Community Foundation Awards $100,000 in COVID-19 Recovery Grants

by Aaron Scott

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is awarding $100,000 to nine agencies in its second round of monthly COVID-19 Regional Recovery Grants.

These grants are intended to help sustain valued nonprofit services and programs through the downturn in fundraising and other financial resources during the pandemic. This grantmaking is open to nonprofit agencies across the CFO’s 58-county service area, which is also served by 50 regional affiliate foundations.

The nine grants awarded this week, with local affiliate foundations listed in parentheses, include:

  • All Aboard Learning Center: $5,000 to support its childcare program in Cuba for children ages 6 weeks to 13 years (Crawford County Foundation)
  • Art Feeds: $5,000 to support its operations providing trauma-informed care through art therapy for elementary schools in Carthage (Carthage Community Foundation)
  • Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri: $15,000 to support its physical and mental health programs in Joplin and southwest Missouri (Joplin Regional Community Foundation)
  • Isabel’s House: $10,000 to support its operations providing crisis care to children in the Springfield area
  • Lake Area Helping Hands: $5,000 to support care for homeless women, children and men in Camden, Miller, Morgan and Laclede counties (Community Foundation of the Lake)
  • SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging: $10,000 to support its operations providing meals, support and services for seniors in southwest Missouri
  • Springfield Ballet: $20,000 to support its operations after the cancellation of many income-producing events
  • United Way of the Ozarks: $20,000 to support its operations as it assists other nonprofit agencies with COVID-19 response in Springfield and southwest Missouri
  • Watershed Committee of the Ozarks: $10,000 to support its operations to keep the Springfield community’s water clean through projects and education

The grants follow a first round totaling $100,000 awarded in July. The next round of recipients will be announced in late September. Agencies can apply for up to 25 percent of their annual operating budget, with awards capped at $20,000. Agencies can begin the application process at cfozarks.org/applyforgrants. This program is open to 501(c)3 nonprofits and IRS-equivalent organizations like education, faith and civic agencies. The CFO does not make grants directly to individuals.

The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund was established in March with an initial $1 million commitment by the CFO and its 50 regional affiliate foundations, Missouri Foundation for Health and the Coover Charitable Foundation. Generous donors have since contributed more than $712,000 to support this grantmaking. The CFO is committing an additional $1 million to COVID-19 discretionary grantmaking in the 2021 fiscal year with support from MFH, the Coover Charitable Foundation and additional donor support.

Since launching the fund, the CFO has granted more than $1.6 million through various discretionary programs. Total COVID-related grantmaking by the CFO, including grants from donor-advised and employee benevolence funds, is more than $2.6 million.

The CFO encourages all who are able to donate to a nonprofit in need or the CFO’s COVID-19 fund. Gifts can be made at cfozarks.org/donate.

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