The Hatch Foundation has bolstered its giving since the 501(c)(3) nonprofit was formed in late 2019.
Erin Danastasio, the foundation's executive director, spoke during a live interview yesterday with Springfield Business Journal Editorial Vice President Eric Olson. The 12 People You Need to Know event was held at The Backlot, Alamo Drafthouse Springfield's restaurant and bar.
To date, the foundation has pledged $2.5 million in funding to 35 projects, said Danastasio. The Hatch Foundation has a current funding pool of around $40 million, she said.
"We like to focus on the blue ribbons within Springfield – the inherent attributes – rather than red flags," Danastasio said, referencing the Community Focus Report for Springfield and Greene County. "A lot of organizations focus on the problems in the area. We think if you don’t focus on the blue ribbons, they're going to eventually become red flags."
Projects funded by the Hatch Foundation include a $500,000 donation to the Springfield Art Museum's capital campaign and a $255,000 grant to Ozark Greenways Inc. for the Lone Pine Bike Park in Galloway Village.
The foundation's emphasis is on making grants toward arts, outdoors and entrepreneurship causes.
"I think that those three areas are really unique to Springfield," Danastasio said.
Upcoming target areas include education projects, including teaching philanthropic giving in schools, regionalism and the Lake Springfield master plan area.
Danastasio said the foundation helped pay for the study of potential uses of the decommissioned James River Power Station and surrounding area.
"There's so much potential," she said, pointing to examples in other communities such as The Momentary in Bentonville, Arkansas, and The Gathering Place in Tulsa, Oklahoma. "I could go down the rabbit hole. I dream pretty big."
Adrianna Norris became a first-time business owner with the opening of Finley River Chiropractic; PaPPo’s Pizzeria & Pub launched its newest location; and Huey Magoo’s opened its second store in the Ozarks.