Downtown Springfield Association
Downtown Business Spotlight

Downtown Springfield Nonprofits

August 17, 2023

August 17 is National Nonprofit Day! What better way to celebrate than highlighting all the incredible Downtown Springfield Nonprofits working to make our community and the world a better place.


Abilities First: Artisan Elements

Abilities First’s mission is Turning Abilities Into Opportunities. In 2012, the concept of Artisan Elements began to take shape–build business relationships and create jobs to decrease dependence on government funding. Started by Abilities First as a program to recycle the organization’s paper waste into greeting cards and small home collection items, Artisan Elements evolved into a new business enterprise – designing apprenticeship programs, hiring and training an inclusive workforce, developing a proprietary new medium (ArtisanStone TM) from recycled paper, concrete and commercial additives.

AIDS Project of the Ozarks

AIDS Project of the Ozarks (APO) is a non-profit community-based organization serving a 29 county region in southwest Missouri. APO currently serves over 700 clients with HIV/AIDS and their families. Concerned families and friends established the organization as a grass roots entity in 1983. Services include: medical care, case management, education to the general public, and services to persons with HIV infection, their families and significant others in a confidential, caring environment. APO also offers primary medical care to those who are not HIV positive, in a safe inclusive environment.

Better Business Bureau

Better Business Bureau’s® mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. Your local Better Business Bureau of Eastern & Southwest Missouri & Southern Illinois can assist you with finding businesses and charities you can trust. BBB also provides the following resources to the community: File a complaint, report a scam or become BBB accredited.

Child Advocacy Center

The Child Advocacy Center is a place where young victims of abuse come to safely and comfortably share their difficult stories. The children they serve have endured much in their young lives: physical and sexual abuse; online exploitation; child pornography; neglect; and more. Inside its doors, children are greeted by delightful murals, a toy-filled family room and professionals trained to address the unique needs of children who have been hurt. It provides these children two main services – Forensic Interviews and Sexual Assault Forensic Exams. The evidence and information its gathers is then shared with a “team” of law enforcement officials, Children’s Division investigators, juvenile officers and more. Together, this team analyzes the information, discusses outcomes and decides on a safety plan that champions the best interests of each child.

Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO)’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in our region. CFO pursues their mission through resource development, community grantmaking, collaboration and public leadership — connecting passion to purpose since 1973. Today, the CFO is governed by community volunteers and run by a professional staff that serves a network of donors, regional affiliate foundations, nonprofit partners and professional advisors through approximately 3,500 charitable funds.

Discovery Center of Springfield

Discovery Center of Springfield is an interactive, hands-on science museum committed to inspiring people of all ages with a lifelong love of learning and an appreciation of the world and our place in it.

Downtown Springfield Association

The Downtown Springfield Association’s (DSA) mission is to cultivate and sustain a vibrant business community represented by a balance of retail, professional, service, dining and entertainment entrepreneurs.

Fight Colorectal Cancer

Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) is the leading patient-empowerment and advocacy organization in the United States, providing balanced and objective information on colon and rectal cancer research, treatment, and policy. They are relentless champions of hope, focused on funding promising, high-impact research endeavors, while equipping advocates to influence legislation and policy for the collective good.

FosterAdopt Connect: Youth Connect Center

The YouthConnect Center (YCC), a FosterAdopt Connect program, is a drop-in center for school aged youth 13-18 years old. The YCC aims to eliminate any obstacles that youth face accessing different community resources by partnering with other service providers in the community and providing a safe space for them to meet with youths and their families. The YCC center aims to provide quality and meaningful opportunities for youth that will give them a sense of pride and accomplishment while honoring their families and caregivers.

Good Dads

Good Dads is the only organization in Southern Missouri focused on helping all dads be more engaged with their children. It began when business leaders in Springfield, Missouri recognized the impact of father absence on child well-being and came together for the purpose of supporting father engagement. Good Dads aims to encourage fathers by providing inspiration, resources and events to help dads be the best they can be.

Historic Walnut Street Association

Historic Walnut Street, legendary homes and hidden treasures. Many of the early elements of the late 19th Century still remain: Brick and stone walks, carriage blocks, shakes and shingles, windows of leaded and stained glass, the carriage houses and the houses themselves—each with a story to tell. This refined area has been designated as a National Historic District because of its rich architectural history and cultural impact on Springfield.

History Museum on the Square

The History Museum on the Square preserves and exhibits the unique and rich heritage of Springfield and Greene County, sharing stories of the crossroads. The six permanent galleries include Native Crossroads at the Spring; Trains, Trolleys and Transportation: Children’s Education Area; Pioneers and Founders at the Crossroads; The Civil War in Springfield; Wild Bill Hickok and the American West; and Birthplace of Route 66. 

The Kitchen: Rare Breed

Rare Breed is a central hub that provides immediate access to basic needs and rapid access to community services for homeless and at-risk youth ages 13-24. Youth homelessness is unique because young people are still developing. The staff is trained to work with youth to build life skills that will help them go on to lead healthy, independent lives.

Ozark Greenways

Ozark Greenways are the driving force behind a 200+ mile planned system of multi-use trails.  A dynamic network of connected streams, parks, businesses and neighborhoods which provides for the enjoyment and economic development of our community.  Trails play a crucial role in our community’s quality of life and make this an awesome place to live, work and play. With 110 miles of trail built, there’s something for everyone regardless of age, abilities, or interests.

Ozarks Lyric Opera

For more than 40 years, Ozarks Lyric Opera has been entertaining and educating the Ozarks through their commitment to bringing this life-changing art form to our community. They strive to foster a greater understanding of, and appreciation for opera.


Plotline is a school devoted to nurturing, encouraging, teaching creative and critical thinking, time and resource management, constructive communication and achieving shared goals as a team. Unlike a university, there are no prerequisites required to enroll. Classes range from the absolute beginner to experienced and advanced students. Lessons are taught by professional film and media makers. Scholarships are available.

Springfield Ballet

The Springfield Civic Ballet, Inc. was founded in 1976 as a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the efforts of creating a ballet company to perform throughout the four state area; to offer a comprehensive dance curriculum. Today, the Ballet produces two full length ballets each season at the historic Landers Theatre. Springfield Ballet, Inc. continues to operate a reputable ballet school that provides classical ballet instruction for ages 3–adult.

Springfield-Greene County Library: Park Central Branch

The Park Central Branch Library, an arts- and media-themed non-traditional facility, features a small collection of popular fiction and nonfiction books on face-out shelving, a wide selection of local and national newspapers and magazines and DVDs, CDs and audiobooks. More than a dozen computer stations provide downtown patrons with high-speed access to the Internet and the Library’s catalog and research databases. The facility includes a self-checkout machine, a disc vending machine, gallery walls, a laptop bar and other seating.

Springfield Little Theatre

Springfield Little Theatre is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization energized by the highest artistic ideals that strives to entertain, educate, and involve the community in live theatrical productions and in the preservation of the historic Landers Theatre. The oldest and largest civic theatre operation in Missouri, and one of the largest in mid-America, Springfield Little Theatre at the Landers produces a season of nine plays and musicals that are attended by some 60,000 Southwest Missourians annually.

Springfield Regional Arts Council

The Springfield Regional Arts Council (SRAC) connects people and the arts. They support some of the most prominent visual, performing, literary, and film/media arts organization within 27 counties, the largest outreach of any in the state of Missouri.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra is a professional orchestra that brings high quality music and music education to the residents of Southwest Missouri. The symphony’s mission is to provide the highest level of symphonic music and music education to all of Southwest Missouri, with a balance of artistic interest and sound fiscal responsibility.

Springfield Sculpture Walk

Sculpture Walk of Springfield is a museum without walls with access to all. Their mission is “to encourage the artistic transformation of Springfield through outdoor sculpture, thus enhancing our quality of life and promoting economic vitality.”

Suit Yourself Boutique

Suit Yourself is a non-profit organization that provides upscale business clothing to women to help them to succeed in the workforce. Suit Yourself customizes the experience for each individual to not only dress them from the outside, but also help them feel whole on the inside.

United Way of the Ozarks

United Way programs help people learn to read, feed the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, protect families and children from violence, restore hope after a disaster or illness, and renew faith for a brighter tomorrow. Its tactics include: Providing assistance for basic needs, coordinated case management, prepare every child for kindergarten, increase grade level reading proficiency and helping every child graduate.


There are also several nonprofit organizations that may not always be located Downtown, but come down to serve the Downtwon Springfield Community.

Convoy of Hope

As a humanitarian, faith-based organization, Convoy of Hope’s goal is to serve people who are impoverished, hungry, and hurting.


Crosslines inspires hope for food-insecure families, seniors and children by addressing immediate hunger needs with access to food and essential items. Crosslines is an outreach of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks. Crosslines provides a mobile food pantry at First Baptist Church every second Thursday of each month in their Community Outreach Center parking lot.

Mosaic Arts Collective

Mosaic Arts Collective is a non-profit organization designed to provide individuals of marginalized groups and races the opportunity for arts education, preparation and performance by engaging local resources, increasing accessibility and overall creating more diversity within the regional arts community. They have partnered with both Springfield Little Theatre and Springfield Contemporary Theatre to produce productions on Downtown Springfield stages.

Ozarks Food Harvest

Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving 270 hunger-relief organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. Founded in 1983, Ozarks Food Harvest has a stated mission of Transforming Hunger into Hope. Ozarks Food Harvest provides food distribution and services to 270 Ozarks nonprofits through programs such as the Weekend Backpack ProgramMobile Food Pantry, After-School & Summer Food programs, the Senior Food Program and more.

Springfield Contemporary Theatre

Springfield Contemporary Theatre presents a wide variety of year round productions at the Historic Fox Theatre on the square. SCT is dedicated to the production of contemporary works and works that can be re-energized through a contemporary view and through an intimate staging while using outstanding directors, local actors and guest professionals throughout the season. Special emphasis is given in programming to works by voices under-represented in our community and works that address issues facing our Springfield community and the world around us.


Are we missing anyone? There’s so many great things happening downtown! Tells us about them by emailing