Gateway Center for Giving Celebrates the Strength of Philanthropy in St. Louis

St. Louis, January 30, 2015—The Gateway Center for Giving convened 165 grantmakers and nonprofits at the Gateway Center’s Annual Meeting today to celebrate the generosity of donors in the St. Louis region and recognize four award winners for their grantmaking excellence and impact. Gateway Center members collectively represent more than $3.8 billion in charitable assets, of which more than $274 million are deployed in the St. Louis region each year. 

The Excellence in Grantmaking Awards reflect an emphasis on best practices in the field and philanthropic sector leadership. Award winners are nominated by their grantmaking peers, community members, and nonprofits. This year’s four awards:

Excellence in Innovation in Philanthropy: recognizes a grantmaking organization that has put significant support toward an unproven initiative or project that has the potential to yield significant community outcomes, OR has engaged in innovative investing strategies.

Nominated by Amelia Bond of the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation, Sally Barker of the Permutt Fund at the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation has helped to break down the stigma that comes with suicide, and build a social network that helps connect young people who are struggling to find their way.  In response to her son Alex Barker Permutt’s tragic suicide in 2007, Sally created www.FeelingKindaBlue.org, a social networking site where young adults who are struggling with mental health issues can find each other for conversation, post blogs, and locate support.  Today the site has more than 2,300 members in 50 states.

Excellence in Collaboration in Philanthropy: recognizes a grantmaking organization that has made collaboration a central part of its grantmaking strategy, and has shown itself to be an effective collaborator among its grantmaking peers and community partners.

The winner in this category was nominated by Patrick McCulloch of MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries.  Awardee Bridget Flood of the Incarnate Word Foundation has provided substantial financial resources, time, and effort toward the creation of STL Youth Jobs, a large-scale youth employment program undertaken in collaboration with a host of other organizations that are listed here: www.stlyouthjobs.org.

Emerging Leader in Philanthropy: recognizes an individual who demonstrates generosity of spirit and a commitment to social impact, both professionally and personally. The award winner shows creativity and determination to improve the philanthropic sector, and demonstrates great potential for leading the sector in the future. Nominated by Tom Barry of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, the winner is Amy Soper of the Ohana Foundation, who has made a significant impact on the St. Louis community in a short period of time through her dedication of time, talent, and treasure. In addition to showing leadership through her range of philanthropic commitments, Amy serves as a board member and a volunteer at several community organizations, and she is currently enrolled in graduate school working on her social work degree.

Philanthropic Legacy: recognizes an individual or a family that has made a significant contribution to the philanthropic sector.  The award winner has led an initiative or program that has changed the landscape of funding, or has made a significant or long-lasting contribution to an innovative program in our region.  Nominated by Opal Jones of Doorways, Mary and Steve Schoolman carry on the legacy of philanthropy in the St. Louis community through their work at the Clemence Lieber Foundation, spanning three generations of charitable efforts.  Their impact today can be felt among dozens of community causes.

Business Meeting

Gateway Center Board Chair Ann Vazquez of the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis welcomed the following new additions to the Gateway Center for Giving Board of Directors:

  • Matthew Kuhlenbeck of the Missouri Foundation for Health
  • Mary Kullman of The Laclede Group

Outgoing Board Members Jane Donahue of the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation and Robert Hughes of the Missouri Foundation for Health were both recognized for their outstanding service to the organization.

The Gateway Center’s Annual Meeting was hosted by the Missouri Botanical Garden and supported by Emerson and Enterprise Holdings. Visit the Gateway Center for Giving Facebook page over the coming weeks to see pictures from the event.

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