March 2021 Newsletter
Giving Something Other Than Dollars
Time, talent, and treasure are the three Ts that non-profits need to accomplish their missions.
Treasure is the simplest to define. Simply put, it is donating dollars and writing checks. But many of us do not have the deep pockets to continually be writing checks to nonprofits that we deem necessary and valuable to the community.
Following are a few ways you can make a difference without breaking the bank:
- For your birthday, ask for donations from well wishers to a favorite charity.
- If your employer has a charitable fund, fill out the referral form to promote the mission and impact of a favorite charity so they qualify for corporate funds. (A lot of companies only give to nonprofits of interest to employees or places employees volunteer or serve on the board).
- Does your employer or your spouse’s ever provide sponsorships to nonprofit events?
- Forward a flyer about a favored event to a decision maker with a note of why that group is important to you.
- Has a friend invited you to a trivia night? You might want to attend to learn about a new organization. There are 12,000+ nonprofits in the area.
- Is a nonprofit having an auction and looking for a donation? Provide an in-kind donation such as a dog basket or couple bottles of wine.
- Helping a family member or friend move into assisted living or nursing home? Donate any extra or unused walkers, commodes etc. to St. Louis HELP and the furniture/furnishings to Home Sweet Home.
- Are you a good writer/marketer? Join a marketing committee of a favorite non-profit to help them with their messaging, storytelling, communicating outcomes.
- Are you good with social media? Join a marketing committee of a favorite nonprofit to help them with their reach to younger audiences.
- Invite a guest every quarter to an SOS event. What better way to share your education and expanded view of the community’s needs and problem solvers than to show your friends!
- Volunteer! Extra hands are always welcome – doing registration at events, being a runner to assist at events, helping with mailings, helping with office work, following up service calls, picking up silent auction items, dropping off virtual gala boxes or bags, staging silent auctions, calling donors to thank them (especially easy and valuable task for board members), chaperoning to assist staff for a kids’ charity event, being a water station volunteering at a charity walk/run or even volunteer to puts signs out for the run route.
Think about where else you’ve seen volunteers. Picture yourself there!
What did we miss? If you have a favorite way to give we haven’t mentioned, email us so we can share more ideas with our members!
SOS Receives Increased Requests For General Operating Support
Consistent with current national trends in philanthropy, SOS has received numerous requests for general operating support this grant cycle. Grants for general operating support sustain and strengthen the overall mission of a nonprofit. This is especially timely given the uncertainty and many challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic and its aftermath.
Benefits of General Operating Funding:
- Trusts that nonprofits know best how to spend the grant money.
- Supports the stability of grantee organizations.
- Encourages risk-taking, creativity, innovation, and emergent action flexible to adjust proposal outcomes that may become outdated.
- Supports grantees’ long-term planning by allowing them to project resources and make strategic investments to meet emerging needs.
- Encourages deeper, more interactive relationships between grantees and funders.
SOS also welcomes project/program and capacity-building support requests. Capacity-building support strengthens the development of an organization’s core skills and capabilities, such as leadership, management, finance/fund-raising, programs, and evaluation, in order to build the organization’s effectiveness and sustainability.
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 21, 2021 (Virtual)
Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City By Wes Moore with Erica L. Green
When Freddie Gray was arrested in Baltimore for possessing an “illegal knife” in April 2015, he was, by eyewitness accounts, treated “roughly” as police loaded him into a vehicle. Gray would end up in a coma he would never recover from.
In the wake of a long history of police abuse in Baltimore, this killing felt like a final straw–it led to five days described alternately as a riot or an uprising that set the entire city on edge.
Wes Moore is one of Baltimore’s 39 most famous sons–a Rhodes Scholar, bestselling author, decorated combat veteran, White House fellow, and President of the Robin Hood Foundation. While attending Gray’s funeral, he saw the city come together: grieving mothers; members of the city’s wealthy elite; activists–all looking to comfort each other, but also looking for answers.
Moore tells the story of these five days through his own observations, and through the eyes of seven other Baltimoreans: Each shifting point of view contributes to an engrossing account and looks at the deeper causes of the violence and the small seeds of hope planted in its aftermath.
Join us to discussion this powerful book.
Welcome New Members
On March 15th we heard from a panel of experts on Mass Incarceration: A System of Oppression with New Hope for Reform.
Wesley Bell, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney spoke about the reforms his office has put into place.
Samantha Stangl, the Data Analyst in Wesley Bell’s office talking points were:
- The prison population and the fact that high rates of incarceration are not improving public safety.
- The devastating impact of incarcerated parents on children and families.
- The impact of incarceration on those individuals with mental health issues and substance abuse.
- The significant obstacles that face people after release from prison.
- The state of reforms and what still needs to be done.
Shawntelle Fisher, an SOS Member and former Grantee, shared her inspiring story of how she founded The SoulFishers Ministries. Shawntelle introduced Jacquelyn who was formerly incarcerated and helped by The SoulFishers Ministries.
Save the Date/Upcoming Events
5:30 p.m. APRIL 14
Attend the ballot fair and hear about the nominated organizations so you can make informed choices and learn about our new voting system, Electionbuddy.
ElectionBuddy makes voting easier and provides resources to learn even more about the ballot nominees so you can vote with confidence.
VOTE • VOTE • VOTE • VOTE • VOTE • VOTE
Remember to VOTE April 14th until April 30th.
Watch your email to register for our Virtual Ballot Fair
Congratulations to several SOS grantees!
Check out this link to What’s Right With the Region
It is an impressive acknowledgment to be nominated and selected from a panel of judges assembled by Focus St Louis.
Reminders & Housekeeping
If you pay dues annually, March 15 is the stated deadline for renewing your membership. But in this year of Covid, it seemed appropriate to provide a little relief – if your dues are received by April 15, those dollars will be included in this year’s grant funding and you’ll be eligible to vote in the ballot fair. We’ve got an outstanding slate of agencies that need SOS’s support this year, so please don’t miss the opportunity to play your part in this important effort.
Renew your membership today by paying online at:
Do not make online payments between March 31 – April 4, due to a change in Community Foundation’s payment processor.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Send a check payable to Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund in the amount of $1200 to:
St. Louis Community Foundation
#2 Oak Knoll Park
St Louis, MO 63105
Contributions to SOS are eligible for charitable tax deductions as permitted by IRS regulations.