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.


Monsanto Announces House Rabbit Society of Missouri the Winner of Grow St. Louis Contest

April 24, 2012

The following is  a press release from Monsanto.
ST. LOUIS – April 23, 2012 – After weeks of voting by the St. Louis community, Monsanto Company announces House Rabbit Society of Missouri is the $15,000 grant winner of the third round of the Grow St. Louis contest.

Through the Grow St. Louis effort, eligible projects affiliated with schools and/or nonprofit organizations in the St. Louis metropolitan area were nominated to receive a grant of up to $15,000 from Monsanto. The nominations were then voted on by the public to decide what projects would receive awards to help them “grow St. Louis”.

In total, more than 17,000 people voted for the more than 100 local projects participating in the third round of the program.

“Now that we’ve ended the third round of the program, we are thrilled with the continued response to the Grow St. Louis contest,” said Jessica Simmons, Grow St. Louis program lead. “It’s exciting to see how St. Louisans are strengthening their community in so many different and positive ways.”

First-place winner House Rabbit Society of Missouri is a 100 percent volunteer organization committed to helping animal shelters in the St. Louis metro and metro east area with rabbit care and education. With the $15,000 grant the society plans to expand their mission of helping community shelters care for abandoned pet rabbits, and help grow the youth and community education programs. 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.

Monsanto Announces Effort to Help “Grow St. Louis”

August 10, 2011

Monsanto announced the launch of a new community grant program designed to help grow St. Louis and improve lives locally.

Monsanto Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant joined St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and YWCA CEO Adrian Bracy to share details with the community about Monsanto’s “Grow St. Louis” program, an exciting new initiative that invites St. Louisans to join the company in making a real difference in the community.

“This program is what our company and our nearly 5,000 St. Louis employees are all about,” Grant said. “It represents a wonderful opportunity not only to showcase what St. Louis has to offer, but also to inspire creativity, improve lives and make our community stronger.” Read the rest of this entry »

From Birth to National Model, the St. Louis Symphony and the Monsanto Fund are IN UNISON

December 17, 2010

By: Stephanie DeChambeau, STL Symphony

In the early 1990s, the St. Louis Symphony and the Monsanto Fund collaboratively developed the IN UNISON® Program – a partnership of the STL Symphony with St. Louis-area African-American churches. Inaugurated in 1992 with five churches, IN UNISON now serves 40 primarily African-American churches in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and Metro East. The Monsanto Fund has exclusively funded the program every year since its inception.

IN UNISON was a groundbreaking initiative in the industry, bringing an orchestra into the everyday lives of a community which historically has felt estranged from the art form. Through IN UNISON the STL Symphony seeks to provide musical resources and break down perceived barriers to the Symphony and Powell Hall through several avenues: 1) performances by Symphony musicians in member churches; 2) music education scholarships for church youth; and 3) encouraging church members’ attendance of STL Symphony concerts through significant ticket discounts. In 1994 the Program expanded with the creation of the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON® Chorus, which comprises 120 singers primarily from the African-American community. The Chorus performs at least three programs annually as part of the Symphony’s season. The costs of the IN UNISON Chorus’s operations are also underwritten by the Monsanto Fund. Read the rest of this entry »

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