Our Foundation: A Legacy Today & Beyond

The United Way of Central Missouri Foundation operates to further the mission of the United Way of Central Missouri by maximizing fundraising potential. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors and is a separate 501(c)(3) with the same high standards of fiscal accountability and good stewardship as the United Way of Central Missouri. The Foundation was established in 2003 to build a permanent, sustainable avenue of support for the United Way through planned giving.

Given the Foundation was formed to be a safety net for our community in times of catastrophe, immediately following the tornado and flooding in 2019, the United Way Foundation Board of Directors unanimously agreed to step forward to take $200,000 from Foundation funds and gift it to the United Way to replenish the funds spent on the 2019 Community Support Grants to twenty-five health and human service agencies.  Thanks to this incredible gift, the United Way was able to provide an additional $200,000 in disaster-related support to the community.  Five health and human service agencies were awarded a portion of these funds totaling $82,000 in disaster grant funding on November 22, 2019—exactly six months from the date of the tornado. These grants will support recovery programs and address capacity and operational needs for nonprofit health and human service agencies who felt the impact of the tornado and flooding in their day-to-day work.

In addition to disaster-related assistance, the Foundation stepped forward to help with feeding the hungry by providing funds to purchase a mobile food pantry in 2015. This mobile food pantry continues to increase food distribution to those suffering from food insecurity, and currently serves six pockets of poverty in Cole County each month.  This effort was made possible through the partnership between the United Way of Central Missouri, The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri and the United Way of Central Missouri Foundation. The Foundation provided the financial support to purchase the truck to supplement the dedicated efforts of existing food pantries.  The goal was to increase food distribution by one million pounds each year to close the gap between the level of poverty and the amount of food distributed to hungry people in Cole County.  After its third year of operation, the mobile pantry has distributed an additional 744,282 pounds of food to feed hungry families in Cole County alone.

A growing number of United Way contributors’ estate plans include a charitable bequest to the United Way of Central Missouri Foundation to ensure the United Way remains a vibrant resource in our community for future generations. Planned giving can be as simple as including a bequest in your will. Additionally, one-time gifts to the Foundation are a meaningful way to honor a friend or a loved one’s birthday, anniversary, retirement, memorial or other special occasion. Consult your attorney, financial advisor or another trained professional to help you choose the option that is best for you and ensure that your wishes are communicated effectively. Gifts to the United Way of Central Missouri Foundation are a legacy to be proud of and a blessing to our community today and beyond.

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