currently seeking its first-ever foundation coordinator. This part-time role will work with the CFO staff and the affiliate board to coordinate advancement and administrative activities in the Barton County area. Once hired, the coordinator will support the BCCF’s operations to help ease needs for board and community members.
“We’re kind of excited about what that might bring to the table,” Bunton says. “How much more we can accomplish with someone.”