Giving in St. Louis Report Now Available for Download

The Gateway Center for Giving has released the 2012 Giving in St. Louis report.  This report is a follow up to our landmark 2004 report Private Dollars for Public Good and will benchmark individual, corporate, and foundation philanthropic giving in St. Louis, Missouri. It is our hope that this report will strengthen the donor community, the nonprofit community, and the broader St. Louis community. This is the only report currently being published of this nature about St. Louis area charitable giving.

The report was developed in coordination with the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program at University of Missouri-St. Louis and The Foundation Center. Funding for this report was generously provided by Emerson and Wells Fargo Advisors.

A primary concern of the Giving in St. Louis Report is how philanthropic and charitable giving “weathered the storm” of the 2008 economic recession. Many of the statistical data used to prepare Giving in St. Louis came from the Gateway Center for Giving and from the Foundation Center. Other data sources include the United Way of Greater St. Louis, various foundations websites, and the IRS Tax Statistics portal.

The report was released on July 19th at the annual Philanthropic Landscape event presented by the Rome Group and the Gateway Center for Giving.

Key Findings of the Report:

  • Although financial investments suffered epic losses as a result of the 2008 recession, giving by foundations has increased by 9.6% in the four-year period ending in2010. In the same period there was a -10.5% change in local foundations’ assets.
  • Despite the recession, giving by businesses in the region remains robust.Before the economic downturn, the 2004 Private Dollars for Public Good report hadindicated the strong role of St. Louis-area corporations in philanthropy. Today, manycorporations with a local presence continue to give generously. Nearly $60 millionwas given by the 10 top corporate grantmakers with a base of operation or majormarket in St. Louis. And St. Louis-area organizations are often the beneficiaries:Half of these corporate funders directed more than 70% of their charitable dollarsto nonprofit organizations in the region.
  • Households have been hit hard by joblessness, foreclosures, and tough economicconditions. Giving by individuals continues to be strong constituting theprimary force behind charitable and philanthropic activity in the region. Althoughthe total dollar amount across the state may have decreased, the average itemizedcharitable contribution per return has held steady at about $4,250.
  • After a decline at the height of the recession, giving to the United Way of Greater St. Louis surpassed levels set in 2006 and 2007. The 2011 campaigntotaled more than $70 million from generous donors across the region.

Looking ahead to the future of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector in our community we find that many communities are taking action to ensure they are ready for opportunities to help offset financial losses brought about by federal and state budget cuts.  Some of these opportunities include:

  • Performance Partnerships allow states and localities to pilot better ways of using federal resources by giving them additional flexibility in using discretionary funds across multiple federal programs in exchange for greater accountability for results. Two pilot areas in which flexibility may be particularly needed and appropriate are (1) improving outcomes for disconnected youth; and (2) revitalizing distressed neighborhoods.
  • Philanthropic Equity, a creative model for helping successful nonprofits raise money, mimics the institution-building function of for-profit equity. Often this is accomplished through Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), an innovative new financial instrument offering a different way to fund and ultimately scale evidence-based programs that improve social outcomes and save public dollars. SIBs are intended to complement government funding, using private capital to invest in prevention and early intervention programs that eventually reduce the need for expensive, crisis-driven services.
  • Creative Cross-sector Advocacy helps nonprofits influence policy changes. Corporate funders are being asked to leverage their resources to ensure that important social programs remain intact. Many corporations already have a presence in legislative hallways, and nonprofits are working with them to help corporate dollars go even farther by addressing the systems that contribute to our biggest social problems.

The Giving in St. Louis Report and Executive Summary are available for free download on the Center’s website: www.centerforgiving.org.

About the Center
The Gateway Center for Giving is a membership organization made up of grantmakers in the St. Louis region. Founded in 1970 as the Metropolitan Association for Philanthropy (MAP), the Center’s members include corporations, donor-advised funds, foundations, trusts and professional advisors actively involved in philanthropy.

The Center’s 2012 Board includes Kasey D. Bergh (Nestle Purina PetCare Company), Kristy Collins Biehle (Hermann T. and Phenie R. Pott Foundation), Keith Brooks (Cardinals Care), Kirby Burkholder (IFF), Cynthia Curry Crim (Commerce Bank), Jane Donahue (Deaconess Foundation), John Fort (Fort Family Fund), Kathy Gardner (United Way of Greater St. Louis), Robert Hughes, Ph.D. (Missouri Foundation for Health), David Krauss (Commerce Family Office), Cynthia Medart (Bland Family Foundation), Matt Oldani (Build-a-Bear Workshop), Amy Rome (The Rome Group), Sue Schlichter (Express Scripts Foundation), Mary Swan (Ameren Missouri), and Ann Vazquez (Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis).

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