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2014 40 Under 40 Honoree: Matt Lemmon

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The mission for Matt Lemmon at Community Foundation of the Ozarks is straightforward: more effectively communicate with a new generation of philanthropists.

The reason is compelling. The first wave of baby boomers is expected to transfer to their heirs some $47.2 billion of accumulated wealth – in the Ozarks alone. Statewide, the wealth transfer during the next 10 years is an estimated $134 billion.

CFO launched a campaign last year aimed at capturing 5 percent of wealth transfers for charitable donations, which would amount to $322 million donated locally, and Lemmon is communicating that message.

“CFO, like many of our 400-some nonprofit partners and others nationwide, faces a crisis in coming years if we don’t grow beyond the aging ‘checkbook’ generations that have been our lifeblood for so long,” says Lemmon, CFO’s communications specialist. For Lemmon, that means work on Facebook, Twitter and groundbreaking websites such as CFO’s, a crowdfunding website for nonprofits rolled out in 2012. His effort to increase the frequency and volume of online communications has nearly tripled its social media followers, and he’s currently leading a redesign of

The digital focus extends beyond Springfield. CFO works with 44 affiliate foundations, from Ste. Genevieve to Joplin, each with its own volunteer board.

“These passionate people don’t always have the skills or even Web-access infrastructure to create an online presence for their organizations. But with CFO’s partnership and tools – including Cause Momentum – I am able to help them develop that presence. I regularly speak with school foundation boards, nonprofit staffs and rural volunteers, increasing their new-media vocabulary and capabilities,” he says.

By introducing a nonprofit cause and soliciting donations online, helped the Springfield Art Museum meet a $10,000 goal to secure a historic local work of art and Rebuild Joplin raise $30,500 toward construction of a home for the Jones family following the May 2011 tornado.

Before joining CFO in 2011, the journalist by trade served as a reporter at Christian County Headliner News and Web editor/digital director for Whitaker Publishing. During a four-year stint, Lemmon launched and edited Whitaker Publishing’s Go Magazine covering downtown culture and was 417 Magazine’s main online contributor.

He is president-elect for the Downtown Springfield Association, until his term at the helm begins July 1.

“My goal is to increase DSA programming that will help our members develop tools to make their businesses more successful and increase their personal investment in downtown,” he says.[[In-content Ad]]


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