Gateway Center for Giving Celebrates the Strength of “PHIL&THROPY” in St. Louis

January 30, 2017

St. Louis, January 27, 2017—The Gateway Center for Giving convened grantmakers and nonprofits at the Gateway Center’s Annual Meeting today to celebrate the generosity of donors in the St. Louis region and to recognize dynamic sector leaders for their excellence. Gateway Center Members collectively represent $5.8 billion in charitable assets, of which more than $264 million is deployed in the St. Louis region each year, creating sustained and meaningful impact. This year’s Annual Meeting theme, “PHIL&THROPY,” reflects the power and importance of partnerships.

The Gateway Giving 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 categories recognize six winners:

Excellence in Innovation in Philanthropy: The Excellence in Innovation Award recognizes a grantmaking organization that has put significant support behind an unproven initiative or project that has the potential to yield great community outcomes, or has engaged in innovative investing strategies.   Honorees: The Boeing Company and Wells Fargo Advisors for their support of the new Venture Café Education Innovation Fellowship, a competitive, paid fellowship for 15 St. Louis Public School educators to learn design thinking, innovative methods and business-oriented practices. Participants translate their learning into curriculum modules they can bring back to their classrooms.  This investment, managed through the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, has allowed St. Louis Public Schools to approach talent management in an innovative way, and support cross-sector relationships with business leaders to support student outcomes.

Excellence in Collaboration in Philanthropy: The Excellence in Collaboration Award 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.  Honoree:  Monsanto Fund for its leadership of regional funder collaborative STEMpact, which was founded in the belief that all students deserve access to high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.  Over the course of the past four years, 19 districts, 391 teachers, and 17,612 students have been impacted by participating in the STEM Teacher Quality Institute, creating a pipeline of STEM-proficient individuals in our region. See for a list of partners.

Emerging Leader in Philanthropy (two awardees): The Emerging Leader Award 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. Honoree:  Rhonda Smythe, Missouri Foundation for Health. Rhonda has shown tremendous community leadership, particularly in the area of food access.  In addition to facilitating a pooled grant fund to foster innovative food access and supportive public policy, Rhonda has been instrumental in the development of the St. Louis Food Policy Council, a new coalition that pulls together nonprofit leaders who are working on food access issues.  Honoree: Allie Chang Ray, Deaconess Foundation.  Through her work, Allie has helped attract significant support from outside the St. Louis region to address racial equity and other social justice issues.  She has partnered with local grantmakers to hold conversations about ways to focus funding to leverage limited resources for greater impact, has made presentations locally, statewide and nationally in the areas of capacity building and advocacy, and serves as a Grantmakers for Effective Organizations Capacity Building Champion.

Philanthropic Legacy: The Philanthropic Legacy Award 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 meaningful or long-lasting contribution to an innovative program in our region, yielding significant outcomes.  Honoree: Amy Rome, The Rome Group.  Amy has worked in the field of philanthropy for her entire career. As founder of The Rome Group, Amy has consulted in strategic planning, resource development and leadership development to a large variety of nonprofits throughout the region for more than two decades.  Amy is also an adjunct faculty member at the Brown School of Social Work, where she has mentored a multitude of business and nonprofit professionals and students in the classroom and in the field.

Business Meeting

Outgoing Gateway Center Board Chair Matt Oldani of the Deaconess Foundation welcomed the following additions to the Gateway Center for Giving Board of Directors for a three-year term:

Julie Hardin, Express Scripts

Melinda McAliney, Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis

Al Mitchell, Monsanto Fund

Board Officers: Jama Dodson of the Saint Louis Mental Health Board was elected as Board Chairman for 2017; Matt Kuhlenbeck of the Missouri Foundation for Health as Vice Chair, Desiree Coleman of Wells Fargo Advisors as Secretary, and Mary Kullman of the Caola Kullman Family Fund as Treasurer.

Outgoing Board Members Ann Vazquez of the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis and Lisa Dinga of the Dinga Family Fund were recognized for their outstanding service to the organization.

The Gateway Center’s Annual Meeting was hosted at the .ZACK Performing Arts Incubator and supported by Emerson and the Enterprise Holdings Foundation. Visit the Gateway Center for Giving Facebook page over the coming weeks to see pictures from the event.


10 Ways GCG Members Can Engage in 2015 & Beyond

October 28, 2015

The calendar year is almost over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your GCG membership in 2015! Here are 10 ways to engage before the end of the year.

DEI Affinity Group Mtg_2-17-2015 1101) Attend a program

We offer about 35 programs annually for GCG Members. Visit our Programs & Events page to see the list of upcoming programs. Or, check out GCG’s Upcoming Programs in our What Gives? weekly newsletter.

2) Pitch a program

GCG Members are in the unique position to work with our staff to develop and present a program to the GCG Membership. Some of our most successful programs in the past were initiated by a GCG Member. Contact Clare at GCG to pitch your program ideas for 2016.

3) Share your news

GCG is always on the lookout for news about our Members to include in issues of What Gives? Whether it’s a press release about your impactful giving or an article featuring your organization or staff,  your peers are interested. Contact GCG and share your news with us. We’ll make sure the rest of the GCG Membership hears about what you’re doing.

4) Like us on Facebook

We regularly update our Facebook page with photos and information. Stay up to date with all the latest news on what GCG Members and Staff are doing in the St. Louis community.

5) Join an affinity group

GCG has several affinity groups within our membership that gather for programs within their area of interest, including sessions for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Funders; Early Childhood Funders, and Education Funders.  We recently added a discussion group on Impact Investing.

6) Utilize the GCG Collaborations Directory

This year, GCG released an updated regional Collaborations Directory, which is a dynamic resource for GCG Members seeking information and engagement opportunities. Catalogued by subject matter, there are a total of 73 listings that can provide grantmakers with opportunities to partner with others.

7) Attend the Annual Meeting

Every January, we host our Annual Meeting—our organizations’ largest gathering of grantmakers, nonprofit partners and community leaders to celebrate the strength of philanthropy in St. Louis. We work hard on preparing an informative and enjoyable event for all. Our theme this year is “Philanthropy on the Map” and the event will be held at the Trolley Room in Forest Park Visitor’s Center on Friday, January 22, 2016.

8) Write a blog post

Be a guest blogger on the GCG Blog. In 2016, we are revving up our social media presence and want to feature our favorite people—our Members! If you have a perspective that you wish to share, a challenging question that your organization has encountered or particular insights about the field, please consider submitting a post.

9) Submit a research request

On-demand research services are available exclusively for Members to learn who’s doing what in the community and nationally, as well as the latest trends and best practices are in grantmaker areas of interest.

10) Join a GCG Committee

As a membership organization, GCG relies on member volunteers to help our staff consider and develop consistent programming and new initiatives.  Committees include: Programs & Services, Finance, Engagement, Governance, Audit and Executive Committee. Contact the GCG staff if you are interested in joining one of our volunteer committees.

Recognizing Grantmakers- William T. Kemper Foundation

March 7, 2012

In this sixth edition of our Recognizing Grantmakers blog series we are going to share with you an Excellence in Grantmaking nomination from Peter & Paul Community Services that looks to recognize the William T. Kemper Foundation.  Thank you to Peter & Paul Community Services for submitting this nomination for the 2011 Giving is On Time Excellence in Grantmaking category.

“The Kemper Foundation “gets” philanthropy.  Their aim is true.  There seems to be an influx of funders who have obscured philanthropy with PR.  Fortunately, organizations like The Kemper Foundation have a solid track record of demonstrating their compassion for Missourians with a real sensitivity for timing.  Read the rest of this entry »

Recognizing Grantmakers- Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis

March 5, 2012

In this fifth edition of our Recognizing Grantmakers blog series we are going to share with you an Excellence in Grantmaking nomination from TouchPoint Autism Services that looks to recognize Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis.  Thank you to TouchPoint Autism Services for submitting this nomination for the 2011 Giving is On Going Excellence in Grantmaking category.

“Ongoing funding from Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis – strategically focused on children’s mental health services that are comprehensive, coordinated and provided at the community level – has enabled TouchPoint Autism Services to improve the system of care for our community’s children and families affected by autism. Read the rest of this entry »

Recognizing Grantmakers- Boeing

February 29, 2012

In this fourth edition of our Recognizing Grantmakers blog series we are going to share with you an Excellence in Grantmaking nomination from Parents as Teachers that looks to recognize Boeing.  Thank you to Parents as Teachers for submitting this nomination for the 2011 Giving is Far Reaching Excellence in Grantmaking category.

“In 2008 Parents as Teachers expanded the Heroes at Home initiative for military families to 12 installations. The following year the Pentagon wanted the program expanded to 36 sites within 12 months. Parents as Teachers turned to Boeing for help in negotiating the Heroes at Homes contract with the pentagon. Read the rest of this entry »

Recognizing Grantmakers- St. Louis Rams Foundation

February 24, 2012

In this third edition of our Recognizing Grantmakers blog series we are going to share with you an Excellence in Grantmaking nomination from CHARACTERplus that looks to recognize the St. Louis Rams Foundation.  Thank you to CHARACTERplus for submitting this nomination for the 2011 Giving is Ongoing Excellence in Grantmaking category.

Friends of CHARACTERplus“CHARACTERplus is extremely grateful for the very rewarding partnership with the St. Louis Rams Foundation.  CHARACTERplus has relied on the St. Louis Rams for over 13 years to provide support both financially and ‘in-kind’ to help fund character-building programs for the youth of our community. Currently CHARACTERplus serves 78 school districts and 17 individual schools (see attached list of ‘member’ districts and schools).  This rewarding partnership provides resources that increase the awareness of character traits among students and teachers in the St. Louis metropolitan community through videos, posters and a micro-website. Here are some of the highlights of this partnership: Read the rest of this entry »

Recognizing Grantmakers- Whitaker Foundation

February 21, 2012

In this second edition of our Recognizing Grantmakers blog series we are going to share with you an Excellence in Grantmaking nomination from Grace Hill Settlement House that looks to recognize the Whitaker Foundation.  Thank you to Grace Hill Settlement House for submitting this nomination for the 2011 Giving is Ongoing Excellence in Grantmaking category.

Grace Hill's Whitaker Urban Evening Series“For the past five years, Grace Hill and the North St. Louis community have received financial support from the Whitaker foundation to hold the Whitaker Urban Evening Series.  The series is held in St. Louis Place Park over a six week period during the summer.  Prior to this support from the Whitaker Foundation, there were very few opportunities for public engagement in cultural activities in North St. Louis City.  Read the rest of this entry »

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