The Road to Rural Prosperity- Ron Hays talks with Communities Foundation of Oklahoma CEO Teresa Rose CrookWed, 18 Sep 2019 19:42:25 CDT
The Road to Rural Prosperity podcast features stories about rural Oklahoma and rural America, focusing on the state's journey to Top Ten status and the people and organizations driving us toward that goal. In Episode 3, this week, Ron Hays visits with Teresa Rose Crook, CEO and executive director of the Communities Foundation for Oklahoma, about the organization’s role and how it helps rural communities across the state prosper by leveraging their assets and resources.
Episode three of the Road to Rural Prosperity is sponsored by the Oklahoma Rural Water Association, enhancing the quality of life in rural Oklahoma, through the development and delivery of services and programs, for the benefit of ORWA members and the rural people they serve- and by the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s oldest and largest oil and natural gas trade association.
During the interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, Crook explains the function of the CFO and how it assists rural communities plan, organize and manage various public projects that improve the quality of life for the citizens residing in those communities. By doing so, she says the entire state benefits from the impact these projects, small or large, make.
“We are a ‘Community Foundation’ which is a specific component of the IRS Code and what we are allowed to do is kind of spread our 501-C3 umbrella over individuals, businesses, organizations, projects and communities- so in other words, they don’t have to go set up a separate 501-C3 to receive the benefits, the tax benefits as well as the distribution benefits.”
Established in 1992 by Duncan resident, Tom McCasland, Jr., the organization was founded on McCasland's vision to provide rural communities the same charitable and philanthropic opportunities afforded Oklahoma City and Tulsa by their Community Foundations. Today, the Foundation has a statewide impact with funding in 20 different communities currently, supported by public and private donors around the state. Directed by a diverse board, Crook says the Foundation is readily available to assist in the development and management of any asset or project that can contribute to the prosperity of Oklahomans.
“Whether it’s a fully identified plan or strategy or just the beginning of a conversation, we get in there and help people sort it out,” she said. “There are a lot of communities and a lot of counties that have resources… it’s figuring out how to deploy them so we can lift up whatever the need is. So, as we think about becoming a Top Ten state, we are a conduit to transition the assets we have in the state to have an impact. We are a tool to accomplish that.”
You can either to the link above on Soundcloud- or click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the complete conversation.
Listen to Ron Hays talk with Teresa Rose Crook
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