Since its inception, the JRCF has distributed $59 million back to the community, and has nearly 150 funds under its umbrella. The Joplin-based affiliate serves the communities of Webb City and Carl Junction through an annual grant round.
Beyond those grants from the affiliate’s endowments, it also has another means of giving back: The Philanthropic Society, or the Phil for short. The giving circle allows community members to contribute an annual amount — dues in 2023 were $2,500 per participant — which in turn are distributed to community causes members decide by vote.
To date, about $800,000 has been granted throughout the community via the Phil since its inception in 2019.
“The Phil is completely member driven,” says Pete Ramsour, foundation manager for the JRCF. “We try to have fun doing it.”
Ramsour also notes that despite the Phil’s success, there was a desire to expand — and use the high-impact giving model to develop new philanthropists in younger generations.
That desire led the JRCF to start Launch, a program in Joplin, Carl Junction and Webb City high schools. The JRCF allocates up to $10,000 for each school, which is distributed for local nonprofit causes — also based on students’ voting — and carries a match requirement.
“Our deal is if they raise $5,000, we’ll match it as much as $10,000,” says Ramsour.