Making Meaningful and Lasting Change

The Community Foundation for Mississippi’s mission is to connect donors, communities and nonprofits together to make meaningful and lasting change - for Mississippi, for good. Forever. We have seen time and time again that amid a disaster, Mississippi’s charitable and philanthropic sectors spring to action, working together to connect resources to needs. During Jackson’s water crisis, charities mobilized quickly to meet local needs while donors near and far stepped up for good through CFM’s Helping Friends and Neighbors Fund, activated to respond to disasters and emergencies in central and southwest Mississippi.  

Our ability to respond to local needs is steeped in our knowledge of the communities we serve, recognizing gaps and opportunities that arise for philanthropic interventions. When Jackson’s water crisis revealed a crucial gap in the effort to quickly connect resources to needs, our team created a “Ways to Help” page. This became a centralized hub with vetted and easily accessible information connecting both Jackson residents and people across the country to charities and causes to support on the front lines of the crisis. This effort gained such momentum that it was covered by media outlets across that nation searching for ways to help! With our ear to the ground, CFM also recognized the unplanned financial burden faced by nonprofits who did not hesitate to provide relief during this crisis. In response, CFM's Rapid Response Mini-Grant is reimbursing nonprofits for unplanned expenses they incurred during the height of Jackson’s water crisis. 

CFM recognizes that Jackson’s water crisis did not happen overnight nor will it be solved that quickly. Our commitment to forever means that we are also looking “upstream” to find solutions for the issues facing our communities, both now and forever.

Donors and communities alike come to CFM because we are a trusted source - one that sticks around long after a disaster, making long-term investments and working toward systems change. Below you'll see just a few ways that we are living out this vision, from our Rapid Response Mini-Grant to water filtration for families in the city of Jackson. CFM continues to meet with local leaders, experts, funders, national partners and donors like you to continue this work together. If you haven’t already, I sincerely hope you will join us in this effort today, making a donation to support our continued work or to our Helping Friends and Neighbors Fund. Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Melody Moody Thortis
Director of Strategic Impact
Community Foundation for Mississippi
Jackson Water Crisis: Nonprofit Rapid Response Mini-Grant Deadline is TODAY!
Do you know a nonprofit that was affected by the Jackson water crisis? CFM's Nonprofit Rapid Response Mini-Grant is a reimbursement program for 501c3 nonprofits residing in the Jackson area who have been directly affected by the Jackson Water Crisis. This is a reimbursement grant specifically covering expenses that nonprofits incurred related to CHARITABLE service during Jackson’s boil water notice that lasted between July 29 – September 15, 2022.

Expenses should be unplanned, un-budgeted expenses and related to water needs. Applicants are required to certify and explain the expense relation to the water crisis. Documentation will vary based on the eligible items listed below. Reimbursements may range from $200-$2,000.

The deadline to apply is Monday, October 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Awards will be announced in Winter 2022. A frequently asked questions page has been created to help ease the process.
CFM Partners With GHHI For Water Filtration Solution-Building
While the boil water notice and immediate water crisis have ended in Jackson, the question remains for many, “Is my water safe to drink?”

During the Jackson water crisis, the Community Foundation for Mississippi immediately identified water filtration as a gap and barrier to health outcomes for citizens of Jackson. Approved by the grants committee and executive committee, CFM is partnering with Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) to distribute countertop Zero water filtration systems and teach households about methods of water boiling and filtering commonly recommended by the City of Jackson. This programming will not only reduce potential exposure to unsafe drinking water but will also reduce the cost burden of purchasing drinking water for low-income households in Jackson and plastic water bottle waste.
Community Foundation For Mississippi, Atmos Energy And Jackson Public Schools Announce Gifts To Support Water Crisis Response
As the City of Jackson and its surrounding communities continue to recover from the recent water crisis, Atmos Energy has announced support for ongoing relief efforts by making a $25,000 contribution to the Community Foundation for Mississippi (CFM) for Jackson Public Schools (JPS) through the Foundation’s JPS Response Fund. Atmos Energy is also making a $25,000 contribution to the Helping Friends and Neighbors Fund (Disaster Response Fund) at CFM to support nonprofits.
COF Names Alexander To Community Foundation Advisory Group

Congratulations to Jane Alexander, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Mississippi, for recently being named to the Council on Foundation’s Community Foundation Advisory Group! The group assists the Council with strategic decisions related to the community foundation field, represents the interests of their peers across the country and elevates the issues of most importance to the sector. This year’s advisory group will be co-chaired by Kristi Knous, President of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, and Heather Peeler, President and CEO of ACT for Alexandria.
Scholarship Spotlight: Bill Hunsberger Scholarship
The Community Foundation for Mississippi is proud to announce the 2022 recipient of the Bill Hunsberger Scholarship is Mia Robertson of Starkville. Mia Robertson is a Senior Presidential-Endowed Scholar and John C. Stennis Scholar majoring in Political Science and Philosophy with minors in Pre-Law and International Relations at Mississippi State.

The Bill Hunsberger Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi honors Bill Hunsberger, publisher of The Clarion-Ledger newspaper and a board member of the Community Foundation for Mississippi, who died suddenly of a heart attack in 2004. In his honor, his family and friends established the Bill Hunsberger Scholarship Fund at CFM, which provides scholarships to students studying the programs at the universities attended by his three daughters. Eligibility includes full-time female students entering her junior or senior year of undergraduate study. Awards are rotated annually between a journalism major at the University of Southern Mississippi, a journalism major at the University of Mississippi and a political science major at Mississippi State University with media involvement.
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