For Sustainability: Endowments

This year, CFM saw new funds started by nonprofits who understand the need of their organizations to thrive long into the future, positioning themselves with a strong foundation to grow their impact for years to come. Endowment funds at the Community Foundation for Mississippi allow organizations to plant a seed for opportunities to grow far beyond what they might have imagined.  

Whether it is through building a support system for the future of Mississippi artists, preserving our state’s natural resources or increasing access for those living with disabilities, our nonprofit partners understand that to be strong today, they must also invest in their future. 

The Blue Monday Band stands together as a group.

Central Mississippi Blues Society

The pandemic represented a new challenge for performing artists across our state, resulting in a devastating loss of income due to canceled performances. It was during this time that CFM began to grow its relationship with the Central Mississippi Blues Society (CMBS), collaborating to find long-term solutions to support Mississippi’s blues artists. Lessons learned during the pandemic meant that the CMBS was ready to ensure stability for its future through the creation of an endowment fund. CMBS can now work to build up their financial resources, putting themselves in a new position to support the development of blues musicians and to continue their community education projects to keep the blues alive across central Mississippi. 

A child in a wheelchair poses in front of four military service members.

Camp Kamassa

In Copiah County, thanks to the work of Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation (MTKF), children of all abilities will now have an opportunity to enjoy year-round camp with the launch of Camp Kamassa, a handicap accessible camp facility being built to accommodate the needs of children and adults with special needs, chronic illness or those who may experience physical disabilities or developmental challenges. Through a fund at CFM, donors can now lend their support to help build and sustain the camp.

Trail on Clinton Community Nature Center

Clinton Community Nature Center

Right in the heart of Clinton, you will find an oasis of nature, miles of shaded walking trails, a butterfly garden and activities for all ages at the Clinton Community Nature Center. Passionate advocates have been working for many years to preserve this local treasure, including a focus on fostering more planned gifts. Their efforts resulted in a $30,000 IRA required minimum distribution gift to CNC, helping kick start more gifts to pay it forward.

Scholarship Opportunity: Anthony “Tony” Gobar Juvenile Justice Scholarship

Anthony “Tony” Gobar of Jackson, a long-time juvenile justice specialist, died of a heart attack at age 53 in the summer of 2004. He was a man who had dedicated himself to making his community a better place, especially when it came to troubled youth who found themselves in the state’s criminal justice system.

A Breaux Bridge, Louisiana native and Southern University graduate, Gobar began working in job training at a community action agency in Louisiana before moving to Jackson and joining the Department of Criminal Justice Planning as a Program Manager. He worked later as a juvenile justice specialist after his division became part of the Department of Public Safety.

Herbert Terry, director of the Justice Programs Division at the Department of Public Safety, said Gobar was “one of the most professional, caring, sincere, unselfish and honest persons that I have ever worked with or known. He worked untiringly to improve the juvenile justice system in Mississippi.”

The National Coalition for Juvenile Justice in Washington, D.C., established an award in his name for individuals working in the juvenile justice field, and he was posthumously honored by the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice.

“Tony found his greatest joy in the simple things in life,” his wife, Angela, said in a news release. “He served God as a parishioner of Holy Family Catholic Church in Jackson.

Tony was known for and will be remembered for his selfless spirit and willingness to always help another person.”

PURPOSE:

The Anthony “Tony” Gobar Juvenile Justice Scholarship Fund will provide an annual scholarship based on both merit and need for a full-time junior or senior at a public university in Mississippi or at Southern University in Louisiana majoring in criminal justice, political science, social work, pre-law or counseling.

The student must have a stated career interest in juvenile justice or a similar field and have demonstrated a strong commitment to community and public service.

The scholarship is a one-time award up to $2,500 (non-renewable each year). The award may be used for tuition, books and room and board.

The selection committee for the Anthony “Tony” Gobar Scholarship will select finalists who meet the application deadline and stated selection criteria. 

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY AND SELECTION CRITERIA

Students must be a U.S. citizen with a current grade point average no less than 2.5 on a

4.0 scale. Demonstrated financial need must be provided via the student’s university or college financial aid office.

If a student meets the above-stated eligibility criteria, he/she must submit the following:

  • The Anthony “Tony” Gobar Scholarship application form including a statement of career interest and a description of community and/or public service
  • Three (3) letters of
  • Financial aid information verified via the University or College Financial Aid Officer

Applications are due June 30, 2024

Awardees will be notified in writing and may be invited to receive their award during the Annual Mississippi Juvenile Justice Conference.

Scholarship Opportunity: Blake Coghlan Memorial Ag Scholarship

Image of Blake Coghlan with field behind him.Blake Coghlan had dreams of building the best farm in the Delta.

At 19 years old, Blake Coghlan had dreams of building the best farm in the Delta. He grew up in Holly Bluff, MS to a fourth generation Mississippi farm family. Blake was a promising young farmer with a passion for farming. He was an exceptional person with tremendous potential. He was undeniably authentic, unassuming, easy-going, and loved by everyone who met him.

He attended Mississippi Delta Community College pursuing an Ag Science degree and had plans to further his education at Mississippi State University.

The Blake Coghlan Memorial Ag Scholarship Fund was created at the Community Foundation for Mississippi to encourage young people who share his passion for farming and agriculture. The scholarship provides financial assistance to a graduating high school senior from Yazoo County or Sharkey County intending to study Agriculture or Agriculture-related degree at a Mississippi 4-year or 2-year institution. The award is for a period of one academic year.

Recipients will be selected based on academic achievement, leadership qualities, and career objectives in the field of agriculture.

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY AND SELECTION CRITERIA

  • U.S. citizen
  • 2.5 GPA
  • At least two recommendations either from a teacher, counselor, principal, or others (one recommendation must be from a school representative).
  • High school senior from Yazoo or Sharkey counties
  • Graduating senior who will majoring Ag or Ag related degree
  • Going to a Mississippi two or four-year college or university
  • Full-time student
  • Must submit a 500-word essay about why you are pursuing a career in agriculture.

APPLICATION CHECKLIST

The Community Foundation for Mississippi must receive each complete application at 119 S. President Street, Jackson, MS 39201 by March 31, 2024.

Please include:

  • Completed application form
  • Essay
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Official high school transcript with GPA

NOTIFICATION

Applicants will be notified by mail or email about the status of their application. Scholarship funds will be distributed directly to the institution of the applicant’s choice no later than September 1, 2024.

QUESTIONS

Please contact the Community Foundation for Mississippi at 601.974.6044 or email us at info@formississippi.org.

WellsFest CARES Fund Supports Musicians In Need

WellsFest, the annual music festival of Wells United Methodist Church, has been a long-time staple of the Jackson fall event scene. For over 40 years, the generosity of musicians donating their time and talent has made the event possible. Now, a group has come together to give back to local musicians and create more programming to keep the spirit of WellsFest alive all year long through the WellsFest CARES Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi.

“Musicians are great at providing entertainment and giving us a lot of things to be joyful about,” said Keith Ferguson, founder and fund holder for the WellsFest CARES Fund. “Sometimes they’re not really equipped with a safety net and will run into trouble spots… we want to be there for those musicians who hit those times. It may be an instrument that needs repair. It may be a car that needs repair. It may be dental – could be utilities. It could be funeral expenses. And so we want to be there for those musicians that have a little extra need and just need some extra helping hand there.”

With several benefit concerts under their belt, the group is hosting a tribute concert on February 4 at 4 p.m. in memory of their first grant recipient, Steve Chester.

“Steve is another one of those outstanding musicians that has given back so much to this community. Steve has played with a number of bands. He played every single WellsFest, except the last one when he was in bad health, but he had played every WellsFest we’ve ever had,” said Ferguson. “We lost Steve last year and we are just want to celebrate his life and remember him. And we’re also helping his family to pay off some end-of-life expenses, about $10,000 worth of hospice care and other expenses. And we’re working with others to try to pay this off and so far we’re about over halfway there. And so it’ll be not only a time to celebrate Steve, but it’ll be a time for people to reach out and help us in a tangible way.”

Hear more about the fund and the upcoming tribute concert on Visit Jackson’s Soul Sessions podcast, found here.

Click here to support the WellsFest CARES Fund at CFM. The group has also created the WellsFest CARES Endowment Fund to support musicians long-term. Donations of $1,000 or more to the WellsFest CARES Endowment Fund qualify for the Endow Mississippi state tax credit.

CFM: End of the Year Dates to Know

The end of the year will be here soon! The Community Foundation for Mississippi has several important dates for you to keep in mind as you think about year-end giving to ensure your financial contributions make an impact with nonprofits by December 31, 2023.

If you are planning end-of-year grants from a fund:

  • Donating stock? All notifications of stock donations must be made before Thursday, December 14, 2023. Click here to download our stock donation form.
  • The last day to submit a grant request through our donor portal to ensure processing for the 2023 calendar year is Tuesday, December 19, 2023. All grant requests made after December 19, 2023 may not be processed until January 4, 2023.
  • The last day to request a check for a vendor is Tuesday, December 19, 2023 to ensure the check will be sent and processed by December 31, 2023. All vendor check requests made after December 19, 2023 may not be processed until January 4, 2024.
  • Checks will be processed by their check and postmark date. Donations made by December 31, 2023 will be acknowledged as being given during the 2023 calendar year. Gifts can be made online via credit card as late as 11:45 p.m. on December 31, 2023 or by mailing a check to 119 S. President St., First Floor, Jackson, MS 39201.

Other important things to note:

The Community Foundation physical offices will be closed:

  • Monday, December 25, 2023 through Tuesday, January 2, 2024
  • While CFM’s physical offices will be closed, staff will be available for limited hours during this week via phone and email. For emergencies, please get in touch with Jane Alexander at jane@formississippi.org.
  • Offices will reopen on Wednesday, January 3