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.