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Bob Gerding (CFCM Chair), Teresa Maledy (CFCM founding Chair) and John Baker (CFCM Executive Director)

Giving back and strengthening the local community is at the core of the Community Foundation of Central Missouri (CFCM). As an independent, nonprofit organization, CFCM seeks to match financial donors with causes they are passionate about. By offering low-cost, highly-effective ways to create permanent revenue streams to fund non-profit services, CFCM is building a foundation for which local charities can grow and succeed.

Similar Art, Different Canvas

John Baker, current Executive Director of Community Foundation, stepped into his position in late July 2011 after 30 years as senior pastor of churches. He worked in the congregational settings to build community within his church’s organization, and his experience has proved a valuable asset to CFCM. “This work for the Community Foundation is similar–building community,” says Baker, with a smile on his face. “It’s a similar art, but on a different canvas.” He is still encouraging the strengthening of community by seeking to motivate people to become philanthropists who will perform charitable acts of kindness through their generosity.

Supporting a Thriving Cause

The Community Foundation of Central Missouri, announced publicly in 2010, consists of an effective board of 21 diverse key civic leaders of Columbia. Alongside John stands Bob Gerding, current Chair, and Teresa Maledy, founding Chair. Other community-minded volunteers have been with the Foundation since its beginning.

In mid-July 2011, CFCM had 9 funds and roughly $250,000 under management. Currently, they have 45 funds and approximately $2.5 million dollars to manage or administer for charitable services in Central Missouri.  One of the Community Foundation’s current themes is to encourage owners of every estate, larger or smaller, to designate at least 5% to be invested in a permanent fund, such as those offered by the Community Foundation, for charitable purposes now and in the future. As of August 2013, $71,000 has already been disbursed to local Missouri charities.

Create a Fund You’re Passionate About

Often donors choose to give a sizable financial contribution granting them the opportunity to create a fund and determine the fund’s future. CFCM offers several types of funds with a range of donor involvement: Donor-Advised Fund, Field of Interest Fund, Designated Fund, Scholarship Fund, or Unrestricted Fund.

  • —  Donor-Advised: The donor provides a donation to establish a fund and then periodically recommends uses for the fund to support causes the donor cares about most; a DAF is an excellent, low-cost alternative to a private foundation. The donor can add the fund at any time. Invested donations grow tax-free for this and all fund types and the donor receives a tax deduction immediately for the year the donation to establish the fund is made.
  • —  Field of Interest: The donor establishes a fund and instructs that grants be given towards a particular program area, such as education, health, a geographical area, etc., rather than restricting money to one organization.
  • —  Designated: The donor provides funding to establish a fund and instructs that grant dollars to go to a specific charity, usually in perpetuity.
  • —  Scholarship: The donor invests in the future by establishing a fund to help deserving students (pre-school to grad school); donors can specify eligibility requirements.
  • —  Unrestricted Fund: Unrestricted Funds allow the donor to establish an endowment fund in the name of their choice, thus creating a legacy; distribution is at the discretion of the board for timely or timeless needs. Donors may also simply donate to the Community Foundation’s own restricted fund.

Creating a Presence

With a successful Community Foundation in place, an online identity was imperative to reach a more expansive range of potential donors and financial advisors. As an organization focused on building community, CFCM attempts to keep business expenses local. “MayeCreate has helped us refine our internet presence,” John says, “and we are glad to have an ongoing relationship with this young and effective company.”

The CFCM website developed from a clear agenda: build CFCM’s credibility, educate the public, non-profits and financial advisors about ways to give, create awareness of services offered, and serve as a resource for financial advisors and nonprofits.

To provide effortless donation, the CFCM website clearly displays a “Donate Now” button conveniently located on the homepage. Updated news articles, charity listings, and new campaign promotions offer the community a chance learn about CFCM and discover convenient ways to get involved.

Growing With the Times

The world of non-profit organizations is constantly changing and modernizing. With blogs, email marketing and social media acting as networking vehicles, CFCM saw an untapped resource. John was very interested in what MayeCreate could do with an online fundraising campaign, “CoMoGives,” the Community Foundation’s big, Fall-Winter campaign.

The interactive website will be styled around a game format, creating a fun, user-friendly forum for people to easily donate online to their favorite charities during the campaign in December. Each charity’s total donations will be displayed proudly on the campaign “leaderboard” building a spirit of good-natured competition.

In addition to donations, CFCM will give 4 matching gifts to those charities who reach certain challenge levels. John hopes the upcoming campaign will not only raise money for local charitable needs, but to “raise the profile of CFCM, enabling more people to be engaged philanthropically as they become part of our family of funds.”

Information With Ease

The CoMoGives website provides a wealth of information from charity bios, to instantly-updated leaderboards showcasing a charity’s current donations, to easy access for rules, frequently-asked questions, and a blog for campaign updates.

A Support Staff for Success

The MayeCreate staff will provide support for email marketing and social media efforts throughout the campaign. “We want to ensure all the necessary steps are taken for a successful event,” says Monica Pitts, founder of MayeCreate Design, “using social media helps you reach more people who can help you champion your own cause so the ability to give is even more accessible.”

The new CoMoGives website will act as a base for future campaigns. The website can be easily updated at any time, eliminating future advertising charges each year to fund the same campaign.

MayeCreate stands behind CFCM, helping them create the vehicle for long-term donation investments by providing accessibility through functional, thoughtful web design, and with a staff whose service continues to be “inspiring.”

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