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.


Arts and Economic Prosperity IV in the Grand Center Arts District

June 20, 2012


The results of the Arts and Economic Prosperity IV study tell a dramatic story about the importance of the arts to this region.  Click here for the full study.

The Regional Arts Commission thanks Wells Fargo Advisors for its generous support of this important project.

  • The Arts are a $582.3 million industry that grew 3.78% since 2007
  • The Arts comprise more than 10,000 *full-time equivalent jobs that grew 14% since 2007
  • 11.3 million visits to the arts – more than the Cardinals, Blues and Rams audiences combined

The Arts and Economic Prosperity IV study was conducted by the Regional Arts Commission in partnership with Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. The results are based on data collected from 137 nonprofit arts and culture organizations and also from surveying audience members at cultural events. Read the rest of this entry »

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!

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.

Strategies to Develop Effective Corporate Partnerships

May 26, 2011

“If you’ve seen one corporation, well you’ve seen one corporation.”

This quote from Erin Budde, SVP for Community Affairs at Wells Fargo Advisors, kicked off today’s Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) lunch program.  The event- Maximizing Corporate Sponsorships: Strategies to Develop Effective Partnerships– featured a panel of corporate funders that included Gateway Center for Giving members Kathy Reeves (Community Relations Manager, Enterprise Holdings), Jim Bafaro (Senior Manager of Global Corporate Citizenship, Boeing), Mike Carosone (Board Member, Boeing Employee Community Fund), and Erin Budde. These leaders spent the lunch stressing the importance of mission-fit and l0ng-term partnership to the audience of nonprofit development leaders. Read the rest of this entry »

Center Members Support the Storm Recovery Efforts

April 25, 2011

The Center would like to recognize those members that have already pledged their support to help the tornado storm recovery efforts.  The tornadoes which wreaked havoc in St. Louis on Friday night damaged over 2500 homes and offices and blew out the windows at Lambert St. Louis International Airport.

Recovery efforts were underway almost immediately and our corporate members were some of the first to respond.  As of Monday afternoon the following organizations had already pledged their commitment:

  • The St. Louis Cardinals and Cardinals Care pledged $30,000 to the American Red Cross.
  • Monsanto gave $100,000 to the American Red Cross
  • Wells Fargo Advisors commits $100,000 to the United Way of Greater St. Louis
  • Peabody Energy delivered a check for $275,000 to the American Red Cross (for local and international disaster relief efforts.)
  • Centene along with St. Louis Bread Company delivered hundreds of sandwiches on Saturday to relief workers and victims (see picture below).
  • Build-a-Bear Workshop has committed bears to the American Red Cross for the relief efforts.
  • Regional Business Council gives $50,000 to the American Red Cross and $10,000 to Lambert St. Louis International Airport.
  • Boeing gives $50,000 and Boeing St. Louis Employees Community Fund gives $20,000 to the American Red Cross.
  • United Way of Greater St. Louis invests $200,000. $50,000 will go to the American Red Cross, $50,000 will go to the Salvation Army, and $100,000 will go to United Way 2-1-1.
  • Enterprise Holdings Foundation is donating $50,000 to the American Red Cross and $50,000 to the United Way of Greater St. Louis.
  • St. Louis Blues 14 Fund is making a $10,000 to the American Red Cross.  The Blues players are also donating $10,000 to the American Red Cross.
  • Laclede Gas gives $25,000 to the United Way of Greater St. Louis.  They will also give 100% match of employee donations made to the United Way through May 9.
  • Maritz commits $20,000 to the United Way of Greater St. Louis.
  • Mastercard is giving $25,000 to the United Way of Greater St. Louis and $25,000 to the American Red Cross. The company is also doubling matching gifts made by employees through May 25.

Read the rest of this entry »

GCG Corporate Members Take the First Steps Towards Sustainable Business Practices

March 3, 2011

Thirteen Gateway Center for Giving Corporate Members have signed up to be a part of the 2011 St. Louis Green Business Challenge. The Challenge is organized by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA) and is in its second year.  The Challenge inspires businesses to form green teams and implement strategies to reduce energy and waste, expand sustainability programs and reduce your company’s environmental impact.

How the Challenge Works
The Challenge requires participants to complete sustainability strategies from a scorecard that contains categories of outreach, energy reduction, indoor environmental quality, waste reduction, and clean transportation options. Each sustainability strategy is worth a specific number of points. In 2010, 150 points were possible with extra credit points given for innovative activities.

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