Gateway Center for Giving Launches Missouri Common Grant Application, Version 2.0

July 5, 2017


Free, Customizable Tool for Grantmakers Elevates Best Practices in Giving

The Gateway Center for Giving is pleased to announce the launch of the Missouri Common Grant Application (CGA) Version 2.0, which now incorporates questions about diversity, equity and inclusion into the customizable grant application template. The CGA, a free community resource, facilitates the application process for grantmakers and grantees. It is available for download by visiting the Gateway Center for Giving website. A companion User Guide, Budget Template, and all-new Funder Guide are also available.

“For the past several years, the Gateway Center for Giving has taken a leadership role in convening regional funders around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and the impact on philanthropic practices. The newly revised CGA Version 2.0 helps grantmakers to extend their commitment to DEI by infusing an intentional DEI lens into their strategies. While every grantmaker will have different guidelines, priorities, and deadlines, this is a customizable tool, and we encourage funders to utilize it,” said Gateway Center for Giving CEO Deborah Dubin.

“To build CGA Version 2.0, the Gateway Center for Giving team has researched best practices; convened local funders and nonprofits for discussion and feedback; and consulted with national organizations who are leading the charge to incorporate a DEI lens into grantmaking practices,” said Jama Dodson, Board Chairman of the Gateway Center for Giving and Executive Director of the Saint Louis Mental Health Board. Cynthia Crim, a grantmaker and member of the revision committee, noted that “CGA Version 2.0 will help funders expand their conversations with grantees and gather meaningful data on community progress on the road to equity.”

The Missouri CGA was first created in 2012 as a sector tool, and it has been highly utilized by regional grantmakers, as well as drawing considerable interest from organizations across the country. Support for the effort to revise and expand the CGA in 2017 was provided by the Trio Foundation of St. Louis, Spire, and the Clemence Lieber Foundation.


New Grant Reporting Tool Helps Funders Assess Effectiveness

March 25, 2015

The Gateway Center for Giving is pleased to announce the launch of a new Grant Reporting Tool, consisting of general tips and a menu of core questions that are considered best practices in effective grant reporting.  The Grant Reporting Tool and accompanying resources are available on the Gateway Center for Giving website, Read the rest of this entry »

An Interview with the Incarnate Word Foundation- Adopting the Missouri Common Grant Application

October 21, 2011

The Missouri Common Grant Application was officially launched in August of this year.  So how is it being received by the grantmaking community?  With open arms! To help nonprofits and grantmakers better understand how the application is being used by a local grantmaker we interviewed Margaret Smetana, a Program Officer with the Incarnate Word Foundation of St. Louis (IWFDN).  IWFDN tested the application with its grantees this past summer and based on the success of that test have decided to continue using the application.

  1. So Margaret, the Incarnate Word Foundation (IWFDN) was one of the first foundations in the region to test the Missouri Common Grant Application (CGA) with its grant applicants this summer. How was the application received by your potential grantees?

Based on anecdotal feedback from grantees as well as responses to the Gateway Center for Giving’s survey, grantees seemed to be overall very happy with the Common Grant Application. Of those applicants who responded to the survey, 63% thought that the CGA was more user friendly than other grant applications they have completed.  A piece of the CGA that contributed to this positive feedback was the User Guide that is included with the application. 68% of applicants felt that this was a helpful tool.

One of the challenges applicants brought up was that some questions were written for program-based grants instead of operational grants. Since IWF’s grants are mostly operational grants, some of the language in the application did not translate perfectly for the Foundation’s purposes. 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 »

Introducing the Missouri Common Grant Application

August 8, 2011

A Common Grant Application (CGA) has been created for Missouri grantmakers. With the guidance of a committee of St. Louis area grantmakers, the Gateway Center for Giving has developed a Common Grant Application toolkit that will streamline the grantseeking process. This is a FREE tool that has been made possible through the generosity of grantmakers in the St. Louis region.

The goals for the creation of this application were to:

  • Design a standard, yet customizable, Common Grant Application (CGA) for Missouri grantmakers.
  • Allow Missouri grantmakers and grantseekers to work from a common set of questions that reinforce solid nonprofit practices.
  • Save grantseekers time and effort by using a streamlined format for many different applications. Read the rest of this entry »

The Creation of a Common Grant Application for Missouri

June 15, 2011

Did you know that a group of grantmakers has come together to create a Missouri Common Grant Application (CGA)?  

As part of its work to advance organized philanthropy, the Gateway Center for Giving is thrilled to announce the creation of a Missouri Common Grant Application. With the guidance of a committee of St. Louis area grantmakers, the Gateway Center for Giving has developed a Common Grant Application toolkit that will streamline the grantseeking process.

More than 12 foundations in the St. Louis region came together over the past year to create this application toolkit.  The committee worked with local nonprofits and grantwriting professionals to test the application to ensure that it meets the needs of both the nonprofit and grantmaking community.

The Common Grant Application is the result of a collaborative effort between funder and nonprofit organizations working to build the performance capability of the nonprofit sector in St. Louis and the state of Missouri. We are pleased to provide this service to the philanthropic and nonprofit communities.

The application is still in test phase but will hopefully be rolled out in late summer 2011.  Some St. Louis area grantmakers have already agreed to adopt the application and will be testing it during their summer grant cycle.

Stay tuned for more information about this important project.  If you would like more information about this project please contact Lindsey Greenberg at

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