Philanthropy’s Role in Fostering a Just and Equitable Society

October 30, 2017

Blog post by Deb Dubin, President & CEO, Gateway Center for Giving

Where we’ve been: For more than three years, the Gateway Center for Giving (GCG) has been intentionally engaged in providing our funding community with opportunities to learn and dialogue about the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). In the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death in August 2014, we tracked immediate regional philanthropic responses to the events in Ferguson and provided that information to our Members in order to foster collaboration and identify engagement points. Since that time, we have offered Members a robust series of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Funders Affinity Group programs, exploring DEI within our organizations and in the broader community. Our team developed a new sector tool, the Missouri Common Grant Application Version 2.0, which infuses an equity lens into the grantmaking process in order to foster transformation, spark dialogue and boost accountability. Most recently, we’ve become a community co-signor to a powerful statement calling for policy and decision-makers to deliver swift action on Ferguson Commission’s Calls to Action.

REWG co-chairs, Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO of ABFE, and Tamara Copeland, President & CEO of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.

National implications for this work: As a member of the United Philanthropy Forum’s (the “Forum”) Racial Equity Working Group (REWG), I traveled to Washington, DC last week to participate in two days of conversations about how the Forum can best support a national philanthropic commitment to addressing and eradicating inequity. The Forum network consists of various moving parts, with sector leaders sitting in organizational seats all over the country. Some Forum members are already firmly engaged in substantial programming and activities intended to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion, while others are newer to the work and seeking a meaningful path forward. The Forum intends to bring together all the groups working in this area to connect, learn and share from each other in a more intentional way.

The Forum’s REWG is being co-chaired by Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO of ABFE: a Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities, and Tamara Copeland, President & CEO of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. The REWG will focus on the following action items:

  • Identify effective resources, programming and strategies that have been developed and used to advance racial equity in philanthropy;
  • Identify any gaps in what is needed in resources and programming to advance racial equity in philanthropy;
  • Provide strategic guidance to the Forum staff to lift up, adapt and/or develop resources and programming that can be used by Forum members across the network;
  • Provide guidance to the Forum’s Education Committee and Board of Directors on the Forum’s strategic priorities and goals around advancing racial equity in philanthropy; and
  • Evaluate progress over time.

How can we, as philanthropy-supporting organizations (PSOs), foster a more just and equitable society? How can we encourage increased philanthropic investment to support transformative change?

This is a watershed moment. Organized philanthropy is a critical partner in the work, and the Gateway Center for Giving is committed to providing our Members with meaningful support and tools for action.

Gateway Center for Giving is grateful to the Trio Foundation of St. Louis, Commerce Bank, Spire, the Missouri Foundation for Health, and the Clemence Lieber Foundation for their support of our DEI-focused initiatives.

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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.


Giving is On Going at the Trio Foundation of St. Louis

February 1, 2011

By:  Eulonda Nevels, YWCA Metro St. Louis

We are especially excited about the opportunity to nominate a local grantmaker for a Gateway Center for Giving Excellence in Grantmaking  Award this year.  We nominated the Trio Foundation in the Giving is On Going category.  They have partnered with us on the multi-year pilot phase of the Women’s Economic Stability Initiative and thanks to their vision and leadership, the program has shown to be a success and plans for expansion are currently underway.

The Trio Foundation concentrated their efforts and decided to implement a multi-year project that would help single women heads of households break the cycle of poverty for them and their children by breaking down the barriers that prevented them from earning a living wage.  By creating a partnership with the YWCA Metro St. Louis, the Trio Foundation established the Women’s Economic Stability Initiative spanning over 5 years providing each participant an opportunity for a nontraditional vocational education which generally pays a higher wage than traditional women’s jobs. Read the rest of this entry »


Marketplace of Ideas Finalists Use Innovation and Collaboration to Address Needs of Children and Families in North St. Louis

January 28, 2011

By: Karl Guenther, Incarnate Word Foundation

This summer, approximately 750 senior citizens in North St. Louis will have locally grown vegetables delivered to their door by the 4-H teens who tended a community garden. Forty youths – and their parents – will participate in a weekly program to help them establish healthier relationships. Twenty fathers will learn entrepreneurship skills and develop business plans to minimize family distress.

Marketplace of Ideas Project Submissions 2010-2011 Book Final.pdfThese are among the seven innovative projects presented Thursday January 27th as part of the Marketplace of Ideas Showcase at De La Salle Middle School in The Ville neighborhood. Over 75 people attended the event to hear about the good work going on in North St. Louis communities. This standing room only crowd was made up of community residents, agencies, government officials, religious institutions, businesses, schools, and foundations.

Project proposals were solicited and reviewed by a panel of community members as part of the Marketplace of Ideas, a community funding program piloted by Incarnate Word Foundation with the support of other local funders to address the needs of children and families in North St. Louis. It seeks to spur collaboration between community members and to highlight the richness of community activity in North St. Louis.  Seven finalists emerged as a result of the initial competition. Each received $5,000 in start-up funding from Incarnate Word Foundation. Read the rest of this entry »


The Center Celebrates 40 Years in the St. Louis Community

January 27, 2011

By: Lindsey Greenberg, Gateway Center for Giving

The Gateway Center for Giving celebrated 40 Years in the St. Louis community at it’s Annual Meeting at Powell Hall last Friday, January 21st.  The event brought together over 120 grantmakers, nonprofits, and community leaders for a lunch in the beautiful atrium at the Hall.  The Annual Meeting functioned as a celebration, awards ceremony, and business meeting all at once.

The program was kicked off with an introduction from St. Louis Symphony President Fred Bronstein.  He gave a brief history of the hall and some information about the Symphony in the community.  Following his introduction, Center President Mary McMurtrey shared with the group the results of the Center’s member engagement survey and described how the Center will continue to work with it’s members and the community in “The New Normal”.  The Center’s Board President Kathy Reeves of Enterprise Holdings led the business meeting and welcomed in our new board member Matt Oldani of Build-a-Bear.

One of the highlights of the program was the presentation of the Excellence in Grantmaking Awards.  Every year the Center ask local nonprofits to nominate grantmakers in three categories: Giving is On Time, Giving is On Going, and Giving is Far Reaching.  This years nominators and award winners were: Read the rest of this entry »


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