CFO expands grantmaking for diversity, equity and inclusion

Springfield, MO—The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is expanding its grantmaking to address issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, both in the Springfield metro area and across the CFO’s 58-county service region.

For several years, the CFO has awarded grants to support diversity and inclusion projects in Springfield and Greene County. But as calls for social justice and racial equity spread across the world following the killings of Black Americans in the spring, the CFO and its board decided to accelerate its grantmaking to pursue equitable solutions in central and southern Missouri.

“Racism and intolerance are roadblocks to the pursuit of our mission to improve the quality of life for everyone in our region,” CFO President Brian Fogle said. “We hope that philanthropy — with flexible, creative capital — can contribute to the progress needed to heal our nation.”

This expanded grantmaking will be dedicated to three separate programs:

The Springfield-Greene County Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Grant Program will support projects to bring awareness of issues of diversity, equity and inclusion to public light while impacting and improving the quality of life for under-served and underrepresented individuals. Ideal applicants will pursue short-term changes in issue visibility, interim changes in norms and practices, and long-term changes that positively impact Springfield and Greene County. Agencies with a focus on equity as the primary goal of the organization will be prioritized for funding. A total of $80,000 is available, with awards capped at $20,000. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 30.

The Ozarks Inclusive Opportunity Fund will support small grant requests to ensure equitable participation and engagement in local communities across the CFO’s service region. 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. A total of $20,000 is available, and agencies may apply for up to $1,000. Agencies may receive no more than two grants from this program within a fiscal year.

The Community Diversity and Equity Director will work with Community Partnership of the Ozarks to advance diversity and equity across the community, breaking down structural barriers to opportunity, and creating infrastructure for all community institutions that want to develop a culture of equity and inclusion. This position will be funded by a grant from the CFO for the first year. For more information, visit www.cpozarks.org/job-opportunities/

In addition to this grantmaking, the CFO is working to implement the Inclusive Excellence Model to promote inclusive organizational culture and opportunities. The CFO also will promote the Inclusive Excellence Model to other organizations within the community.