Grant cycles throughout the year support the work of area nonprofits.
Competitive grants help nonprofits by providing resources for new ideas and ongoing needs for service. In addition to Springfield-Greene County grants, the CFO’s affiliate foundations offer local grant programs for their areas.
Agencies, schools, churches, governments use the CFO.
Strong nonprofits provide better services. That’s the theory behind the CFO’s commitment to nonprofit groups. In addition to investing and managing funds for nonprofits, the CFO provides a wealth of value-added services like training, endowment-building support and cohort-style professional development.
An annual event honoring achievement in service to others.
Since 1990, this award has been presented each year to recognize those who have the courage, wisdom and willingness to sacrifice to make an impact on causes important to their communities. The CFO partners with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, which forms the selection committee.
The award was the brainchild of the late Jewell Thompson Schweitzer, who recognized the need to honor individuals, like Hearld Ambler, left, who provided tax assistance to seniors for many years. She established a fund that includes a cash award that recipients generally donate to their causes.
Special loan programs create a “double-bottom line” to impact communities.
The CFO will consider making below-market loans to help nonprofit organizations finance projects with a public purpose, as well agencies in select categories affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Examples of Mission-Related Investments include a new emergency room in West Plains, a tornado shelter/community room in Chadwick and a new building to provide services to homeless teens in Springfield. The CFO launched Program-Related Investments in December 2020 for nonprofit agencies in three categories — arts and culture, environment and conservation, and animal care and advocacy — that were not emphasized in earlier COVID-related grant rounds.
The loan repayments fuel future projects while investing in needs that might not otherwise qualify for financing. That’s why it’s called a “double-bottom line” that benefits all involved.
Donors establish scholarships to leave a legacy for future generations, honor loved ones and give back to their communities.
The CFO offers a wide range of scholarships for high school seniors, non-traditional students, nursing/medical students and more. The annual scholarship application season opens in February. Volunteer committees make decisions on the scholarship recipients.
Rural Schools Partnership
Local schools strengthen and anchor rural communities.
Since 2009, the CFO has worked to build assets and resources for rural schools through promoting school foundations, building scholarships and training rural educators.
Today, the Rural Schools Partnership and the innovative Ozarks Teacher Corps scholarship program serve as models for other regions of the United States. The CFO works with the Rural Schools Collaborative to generate more resources for rural schools.
Through the Youth Empowerment Project, students learn the principles of giving, volunteering and grantmaking.
In high schools across the region, YEP chapters teach students the value of giving back through grantmaking and volunteering.
YEP chapters are self directed so students and advisors can decide how they can best be of service in their own communities.