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The Generosity Collective: High-impact opportunity for Springfield’s emerging leaders

annual report fy23

Collaborative Philanthropy for a New Generation

In the late afternoon of Oct. 17, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks hosted an event that marked the birth of the Generosity Collective, a new giving circle for Springfield. Amid the crowd gathered at the Barley House at Moon Town Crossing, Winter Kinne, incoming president and CEO of the CFO, and Emily Kembell, a CFO board member, introduced the Generosity Collective as “the next generation of givers and thinkers.”

Springfield resident and business owner Aaron Schekorra spoke for many in the room when he stated that he was there “to be part of something larger than myself and to have a greater impact on the local community.” If the success of other regional giving circles is an indication, Schekorra and like-minded residents can make quite a difference through the Generosity Collective.

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Potential members of the Generosity Collective, a new giving circle in Springfield, gathered in October to learn about the new opportunity for collaborative grantmaking.

Giving circles, though not a novel concept, have been gaining momentum among younger donors seeking inclusive and democratic ways to engage in charitable work. The Generosity Collective exemplifies the concept: Groups of individuals come together, pool their donations in a fund at the CFO and collectively determine their grant recipients. This approach empowers participants to play an active role in confronting pressing local issues, giving them a direct say in how their financial contributions are distributed. The collaborative approach not only enhances the effectiveness of the work, but also facilitates the exchange of ideas, expertise and a more comprehensive understanding of the issues the circle aims to address.

The Joplin Philanthropic Society, or the Phil, offers an example of the impact that giving circles can have. The Phil has granted about $800,000 to nonprofits serving Joplin, Webb City and Carl Junction since its inception in 2018 by the Joplin Regional Community Foundation. The circle comprises 100 members who donate at least $2,500 in annual dues to the Phil’s fund. Earlier this year, the Phil distributed $175,000 to three organizations in the Joplin area.

“This is an exciting way to engage the next generation of donors,” Kembell says. “Giving circles, such as the Generosity Collective, provide impactful giving by grouping smaller gifts into larger ones.” Like Joplin’s Phil, the Generosity Collective is aiming to acquire 100 members in its first year. It plans to begin making grants in late 2024.

With its potential for inclusivity, collaboration and adaptability, the Generosity Collective is poised to leave a mark on the philanthropic landscape of Springfield.

By Matthew Stewart

Read More from Annual Report FY23 Learn more

Expanding Circles

While the CFO and its affiliates hold nearly 60 funds for giving circles, it has been only recently that CFO affiliates have been establishing and managing their own giving circles. Inspired by the success of the Joplin Regional Community Foundation’s Philanthropic Society, affiliates have started these giving circles in the past year:

• Benton County Philanthropic Society (Benton County Community Foundation)

• Carthage 365 (Carthage Community Foundation)

• Hometown Partners (Aurora Area Community Foundation)

• NVCCF Phil (Nevada/Vernon County Community Foundation)

• The Phil and Friends (Monett Area Community Foundation) 

• RepMo Philanthropic Society (Republic Community Foundation)

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