Community Foundation of the Ozarks Inc. hit a historical milestone the day before Giving Tuesday.
The nonprofit yesterday topped $500 million in grants and distributions since its inception in 1973, according to a news release.
“As I reflect on our 48-year history and the impact that $500 million has had, it comes with a reverence of those who founded the CFO in 1973, of the volunteers and staff who came before us and the nonprofit agencies who do the work on the ground of educating, caring for and enriching our region," CFO President Brian Fogle said in the release. "Most of all, however, it comes with a gratitude of the thousands of donors who cared enough to share their resources selflessly to make for a better world.”
CFO spokesperson Aaron Scott said CFO's giving highlights include more than $5 million in its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund since March 2020; a $1.3 million grant to the Northwest Project poverty initiative in 2016; and $6.1 million in grants to Joplin tornado recovery efforts in partnership with the Joplin Regional Community Foundation.
CFO's first grant came in 1975, when the nonprofit distributed $10,000 to help fund Dickerson Park Zoo's petting zoo. The figure of over $500 million to date comprises competitive grants, donor-advised funds’ grants, scholarships and distributions to nonprofit partners, according to the release.
CFO is the 69th largest U.S. community foundation in terms of assets and the ninth busiest in transaction volume, according to a recent Columbus Survey, which collects data to examine financial trends and operational activity for U.S. community foundations. CFO's assets were $394 million as of June 30.
In fiscal 2021, nearly 94% of grants and distributions through CFO stayed in Missouri, according to the release. The Springfield organization has 53 regional affiliate foundations.
The release this morning comes on Giving Tuesday, a day during which nonprofits worldwide run fundraising campaigns.
A baked goods vendor at Farmers Market of the Ozarks expanded to a brick-and-mortar operation; the first lending center for Old Missouri Bank opened; and London Calling Pasty Co. added a new food truck.