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.


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.

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

January 25, 2016

Phil On the Map imageSt. Louis, January 22, 2016—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 five sector leaders for their grantmaking excellence and impact. Gateway Center members collectively represent $3.7 billion in charitable assets, of which more than $261 million is deployed in the St. Louis region each year.

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 five award winners are:

Excellence in Innovation in Philanthropy:

The Clark-Fox Family Foundation, for creating Blueprint4SummerSTL, a novel, highly personalized searchable web database that helps families in the St. Louis metropolitan area find best-fit summer programming for youth. In its first year, the site hosted 72,000 searches for more than 3,500 summer opportunities, promoting youth enrichment.

Excellence in Collaboration in Philanthropy: 

Express Scripts and the Express Scripts Foundation, for their leadership in fostering the Nance Elementary Transformation Plan, bringing together eight disparate agencies and elevating the key program areas and expertise that each brings to the table to better serve student needs.

Also, the Regional Business Council, for their leadership in the Reinvest North County Fund, created in partnership with North County Inc. and supported by the St. Louis Community Foundation. Under RBC’s leadership, $900,000 has been raised for businesses and school districts in the target region during a critical time for recovery and growth.

Emerging Leader in Philanthropy:

Serena Muhammad, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the St. Louis Mental Health Board, was nominated by her sector peers for her work as a collaborative, thoughtful and inclusive emerging leader.

Philanthropic Legacy:

The Staenberg Family Foundation has granted more than $60 million in financial support to nearly 500 organizations, in addition to pro bono contributions valued at over $10 million, over the past decade. A supporting foundation of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, the Staenberg Family Foundation actively supports organizations and programs relating to arts & culture, children, education and medical research and services, creating a significant legacy of philanthropy that now extends to a second generation of givers.

Business Meeting

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

David Desai-Ramirez, IFF; Gregory Glore, the Glore Fund; Jenny Hoelzer, Commerce Bank.

New Board Officers: Matt Oldani of the Deaconess Foundation was elected as Board Chairman for 2016; Jama Dodson of the St. Louis Mental Health Board 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 Amelia Bond of the St. Louis Community Foundation; Kathy Gardner of the United Way of Greater St. Louis; David Krauss of the Commerce Family Office; David Stiffler of Equifax; and Mary Swan, formerly with Ameren, were all recognized for their outstanding service to the organization.

The Gateway Center’s Annual Meeting was hosted by Forest Park Forever 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.

About the Gateway Center for Giving

The Gateway Center for Giving helps donors do more. We strengthen philanthropy and promote community impact by providing programming, research and networking opportunities to grantmaking organizations in the St. Louis region. We also enhance regional leadership through information on community needs and philanthropic best practices, supporting collaborative action to help address our region’s most pressing issues. The Gateway Center for Giving was founded in 1970 and our members include corporations, donor-advised funds, foundations, trusts and professional advisors actively involved in philanthropy. To learn more, visit

Funder Strategies: Updates & Information A ‘Meet the Donor’ Program

April 30, 2015

Nonprofits, Community Members, and Grantmakers: Join the Gateway Center for Giving to hear from a panel of local funders describing updates they have made to their funding strategies in order to support increased impact in our community.

Featured grantmakers will include:

  • The Boeing Company
  • Deaconess Foundation
  • Mid-America Transplant Services / Donate Life Foundation
  • Nestle Purina
  • St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund

As at all Meet the Donor programs, it is important to note that we follow a Good Guest, Good Host policy, in which attendees are asked to refrain from making fundraising requests during, and immediately before and after the program.

When:  May 27, 3:00-5:00pm
Where:  The Missouri History Museum, Des Lee Auditorium
Open to:  Center Member Grantmakers, NonMember Grantmakers, Nonprofits, Community Members

Register for this program by clicking here!


  • General Admission (Nonprofits, Grantmakers, Community Members): $20.00
  • AFP Members: $15.00

Thank you to Wells Fargo Advisors and AFP for supporting this program. Special thanks to the Missouri History Museum for hosting.

Please contact Clare Brewka at with questions about this program.

Giving with Purpose: Effective Management and Operations

May 1, 2014

The fifth class of the Giving with Purpose course focuses on effective management and operations, and throughout the course module, instructor Rebecca Riccio offers a few tips to funders who are evaluating prospective grantees:

1. IRS Status: Confirm that the organization is registered under Section 501(c)(3)by using one of the following websites, and check to make sure the nonprofit adheres to “best practices include having independently audited financial statements, a whistleblower policy for managing employee complaints, a conflict of interest policy, a policy for saving and destroying documents, and several policies regarding executive compensation and the board of directors.

2. Facilities: “If an organization maintains public facilities, say a community or recreational center, take a look around. The space doesn’t have to be modern or fancy, but it should be clean, inviting, and safe. It should reflect the organization’s pride and professionalism in the way it’s maintained.”

3. Website: “Take a look at the organization’s website and social media to see how it approaches marketing and communications… look for signs that the organization communicates clearly, consistently, and professionally and conveys all the information that an informed funder should look for: the need it addresses, whom it serves, the benefit it provides, how it defines success, what it does to achieve it, and how it holds itself accountable.”

4. Fundraising: “When you’re looking at the organization’s fundraising materials and annual report, whether online or in hard copy, you should be able to see how it raises money and what it spends it on. If there’s an online giving function, look for assurance that it is secure.”

5. Board Members: “Look for diversity among its members, representation from the community the organization serves, and a mix of skills, experience and expertise that’s relevant to the organizations mission, approach, size, and fundraising needs.”

6. Leadership: “The executive director often has to juggle many diverse tasks and responsibilities. It takes passion to do that job well, as well as specialized skills and expertise related to both the organization’s area of focus and the complexities of running and fundraising for a nonprofit organization. The executive director’s biographical profile should be provided on the web site. Look for evidence that the executive director has both types of qualifications.”

7. Volunteers: “When you’re assessing an organization that relies on volunteers, look for evidence that it has good systems in place to recruit, train, manage, and thank them.


Riccio ends this week’s course module with a great summary question for all funders to use: “Think about what the organization hopes to achieve in the world and ask yourself, “Is it built to get the job done?”

Giving with Purpose: Evaluation and Impact

April 24, 2014

This past week’s Giving with Purpose course module focused on evaluation, and measuring impact.  Core to impact measurement is understanding how the activities of an organization yield immediate results, as well as longer term, more significant results.  One way that many nonprofits and funders approach this is through a logic model.  Giving with Purpose offered a diagram that clarifies the different parts of a logic model.

“To create a logic model, organizations often use backwards planning that starts with its intended outcomes to determine the logical sequence of activities they need to engage in as well as the skills and resources, financial or otherwise, that will be required for its programs and services to be successful.”

The course module notes that “even though it’s reasonable to hold nonprofit organizations accountable for impact — especially when they’re asking for your financial support –… it’s important to have realistic expectations about what any one organization can do and how quickly it can achieve results.”

The course instructor, Rebecca Riccio, also notes that when an organization seeks to impact complex problems that have deep societal roots, it is difficult to identify and collect clear data that illustrates how an individual organization is contributing to overall change – especially when that change might be slow to reveal itself.

This is a challenge that the grantee, the funder, and cross-sector partners have to work together to figure out.

Private Foundations and Public Charities – What’s the difference?

April 16, 2014

This information was originally published in a post by the Foundation Group.

Many people have a layman’s understanding of the difference between public charities and private foundations:  Public charities are understood to perform charitable work, while private foundations support the work of public charities.  That grassroots definition is, in practice, mostly true.  The specifics, however, are slightly more complicated.

Public charities. Public charities represent the largest share of active, 501(c)(3) organizations.  Those starting a new organization usually prefer public charity status, not just because it better describes the organization’s purpose.  Public charities also enjoy some advantages over private foundations:  higher donor tax-deductible giving limits, the ability to attract support from other public charities and private foundations, as well as a $25,000 income threshold to trigger annual Form 990 filing (private foundations file Form 990-PF regardless of income).  In fact, an applicant for 501(c)(3) status must prove why it should be considered a public charity, lest they be considered a private foundation by default.

Like the layman’s definition, public charities typically carry out some type of direct, charitable activity.  Examples include churches, private schools, homeless shelters, etc…the list of possibilities is nearly endless.  The true definition of a public charity, though, goes well beyond the programs and into the realm of structure and revenue source.  As for structure, in order to qualify for (and keep) public charity status, a 501(c)(3) must be organized for exclusively 501(c)(3) purposes.  The IRS requires certain language to be in a public charity’s articles of incorporation explicitly restricting its activities to such.  In addition, a public charity must represent the public interest by having a diversified board of directors.  More than 50% of the board must be unrelated by blood, marriage or outside business co-ownership and not be compensated as employees of the organization.  We are often asked where that is in the “code” and, frankly, it isn’t there…at least not verbatim.  It is an extrapolation of the IRS’s requirement that governance of a public charity be at arms-length and without private benefit (inurement) to insiders.  As such, the IRS requires that a quorum of board members be possible who have no personal stake, either directly or potentially through relationship.  Finally comes the income, or source of revenue, test.  Public charities must be supported by the general public.  For that to be true, a significant amount of revenue, at least 33%, must come from relatively small donors (those who give less than 2% of the organization’s income), from other public charities or the government.  While that is significant, that leaves 67% to potentially come from other, less diverse sources.

Private foundations. While being considered a private foundation could simply be a fall-back position of not qualifying for public charity status via either the organizational or income test (or both), it is most often a choice that is made.  There are reasons why someone would choose foundation status over public charity.  Chief among those is control.  In exchange for somewhat disadvantaged deductibility limits to donors, mandatory Form 990-PF filings, and minimum annual asset distributions (5% each year), private foundations can be controlled by related parties and be funded by a relatively small group…even one individual or family (think Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).  This is often more than enough trade off for those starting a foundation.  One thing that is not different for private foundations is the requirement that it be organized for exclusively charitable purposes.

There is even a third type of 501(c)(3), the private operating foundation.  This is best thought of as a hybrid of the other two, most often a private foundation with direct program services like that operated by public charities.  The rules are strict, as control can be like that of private foundations, but with some of the benefits of public charities.  There are relatively few of these organizations around.  You typically only see these under rather unique circumstances.

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