In 2012, the Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund (SOS) achieves a milestone of granting over $1 million in charitable funding with over 75 grants to more than 45 not-for-profit agencies in its first six years. Founded in 2006, SOS brings together women who collectively leverage their time, talent and money to strengthen the St. Louis community by making informed and focused grants.
The Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund, a component fund of The Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation, boasts over 220 members. Each member commits to an annual contribution of $1200, with 90 percent of all member contributions used to make grants to St. Louis area nonprofit organizations.
SOS focuses its grantmaking in five primary areas: arts and culture, education, environment, health, and social services. Through a steady increase in membership and grant dollars, SOS continues to provide financial support to a growing base of carefully vetted organizations that its members believe best meet community needs in accordance with SOS guidelines.
“The support of SOS has impacted us in many ways, not just financially. By going through the evaluation process and site visit to obtain funding, we learned about the importance of clear and measurable objectives,” notes Jodi Woessner, Executive Director of the Belle Center. “The support of SOS is also a signal to other funders that our program is sound, and acts as an endorsement that their investment in Belle would be well-utilized.” The Belle Center assists families in coping with the stresses of having a child with special needs through programs and referrals for parents, siblings, and members of their extended families. In 2010, the Belle Center received $12,000 from SOS to fund preschool tuition and therapy scholarships for its children, providing them with crucial therapies to improve their health and development.
The Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund strives to increase the participation and leadership of women in philanthropy in the St. Louis area. SOS prides itself on being an inclusive, democratic organization where each member has an equal voice in the selection of grant recipients.
SOS will celebrate $1 million of charitable giving at its annual grant awards ceremony. The Spirit Awards: $1Million Well Spent will be held Thursday, June 14, 5:30 p.m. at Steinberg Hall Auditorium on the campus of Washington University.
The Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund (SOS) strengthens the St. Louis community through informed, focused grantmaking by educating and inspiring women to engage in significant giving. Visit SOS Women’s Fund and download our five-year report to the community at www.soswomensfund.org or like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/soswomensfund.
For more information:
Primary Contact: Kathy Frost
Secondary Contact: Melissa Jones