Skip to Main Content
CFO Stories

Leading Locally: Jacks Fork Community Foundation

The Jacks Fork Community Foundation is based in Mountain View, and primarily serves Howell and Shannon counties. In addition to about 2,500 residents, the rural town is home to a hospital, airport and satellite campus for Southwest Baptist University.

Affiliate Foundations

The affiliate serves as a support for local causes and organizations

The Jacks Fork Community Foundation began because of a need.

In the late ‘90s, the work of a group of local leaders was propelled by the desire for a new library in Mountain View, a small town at the northeast corner of Howell County. At the time, services were housed in a building that had long outlived its abilities to serve the community’s growing hunger for books, computers and connection.

The group of dedicated locals raised approximately $400,000 for the project, which was completed in 1999. The effort didn’t end with the library, though: It cemented the belief that the group could serve in other ways, too.

“We formed this foundation to facilitate some of the funds we used to do the library project, knowing that the foundation really should exist beyond the construction of those two buildings,” says Charles Cantrell, president of the JFCF, of the library and adjacent community center.

The group began as its own nonprofit organization, but opted to join the Community Foundation of the Ozarks as an affiliate in 2004. It was a decision, Cantrell says, that has been good for streamlining its efforts and service.

“At some point, you benefit from having funds professionally managed, and get that economy of scale,” he says.

The Mountain View Library was the impetus for the creation of the Jacks Fork Community Foundation, which later joined the CFO in 2004.

The JFCF serves as an umbrella organization for funds of more than 10 local organizations, which in turn serve the community in ways ranging from outdoor spaces to scholarships and sports.

Recently, the JFCF established the Athletic Complex Improvement Fund, which helped support the installation of new seating at the local facility used for school sports. It also still supports its original purpose by holding an endowment for Friends of the Mountain View Library.

“I think the Jacks Fork Community Foundation’s greatest impact on the local community is the flexibility and accessibility of its resources,” says Jacks Fork Board Member Andrea McNew. “It is a great organization that strives to provide a catalyst and avenue for individuals and organizations to support projects that are important to them and that provide great benefit to our citizens.”

An example is its connection with the Good Samaritan Care Clinic, for which the JFCF long held a fund. Prior to the clinic’s closure in 2021, it provided about 35,000 medical and dental visits to uninsured patients in south-central Missouri over its nearly 20 years of existence.

Mountain View is located in northeast Howell County. It is only one place served by the Jacks Fork Community Foundation, which primarily serves Howell and Shannon counties.

“Jacks Fork Community Foundation’s biggest impact to the community has been and is its ability to coordinate the efforts of the various philanthropic organizations that do work in our area,” says Steve Vines, who recently joined the board. “Whether it’s supporting a local group’s effort to renovate our school district’s outdoor sports complex, or a community improvement project, the Jacks Fork Community Foundation has been there.”

While such efforts make a difference for the people they’re designed to serve, they also touch other lives, too.

“It has been rewarding to be a part of an organization that has been able to help so many people in our community,” says Betty Hockman, a longtime board member.

Jacks Fork Community Foundation's Next Goal: Greater grantmaking throughout the community

As the Jacks Fork Community Foundation looks forward, one of the organization’s goals is to work with groups to help distribute grants on a more regular basis to meet emerging needs. An example is at the Mountain View-Birch Tree R-III School District, where Future Farmers of America seeks to purchase a tractor to augment the program’s abilities. The JRCF plans to contribute through a matching challenge at the program’s annual banquet to help raise funds.

"We will match their auction proceeds up to $5,000,” says Cantrell. “Maybe that will be an extra incentive for businesses to donate items for the auction knowing that the proceeds are going to be doubled up to $5,000.”

In their own words

Why do you serve?

Jacks fork 4x5 charles cantrell

I like to take the ‘long-term’ view of development. I have friends and family and know of others who have worked for the betterment of our greater community for several generations. A big part of what a foundation can do is create a ‘springboard’ for sustainable development for and through future generations. In other words, it is a way of combining the past, present and future.”

—Charles Cantrell, JFCF president

Jacks fork 4x5 andrea mcnew

I have a heart for community service and believe in the honor and responsibility of giving back to your community. The foundation motivates me to look beyond my personal goals and creates an avenue for supporting the goals and projects that will improve the quality of life in our area.”

—Andrea McNew, JFCF board member

Jacks fork 4x5 steve vines

“I am a brand-new member of our local board. However, being a lifelong resident of the area, I have had the good fortune of seeing firsthand the work this organization has done, and continues to do. The positive impacts made by this group will benefit the ‘Jacks Fork’ region for years to come.”

—Steve Vines, JFCF board member

Support our mission by becoming a donor today.

Donate Now