What connects each Opportunity Fund project? The answer is simple: community. Whether it’s Columbia’s Agriculture Park or the St. Louis Racial Equity Summit, it’s about supporting communities that are finding innovative solutions to their most dire health issues. Working in collaboration, we’re challenging outmoded ways of thinking and testing concepts that explore ways to disrupt the status quo.
Looking back, we’re thrilled with the successes we’ve seen. Since first starting our Opportunity Fund, we’ve championed over 100 organizations leading impactful work across Missouri and improving conditions that contribute to poor health. We’re proud to have shared our expertise and resources to help bring these ideas to life.
A farmers market that has increased access to healthy foods and outdoor space for recreation and exercise.
A collaborative platform designed to drive action on issues to achieve racial equity.
We’ve learned a lot since those initial projects, both about health challenges around the state and how we can better engage with communities addressing them. We’ve been able to make connections between organizations doing complementary work, experiment with a mixture of methods, and broaden our understanding of work in other areas. Drawing on these lessons, we relaunched the Opportunity Fund with a more streamlined process and clarity around our systems-change focus, ensuring that organizations advanced their most compelling concepts and were positioned to go below the surface for a more enduring outcome.
In 2020, we supported a total of 38 projects with some of the most ingenious ideas to date.
As diverse as each concept was — and they varied greatly, by geography, focus, approach, and timeline — they all are rooted in the belief that together, we can achieve lasting impact, resulting in a healthier, more equitable state, one community at a time.