Fostering Regional Collaboration: Immigrant & Refugee Services

February 7, 2017

Claire Hundelt, Program Manager, Daughters of Charity Foundation of Saint Louis

Gateway Center for Giving Member Blog Post

by Claire V. Hundelt, Program Manager with the Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis

The Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis has been actively engaged in supporting organizations that help immigrants and refugees with the many challenges of their new lives in America. In the spring of 2014, the Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis, Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, and the Saint Louis Mental Health Board hosted three gatherings to convene area provider groups serving immigrants and refugees. The purpose was threefold: to strengthen the work provided to our region’s aspiring Americans by increasing the networking and relationships among professionals and key stakeholders; to enhance understanding of the gaps in safety net provisions available; and encourage proactive planning to prepare the community for changes to the nation’s immigration policies. The gatherings confirmed that efforts underway to serve this population were increasing as new programs were being introduced resulting in knowledge gaps about available resources. The outcome  of these gatherings was the formation of an all-volunteer community-based group of concerned professionals and citizens known as Immigrant Service Provider Network or ISPN.

With nearly thirty members, ISPN has since formalized its structure by identifying executive committee leadership, creating bylaws, and forming working groups. Since 2015, this all-volunteer network has developed membership support and strategic outreach, started a resource directory, implemented a community education and enrollment outreach designed to explain the DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) programs. Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA) serves as the primary convener and fiscal conduit for project activities. With MIRA’s support, ISPN has offered free of charge educational clinics to help prepare immigration documents and delivered webinars on topics including Immigration 101, employment, and DAPA training. The coalition also created a website and developed education materials.

The funder collaborative between Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis and Lutheran Foundation continues to support the staff position at MIRA assigned to actively support ISPN outreach as well as host for the ISPN work groups. The collaborative between MIRA and the ISPN participants has led to a leadership development strategy to strengthen member and volunteer capacities for effective action.  As a result of ISPN’s work in the community approximately 450 individuals were served in 2016.

Click on one of the following links to learn more:


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.

St. Louis Giving News- Spring 2012

May 22, 2012

St. Louis area foundations are charitable year-round and the past few months have been no exception.  Below are some highlights of the major gifts that were made thus far this spring in the St. Louis region.

Did we forget to include a major gift your organization gave (or received)? Please let us know!  We are always looking to recognize the generosity of our region’s grantmakers.

We update our facebook page regularly with grant news from around the region.  Be sure to like us so you can stay up to date on the region’s giving news!

Lutheran Foundation Hits $90 Million in Grants Awarded

March 6, 2012

Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis is pleased to announce that it has hit $90 million in grants awarded since the inception of its grantmaking program in 1986.  Nearly 2,500 grants have been awarded to 550 congregations and nonprofit organizations, most of which are located in the greaterSt. Louisarea, during this time.

 “Lutheran Foundation of St.Louis has a rich heritage of partnering with area churches and agencies to positively impact the lives of hurting people,” says Ann L. Vazquez, president/CEO of the Foundation.  “Through our grant support, the Foundation acts as a conduit for Christians to model Christ’s servant leadership, thereby creating a healthier community attuned to mind, body, and soul.”

Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis was created with proceeds from the sale of LutheranHospitalin 1984.  The Foundation provides financial support to area congregations and organizations that, in turn, provide the skill, expertise, and care needed to improve the care of people in the St. Louismetropolitan region.  Grants are awarded in the areas of children’s mental health – prevention and early intervention, Christian volunteerism, congregation social service outreach, Lutheran education, and services for prisoners/ex-offenders and their families.  The Foundation has approximately $3.7 million available for new Grant Awards in 2012.  For more information and a list of recent grant awards, please visit

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 »

Missouri Common Grant Application- Frequently Asked Questions

September 27, 2011
It has been two months since the Gateway Center for Giving launched the Missouri Common Grant Application (CGA) and we couldn’t be more pleased with the feedback we are receiving about the Application. Eight grantmakers have already agreed to accept (or accept soon) the CGA and many more are reviewing the application and introducing it to their boards in hopes of getting approval to begin using it.

At today’s Meet the Donor program, over 100 nonprofit representatives came together to learn about the CGA and hear from grantmakers who helped to develop the application and plan to use it as part of their grant process.  The panel included Ann Vazquez (President of the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis), Kathy Gardner (Senior Vice President of the Community Investment Division at the United Way of Greater St. Louis), and Keith Brooks (Director of Cardinals Care). The panelists shared with the group information about when they plan to start using it and how they expect to use it (Lutheran- starting in October 2011, added a few questions; United Way- starting in Jan 2012, eliminating questions, one-time grant requests only; Cardinals- started using it in July, eliminated a few questions). Read the rest of this entry »

St. Louis Giving News- Summer 2011

August 30, 2011

St. Louis area foundations are charitable year-round and the past few months have been no exception.  Below are some highlights of the major gifts that were made this summer in the St. Louis region.

%d bloggers like this: