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Missouri Community Foundations Find Common Ground and Make a Stand

Collaboration, cooperation and coordination are good words, especially when all three can be used to describe an action.  Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri (CFNWMO) and nine other Missouri community foundations are collaborating, cooperating and coordinating in the funding and creation of a Transfer of Wealth (TOW) study.

On March 5, 2013, USDA Rural Development Missouri State Director Janie Dunning hosted an event announcing the funding of a Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) to complete the TOW study.  The impetus for submitting the RBOG application came when Secretary Tom Vilsack attended the foundation’s annual meeting in January 2012.

In announcing the award, State Director Dunning stressed the involvement of Missouri’s community foundations in the effort. CFNWMO is serving as the recipient of the RBOG on behalf of other Missouri foundations. Foundations from around the state are actively involved in the transfer of wealth study by serving on regional advisory committees and providing matching funds.

“Transfer of wealth studies attempt to identify untapped resources,” Dunning said. “Rural Development is well aware of the need of communities and organizations to locate new funding sources that is why the study funded for the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri is critical to future projects’ success.”

A transfer of wealth study’s goal is to identify household estate wealth within communities.  In addition, the study establishes an estimate of the amount of that wealth to be transferred from the current generation to the next. This estimate will be used by foundations and other organizations in an attempt to capture and maintain the wealth in the communities for the benefit of generations to come. Sustaining wealth through charitable giving and philanthropic efforts is a key component in community and economic development. Foundations have a significant role to play in achieving protection of a community’s resources.

Mary Hinde, President/CEO, said, “The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri, Inc. has joined with the other nine community foundations in Missouri to partner with USDA knowing the collaborative effort will advance the sustainability and vitality of our shared Midwest region.  It is only through strategic planning in the private sector, (like the TOW analysis), partnering with federal organizations, and global competiveness can we achieve our potential in Missouri.”

This study will be conducted for all counties in Missouri.  The results of this study will provide technical assistance that will be beneficial to various entities including local governments, businesses, economic developers and others.  Economic growth and development is the expected overall result of this project.  The Rural Policy Research Institute’s Center for Rural Entrepreneurship will conduct the study. Results should be available in June, 2013.

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