A Community Thrives (Photo: USA TODAY Network)
Two organizations in Springfield and one in Joplin have applied for the 2020 A Community Thrives program, which is a $2.3 million initiative of the Gannett Foundation.
The program is sponsored by the News-Leader’s parent company, Gannett.
The nationwide crowdfunding and grant program is in its fourth year of supporting organizations that address social issues including education, housing, arts and culture, wellness and the environment.
A Community Thrives FAQ: What is it and how can Missouri nonprofits apply to fundraise, be considered for grants?
Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield, Lester E. Cox Medical Center and Joplin’s Solace House of the Ozarks LLC are seeking funding through the grant.
Typically, organizations apply to raise money for a specific community-building project. Accepted organizations will work to raise funds on their own through a crowdfunding campaign, then may be eligible for 16 major grants to be awarded across the country: three for $100,000, seven for $50,000 and six for $25,000. Those grants will go toward helping the organizations execute their proposed projects. Separate incentives will be offered to reward top fundraisers.
Opportunity for Missouri nonprofits: Gannett Foundation relaunches multimillion-dollar crowdfunding, grant program
Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield’s mission is to enable all young people, especially “those who need us most,” to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
Director of Development Didem Koroglu said the Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield have had to make several changes during the pandemic.
In the past, the club locations were open throughout the week with shorter hours. Now, they are focused on longer days for Monday-Friday. Children are served meals throughout the day while at Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield.
“We are providing a virtual support, education system to SPS students who are actually seated,” Koroglu said Thursday in a phone interview.
The youth development professionals’ roles have changed from after-school providers to now helping with school work before it is time for club activities.
“If you come to the clubs right now, you would see everyone set up, everyone has their Zoom meetings, and all of our staff is helping them with that learning,” Koroglu said.
Because of online learning, staff have had to especially focus on helping students in kindergarten and first grade.
“It’s been very challenging to get them on Zoom and maintain with their teachers,” Koroglu said. “This is where we come in and help.”
Of course, nobody within Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield anticipated this pandemic.
“We didn’t really budget for all of this,” Koroglu said.
Not only is the club itself fundraising to accommodate for these financial changes, they are also wanting to raise money to help the families they serve.
“We put our mission first, and we never turn anyone down,” Koroglu said. “That’s why we applied for this grant as well to make sure all of that money that we would use or support people who can’t pay for their memberships, so we can give more scholarships out.”
Because of COVID-19, several in-person fundraising events, like the Steak & Steak dinner, were canceled.
“That has hit our budget bad,” Koroglu said. “The needs of our kids don’t stop.”
Outside of the Gannett grant, Koroglu said the clubs are doing what they can to make up those monetary losses. They are also in the midst of a capital campaign to open a new club at Williams Elementary in October 2021. Of the $1.2 million goal, they’ve already raised $890,000 for the location.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield’s fundraising efforts may be found at https://acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/organization/Boys-And-Girls-Clubs-Of-Springfield.
Lester E. Cox Medical Center provides care from birth through the age of 18, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at CoxHealth assists children with all types of medical situations, whether from illness or injury. They are hoping to expand the CoxHealth CARE Mobile and the fundraiser is at https://acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/organization/Lester-E-Cox-Medical-Centers.
Solace House of the Ozarks LLC provides a home “filled with kindness for those at life’s end and a haven of support for caregivers.” Solace House of the Ozarks provides this home-like place for guests who are in their last 30 days of life. Their trained volunteers provide 24/7 care in conjunction with each guest’s hospice provider. Guests and their families are not charged for staying at Solace House. They do not bill Medicare, Medicaid or private insurances and rely on donations and grants. Their fundraiser is at https://acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Solace-House-Of-The-Ozarks.
Last year, four grants were awarded to three Springfield-area nonprofits: the downtown U.school received $2,500, and FosterAdopt Connect and Care to Learn each received $3,750; Care to Learn also received a $25,000 national grant to expand its Mobile Clothing Closet Project, which provides new clothing that is distributed to students in need through school nurses’ offices.
Other Missouri organizations applying include:
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