We are for Mississippi. Are you?

To live and work in a city with a failing water system underscores the need for the Community Foundation for Mississippi — in fact, the entire charitable and philanthropic sector. For the first time in more than a decade, CFM activated our local disaster relief fund, and in a few weeks we've seen donations from individuals totaling almost $30,000, and investments by national funders of $100,000 — so far. 

When we talk about "community leadership" as a role for community foundations, this is what we mean — being informed, alert and responsive to community needs. As money comes in to offer relief, we are creating our rapid response grants process to meet immediate needs. We also are having deeper conversations about the strategic use of these dollars, beyond the purchase and delivery of bottled water. What are the mid and long-term solutions?

From experience, we know that the needs we've seen over the past few weeks won't magically evaporate as drinkability returns to the water system. The scope of this challenge is huge. Consequently, we have reached out to philanthropic partners across the country to ask for ideas and resources so that, when the time comes, we can contribute to meaningful solutions for the city and the people who live here. We are convening nonprofits who are on the ground to ask what else might be helpful to them and the people we serve. We are asking, "What's next?" And, "How can we help?"

This may be the best example of the work of community foundations — connecting people who want to help with people who need help and thinking ahead to improve the systems we share.

We are blessed to be able to provide expertise, connection, resources, information and money during this emergency, and we're reminded of the essential nature of need, not as a theoretical thing, but something as simple as a bottle of water. Want to support us as we continue to work for good? We'd love your support today.

Jane Alexander
President and CEO
Community Foundation for Mississippi
Ways to Help Jackson: Water Crisis
Our friends and partners from (left to right) Good Samaritan Center, State Farm, Extra Table and Wells United Methodist Church with CFM CEO Jane Alexander (center) on September 19 at Good Samaritan Center.
For the past few weeks, the Community Foundation for Mississippi has served as a conduit for information with a Ways to Help page for the Jackson water crisis. The page has been featured by VogueMississippi TodayBirmingham NowDesoto County News, the Greater Jackson Chamber PartnershipVolunteer MississippiDowntown Jackson PartnersPhilanthropy Southeast, Council on Foundations and more.

While the immediate water crisis has subsided for Jackson, the work is just beginning. On Monday, September 19, we gathered this morning with our partners Extra Table and Good Samaritan Center at the Hub for the Hungry to begin the distribution of one-gallon jugs of water to food pantries and charitable organizations across the city, including MadCAAP, Wells Memorial United Methodist Church, Stewpot Community Services, Inc., Mississippi Center for Police and Sheriffs, New Hope Church, Anderson United Methodist Church Food Pantry, Christ United Methodist Church and more. If you helped support the Helping Friends and Neighbors Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi, this is one of the ways your dollars will be in action! Special thanks to State Farm and area agents that loaded, unloaded and donated to make today’s gallons possible!

If you would like to be a part of the mid and long-term solution building, support the Helping Friends and Neighbors Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi. Beginning September 23, CFM is matching gifts to the Helping Friends and Neighbors Fund up to $25,000 in gifts to help increase the impact to our community.
Jackson Water Crisis: Nonprofit Rapid Response Mini-Grant
Are you a nonprofit that was affected by the Jackson water crisis? The Community Foundation for Mississippi'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. Grants will reimburse expenses related to the water crisis, which began July 29, 2022, for increased demand for, or increased supply of drinkable water. Expenses should be unplanned, un-budgeted expenses (related to water needs) related to charitable service by nonprofits from July 29 - September 15, 2022.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, October 12, 2022. Awards will be announced in early November.
2021-2022 Annual Report
Our new annual report is live! The Community Foundation for Mississippi has used the past year to re-imagine our work - adapting our approach and finding new ways for our donors to realize an even greater impact.

As you turn each page in this report, we invite you to join us on a journey of exploration of where we’ve been, what we’ve accomplished and where we are headed next.
Welcome New Board Members!
In July of 2022, the CFM Board of Trustees approved three new Board of Trustees members - (from left to right) Steve Orlansky, Ravi Raju and Marcus Ward. Welcome to the CFM family!

Learn more about SteveRavi and Marcus on our Board of Trustees page.
Fund Highlight: Eyes on Mississippi Fund
Stories are a universal way to relate and understand each other better. And, all of us have school stories. Ellen Ann Fentress knows this firsthand as a storyteller, author and documentarian. Sharing her own story, in fact, about her experience attending a segregation academy in the 1970s has brought others to remember and tell their own story, too.

Fentress says her work, which is supported through the Eyes of Mississippi Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi, would not have been possible without the underlying infrastructure at CFM. “We see to our projects, and as a qualified 501c3 non-profit, CFM supervises our finances,” she said. “To launch this project, working under CFM’s nonprofit structure was essential. Supporters expect and deserve a tax-deductible donor framework, particularly in Mississippi where giving resources are always stretched.”
Video of the Month: Alferdteen Harrison
The Scott Ford House Inc. is located in the nationally registered Historic Farish Street District in Jackson and was among the first on East Cohea Street in the 1890s. It served as a home to Mary Green Scott, a former slave and to Virginia Ford, a practicing midwife, and John Ford, her daughter and son-in-law. The family owned the property for over 100 years.

For many years, Alferdteen Harrison has been a champion for the home, creating the Scott Ford House Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi to support its preservation.

You can now learn more about the home and the many people who entered its doors with The Scott Ford House Granny Midwives permanent exhibit, now open at the Smith Robertson Museum & Cultural Center. The exhibit is presented by the Scott Ford House Inc. and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
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