Grant Programs Overview

Find Current Grants

Descriptions of the CFO’s broad grantmaking program are listed below. Visit our Foundant portal for current cycles.

The CFO supports community grantmaking programs throughout central and southern Missouri.

These efforts include affiliate community foundations, Metropolitan Springfield, the Missouri Ozarks region, the Youth Empowerment Project program and various specialized fund and grant rounds. The CFO’s fiscal year begins on July 1 and grant programs and deadlines for upcoming fiscal year are announced in early July each year. We invite you to look at all opportunities, which fall into three general categories, along with special grantmaking for COVID-19 recovery. Please contact Vice President of Programs Bridget Dierks with any questions.

COVID-19 Recovery Grantmaking

Metropolitan Springfield Grants

Regional & Affiliate Grants

Specialty Grants

COVID-19 Recovery Grantmaking

The CFO is committed to helping communities across central and southern Missouri recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic through the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

Ozarks Early Childhood Support Grant Program

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is committed to achieving positive impact with regard to broad community issues in its rural service area. Addressing one component of a large-scale issue, however, is not effective without also working in tandem on other aspects of that community challenge. Given the key role childcare for children ages 6 weeks to pre-K plays in the successful employment of parents and in increasing financial outcomes for families, the CFO has committed to supporting nonprofit early childhood centers in their endeavor to ensure low income children have access to quality early childhood and that nonprofit early childhood centers are fully staffed during this recovery phase of the pandemic.

Program Goals and Details: A total of $300,000 is available in the Ozarks Early Childhood Support Grant program, with awards capped at $30,000 per nonprofit childcare facility. This program will support nonprofit childcare centers serving children ages 6 weeks to pre-K in their efforts to increase agency capacity to serve children in low income communities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many nonprofit childcare centers were forced to lay off and/or reduce staff hours, which has created a crisis of childcare in rural Missouri. This grant program seeks to support quality childcare returning to full capacity and supporting low income families as they return to work.

Examples of uses of the fund include using these dollars to subsidize childcare costs for families for an initial period of time as parents secure work, supporting bridging the childcare cost gap for families who await approval of childcare subsidy from state sources, increasing staff as a whole by opening up new classrooms and hiring staff for those classrooms, moving staff members from full time to part time, or increasing income levels to incentivize and fill open childcare positions in the facility. The CFO encourages applicant agencies to factor livable income as a component of their proposal to increase staff capacity.

What Agencies are Eligible? Eligible nonprofit childcare centers must be in good standing with 501(c)3 nonprofit status or must be under the tax umbrella of a church which houses its program. Public school or city/local government early childhood programs are not eligible for this grant program. Agencies must be in strict alignment with the CFO's nondiscrimination policy (see below). Organizations which have childcare facilities in multiple locations under the same nonprofit umbrella may complete applications for individual facilities as long as they meet the requirements below and are input into the system as unique agency profiles with unique applications. Please contact Bridget Dierks if your organization has questions about eligibility. Eligible nonprofit childcare centers must be licensed and in good standing with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services via their Licensing Rules for Group Child Care Centers.

Coover Regional Vaccination Initiative

The CFO is pleased to partner with the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation, managed by Commerce Trust Company, to offer the Coover Regional Vaccination Initiative. Participating affiliate foundations that encourage citizens across central and southern Missouri to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will have a chance to win a grant, with a total of $60,000 available through the Coover Charitable Foundation and the CFO’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

The Coover Regional Vaccination Initiative is an opportunity for affiliate foundations to collaborate with community partners, support the work of agencies delivering vaccinations and leverage the affiliate foundation’s leadership role to urge vaccinations. The CFO encourages affiliate foundations to be creative in their efforts and supportive of existing vaccination efforts in their communities.

Only CFO affiliate foundations are eligible to register for this program. The deadline for affiliates to opt in to the program was Aug. 6 — 28 regional affiliate foundations are participating in this program.

Metropolitan Springfield Grantmaking Programs

Metropolitan Springfield grant programs are exclusively for agencies serving Springfield and Greene County. Many of these programs support innovative concepts, encourage collective impact models and focus on addressing the Red Flags identified in the Community Focus Report for Springfield and Greene County.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Grant Program

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is committed to achieving positive impact with regard to issues of diversity, inclusion and equity in the Springfield-Greene County community. Ideal agency candidates will impact systems and norms with short term changes in issue visibility, interim changes in norms and practices and ultimately long term changes which positively impact Springfield and Greene County. Clear, sharp goals focused on the impact applicant organizations strive to achieve will aid the committee in the selection process. Ideal proposals focus on work in increasing civic participation, changing public norms, and improving community conditions for marginalized communities.

  • A total of $100,000 is available in the Springfield-Greene County Diversity and Inclusion Grant Program, with awards capped at $25,000.
  • Applications for the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Grant Program are due by Oct. 15, 2021.
  • For questions or additional information, please contact: Bridget Dierks, Vice President of Programs, at (417) 864-6199.
  • Agencies based in Springfield-Greene County also may apply for the Ozarks Inclusive Opportunity Program, funded through the CFO’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund.

Collective Impact Grant Program

The CFO is committed to achieving positive impact with regard to broad community issues Springfield-Greene County. Addressing one component of a large-scale issue, however, is not effective without also working in tandem on other aspects of that community challenge. In an effort to align the efforts of organizations seeking to improve upon these key issues, the CFO will award proposals outlining collaborative efforts of three or more organizations which address red flags outlined in the 2021 Community Focus Report and the 2021 Community Focus Report white papers. These white papers can be found on the Community Focus Report website. For more information about the Collective Impact model, visit the Collective Impact Forum.

Proposals shall address red flag issues in the 2021 Community Focus Report and its white papers, with agencies working on a common agenda with continuous communication and mutually agreed-upon roles. Additionally, agencies working collaboratively will be expected to identify a mutually agreed-upon evaluation or measurement process in order to quantify impact and potentially provide evidence-based solutions to challenges facing Springfield and Greene County.

  • A total of $180,000 is available in the Springfield-Greene County Springfield Collective Impact Grant program, with awards capped at $40,000.
  • The program will open Aug. 23; applications are due by Nov. 5, 2021.
  • For questions or additional information, please contact: Bridget Dierks, Vice President of Programs, at (417) 864-6199.
  • This program does not involve a matching component from the CFO; however other matching, leverage, and in-kind opportunities are strongly encouraged and may be outlined in this grant application in the budget portion. Risk of failure will not be a deterrent for the grant selection committee as innovative ideas are strongly encouraged.

Musgrave Foundation Grantmaking

The CFO administers grantmaking for the Musgrave Foundation in partnership with U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

The Jerry Redfern Grant Program, named in memory of the longtime director of the Musgrave Foundation, will offer grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 for projects that address the focus areas established by founder Jeannette L. Musgrave. These include children and youth, families with low incomes, and people without stable housing. The deadline for proposals is 11:45 p.m., Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.

The second year of the Musgrave Multi-Year Impact Grant Program will be announced in spring 2022, along with a grant round focused on arts and culture in conjunction with Springfield Regional Arts Council.

Senior Issues Grant Program

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks Springfield-Greene County Senior Issues grant program is a collaborative project with the Greene County Senior Services’ Tax Fund Board. Requested program support should be designed to effectively enhance and improve the health, nutrition and quality of life of persons in Greene County aged 60 and older. Quantitative outcome improvements for existing programming or proposed program outcome goals for new programming would be included with successful proposal requests. The deadline for this grant round is ongoing, with proposals reviewed every two months.

To learn more about this grant program and to view the application, visit the Greene County Senior Citizens’ Services Fund page.

Early Childhood Education and Literacy Initiative

The CFO and the Darr Family Foundation have awarded this grant to The Every Child Promise and partners. It is in year five of five of funding; a new recipient will not be selected this year.

For questions about this program, contact Heather Zoromski, Executive Director of the Darr Family Foundation, or call (417) 888-1495.

Regional & Affiliate Grantmaking

Ozarks Early Childhood Support Program (detailed above)

Ozarks Inclusive Opportunity Program

The Ozarks Inclusive Opportunity Grant Program supports small grant requests to ensure equitable participation and engagement in local communities. Agencies may apply at any time to support expenses related to ensuring diverse voices are represented in leadership roles and students are provided equitable opportunity for community engagement and leadership. Agencies may apply for up to $1,000.

Lead applicant agencies must be nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations, government entities, school districts, or tax exempt faith based organizations, located in the CFO’s service region (including Springfield-Greene County). Agencies may receive no more than two grants from this program within a fiscal year.

A total of $20,000 is available in the Ozarks Inclusive Opportunity Grant Program, with awards capped at $1,000.

In awarding grants, the CFO will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status. As part of the grant process, all grantees will be required to affirm that, in providing services funded in whole or in part by a CFO grant, the grantee will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status either in its employment practices or in its policies and procedures concerning access to services.

Regional Affiliate Foundation Community Grantmaking

The CFO’s 53 regional affiliate foundations each administer grantmaking programs to benefit their respective communities. To find a community grant program in your area, please visit the affiliate overview or the list of programs currently open.

Coover Placed-Based Education Program

The CFO’s administers grantmaking on behalf of the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation managed by Commerce Trust Co., which designates a portion of annual grantmaking funds for place-based education projects for rural schools. More information about the 2022 grant round will be announced at a later date.

Specialty Grants

The Community Foundation of Ozarks manages specialty grant funds established by donors who would like to have a positive impact on a specific field of donor interest. These funds are for a large spectrum of community needs and are sometimes relatively specific in their purpose. Please note the following grant programs and their purposes, which have varying due dates.

Unless otherwise noted, contact Ashley Fleming for more information on the Specialty Grants.

Charles L. and Dorothy Weaver Memorial Orthodontic Grant

Support for orthodontic services

The Weaver Orthodontic Grant provides three scholarships annually for full-treatment orthodontic services for individuals age 10–30 in the southern Missouri Ozarks region who meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant must be within the age range of 10 to 30 years of age, with a full set of permanent teeth already in place.
  • Applicant must be within the service area of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (southern Missouri Ozarks region).
  • Applicant must be within driving range of and the ability to travel to the participating orthodontist’s offices in the Springfield Metro Area for the full 20 to 30+ month timeline for optimum treatment outcomes and must have a means of transportation to orthodontic appointments through a parent or guardian or have the ability to self-transport.
  • Applicants must have access to a general dentist who will continue to provide cleaning and maintenance requirements during the span of treatment by the orthodontist.
  • Financial need of applicant must be established through eligibility for participation in the Federal Free Lunch program through the school they attend or, if not in school, proof of qualification for Medicaid.

Explore the Ozarks Fund Grant

Support for experiential conservation education opportunities for K-12 students in the Ozarks

The Explore the Ozarks Fund is dedicated to creating and providing access to experiential conservation education opportunities for K-12 students in the Ozarks. Grants made from the Fund for conservation education must be matched by the grantee/receiving organization on a 1:1 basis. Match dollars must be substantiated to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and must include additional dollars raised not in-kind support. Conservation education grants may include, but are not limited to: Programming and curriculum design, construction, materials and training; Transportation costs for field trips/experimental learning; and Field trip entry costs for students and teachers.
Contact: Caitlin Golike

L.E.A.H. (Lending Every Amputee Hope) Grant

Assistance for those with current or ongoing need of care for amputation

Application for assistance is based on current or on going need of amputation. Applications for assistance will be individually evaluated by a committee after completion of this form and verification from your health care provider of medical condition. Preference is given to but not limited to those residing in Southwest Missouri. Maximum amount available is $150 per year/per person to be used towards but not limited to medical/DME supplies or items from prosthetic companies to improve the quality of life for individuals with challenges associated with limp amputation.

Ripley Butler Clay Fund for the Arts

Support for artists in Ripley, Clay or Butler counties

The Ripley Butler Clay Fund for the Arts provides one $2,500 grant annually to an artist who resides in either Ripley or Butler County in Missouri or in Clay County, Ark. This grant program is designed to promote the visual arts in this region by providing grant funding to an artist who exhibits potential and/or is an established artist.

Indigent Cremation Fund (for county coroner offices)

Reimbursement grants to support indigent cremation

A was established in 2007 by the City of St. Louis Circuit Court to help the CFO reimburse county or city governments to help cover the cost of indigent cremation. The case settlement was split between three community foundations in the state, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. Each community foundation serves a geographical area of the state; the CFO’s is 58 counties south of the Missouri river.
Contact: Millie Schuchmann

The Ellis Fund

Support for pediatric cancer

The Ellis Fund is designed to assist families in need with a child (18 or younger) diagnosed with cancer with expenses beyond their ability to pay. Families residing in Greene, Christian, Stone and Taney counties are eligible to apply for assistance. Families who have outstanding medical bills for a child in remission, yet there are still follow-up medical appointments, also will be considered for support.

Paisley Collins Memorial Foundation

Support for pediatric cancer

The Paisley Collins Memorial Foundation has been created to assist families in need with a child (18 or younger) diagnosed with cancer with expenses beyond their ability to pay. Preference is given to but not limited to those residing in Christian, Douglas, Greene, Howell, Jasper, Newton, Stone, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright counties.

Lennie Cloud Fund for the Hearing Impaired

Support for programs and services for the hearing impaired

The Lennie Cloud Fund for the Hearing Impaired supports a nonprofit agency located in the CFO service area which provides programming to assist individuals in the Ozarks who are hearing impaired. Equipment, programming or training to assist hearing impaired individuals are eligible for application. Approximately $500 will be available to one agency for this program each year.

Jerry & Tac Caplan Midlife Initiative Fund

Support for women making a career change in midlife

The Jerry & Tac Caplan Midlife Initiative Fund will provide one grant of up to $1,000 to support a Springfield, Missouri, woman in mid-life who is working to change the course of her life and take more control over what happens to her. Preference will be given to women in poverty who are nonwhite or who have a physical or mental disability. Applications must be made on behalf of an individual through a nonprofit organization; the grant will be provided to the nonprofit organization to administer.

William E. Eslick Fund

Support for capital improvements made by Southern Baptist Churches in Greene County

The William E. Eslick Fund supports capital projects for Southern Churches located in Greene County, Missouri. Grant applications must not include operational costs; funds can be requested as part of a larger capital project. The Eslick Fund will provide $1,000 to one Greene County, Missouri, Southern Baptist Church annually.

The Senior and Dorinda’s Dream Funds

Assistance with end-of-life wishes

The Dorinda’s Dream Fund and the Senior Dream Fund were established to provide financial support for end-of-life wishes of adults diagnosed with a terminal illness who are under hospice care. The Dorinda’s Dream fund supports patients who are between the ages of 18-65; the Senior Dreams Fund supports patients over the age of 65. These funds primarily support partial or full airline ticket costs of a loved one or a applicant/patient to make a final connection before the passing of said patient; however, applications for a meaningful activity for the patient may also be submitted. Funds will be distributed through the applicant’s hospice care provider.

Norma A. Carolla Scholarship Fund for Professional Hospice Caregivers

Continuing education scholarships for hospice nurses

The Norma A. Carolla Scholarship Fund for Professional Hospice Caregivers supports continuing education efforts of hospice caregivers in the Springfield area. Partial or total reimbursement may be made to attend continuing education programs and conferences. Applicants must be employees of a Medicare certified hospice program. Payment will be made to hospice caregiver employer upon submission of receipts by recipient.

Helen M. Delano Fund

Crisis support for families of firefighters and police officers

The Helen M. Delano Fund supports the families of Springfield firefighters or police officers injured or killed in the line of duty. Two $2,000 grants will be provided annually. Applications must be made on behalf of an individual through the City of Springfield or the local police or firefighter union; grant will be provided to the organization to administer.

The Caplan Holocaust Fund

Support for Holocaust education for individuals in the region

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks invites educators, faith leaders and concerned individuals to visit and learn at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center in order to educate others about the Nazi Holocaust and other historic and contemporary genocides and other war crimes. This grant program provides funds via reimbursement of a 501(c)3 organizations or other IRS approved charitable entities (government entities, school districts, and churches) to support travel (mileage), hotel accommodation, and a per diem food expense for individuals to attend the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center. This grant is available to the entire CFO service area.

The Kramer Holocaust Fund

Support for Holocaust education for individuals in Springfield-Greene County

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks invites educators, faith leaders, and concerned individuals to visit and learn at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. in order to educate others about the Nazi Holocaust and other historic and contemporary genocides and other war crimes. This grant program provides funds via reimbursement of a 501(c)3 organizations or other IRS approved charitable entities (government entities, school districts, and churches) to support travel (flight from Springfield, MO to Washington, D.C.), hotel accommodation, and a per diem food expense for individuals to attend the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. This grant is available only to residents of Springfield-Greene County.

MS Wellness Fund established by Janie Brunette RN MSN and Linda L. Duncan

Support for individuals with multiple sclerosis

This fund supports patients living with multiple sclerosis who are patients of Jordan Valley Health Center.

The Wounded War Veterans Grant Program

Support for wounded veterans
The Wounded War Veterans Grant Program seeks to provide funding for programs that serve the needs of our wounded war veterans. This grant supports a nonprofit agency located in Southwest Missouri which provides programming to support wounded war veterans. Equipment, programming, or training to assist in supporting these individuals are eligible for application. This grant will provide $2,000 to one agency in summer 2021.

The Smith Atwell Girls Recreational Grant Program

Support for agencies in Greene County

The Smith Atwell Girls Recreational Grant Program seeks to provide funding for programs that empower and encourage girls and young women to be involved in athletic and outdoor recreational opportunities. This grant supports a nonprofit agency located in Greene County, Missouri which provides programming to support athletic and outdoor recreational opportunities for girls and young women. Equipment, programming, or training to assist in supporting athletic and recreational opportunities for girls and young women are eligible for application.

The Shelly Sachs Foundation

Support for cancer patients

This fund supports individuals who are managing current or ongoing consequences of treatment related to cancer. Applications for assistance will be individually evaluated by a committee after completion of a form and verification from a health care provider concerning cancer status. Preference is given but not limited to those residing in Christian, Douglas, Greene, Howell, Jasper, Newton, Stone, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright counties. Maximum amount available is $300. Assistance for the following will be considered: pharmacy prescriptions not covered by insurance (copy of invoice required), insurance copayment (copy of invoice required), durable medical equipment (copy of invoice required), nutritional assistance, and transportation costs related to medical visits (hotel/gas).

How to Apply for Specialty Grants

Details and applications for these programs are found under the Specialty Grants category here.

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