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Christos House meets CFO Endowment Match Challenge


Christos House successfully completed the special 50th anniversary Endowment Match Challenge set by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, officials have announced.

Christos House, an agency partner of the CFO and the Community Foundation of West Plains, raised $15,200 between July 15 and Aug. 15, earning a $10,000 matching grant from the CFO for its endowment.

Christos House was among 10 nonprofits, serving communities from Joplin to Cape Girardeau, to succeed in their fundraising efforts. More than $250,000 is now permanently endowed for the perpetual benefit of these agencies, which also include the Springfield-based Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, Cabool Education Foundation, Cape Girardeau Public Schools Foundation, Care to Learn in Springfield, Jasper County CASA, and Springfield organizations Ozark Greenways, Springfield Dream Center, Springfield Sister Cities Association and Watershed (formerly Watershed Committee of the Ozarks).

The challenge grants were presented during the CFO’s Agency Partner Appreciation Luncheon on Tuesday at the White River Conference Center in Springfield. In a keynote address, C.J. Huff, former superintendent of Joplin School District, drew from his experiences in disaster recovery to offer advice for nonprofit leaders facing burnout and stress. Both the challenge grants and the luncheon were part of the CFO’s 50th anniversary celebration and exemplify the foundation’s work to strengthen local nonprofits, say officials.

“It takes a wise leader to build an endowment now for needs in the future,” said Bridget Dierks, vice president of programs for the CFO. “Even after we are gone, these endowments will continue to provide meaningful impact to our communities.”

Through the CFO’s Agency Partner program, more than 700 nonprofits across central and southern Missouri have established funds with the CFO. In addition to fund management, the CFO provides its agency partners with a range of services including staff training, administrative support, networking opportunities and leadership and board development. 

How Endowments Work

- Gifts to an endowment are permanently protected.

- The endowment is invested and managed for growth. Historically, the CFO’s investments grow about 7% annually, but are subject to market fluctuations.

- Each year, a percentage of the endowment — currently 4% — is available for the agency to use as needed. The agency can use that money or keep it invested.

- As the endowment grows, the amount made available each year grows as well.

Founded in 1973, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks is marking its 50th anniversary in 2023 as the region’s largest public charitable foundation serving a network of donors, 54 regional affiliate foundations — including the Community Foundation of West Plains — and nonprofit partners across central and southern Missouri through its mission of resource development, community grantmaking, collaboration and public leadership.