Our Programs

The CFO promotes connection, collaboration and leadership.

Rural Schools Partnership

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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.

Grant Programs

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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.

Nonprofit Partners

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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.

Scholarships

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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.

The Northwest Project

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A five-year grant pilots anti-poverty strategies in Springfield neighborhoods.

The CFO’s largest-ever single grant to date is the Northwest Project, a $1.3 million collaborative effort to develop strategies to help northwest Springfield residents emerge from poverty in a sustainable way.

The grant is made possible through partnerships with the Stanley & Elaine Ball Foundation, managed by Central Trust, and the Musgrave Foundation. The project is led by the Drew Lewis Foundation, Missouri State University and Drury University.

Rural Ozarks Health Initiative

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A partnership with the Missouri Foundation for Health works toward healthier lives for rural residents.

This multi-year grant, funded by MFH and administered by the CFO, provides $750,000 for rural affiliate foundations.

In the first phase, affiliate foundations in Carthage, Monett and Cassville received three-year grants totaling $150,000 each for specific initiatives. In addition, the grant is making 10 awards of $10,000 each year for three years to affiliate foundations for smaller-scale projects.

Cause Momentum

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Our project-based crowdfunding platform for nonprofit partners.

The CFO offers its own crowdfunding platform as a value-added service to nonprofit partners. Cause Momentum gives agencies a low-cost option to raise funds online for specific projects, like scholarships raised for Every Child Promise to help more kids attend quality pre-K programs.

Humanitarian Award

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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.

YEP

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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.

Mission-Related Investing

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A special loan program creates a “double-bottom line” to impact communities.

The CFO will consider making below-market loans to help finance projects with a public purpose that aren’t candidates for traditional bank loans. Examples of MRI projects 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 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.

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