WHO WE ARE
Shelby Schagrin brought the idea of women’s collective giving to St. Louis in 2006. The idea was simple; to bring together women’s equal contributions so that together we can make a bigger contribution to our community than individually. Each member would make an equal contribution and using a one-woman, one-vote process, provide high-impact funding to nonprofits that were improving life in the St. Louis metro region. Shelby enlisted Susan Block and together they created the Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund. One-by-one, woman-by-woman, the spirit grew.
Today we continue to learn and grow, guided by the collective wisdom of our members and the people we serve. We are humbled by the work of our grantees who teach us every day about the power of giving to others. To date we have contributed over $2.7 million dollars to over 85 nonprofits that are improving life in our community.
The Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund (SOS) strengthens the St. Louis community through informed, focused grantmaking by educating and inspiring women to engage in significant giving.
- Create a powerful organization of women devoted to improving the community.
- Be a force for significant social change through collective grantmaking.
- Provide financial support to community organizations dedicated to improving life in the Greater St. Louis area.
- Educate and inspire current and potential women donors.
We are committed to equality, diversity, collaboration, community, inclusiveness and accountability.
We value our members as colleagues and friends. We don’t just work together. We also relax together at occasional social events.
We enjoy the sense of discovery that comes from learning about our community, its needs and organizations that are working to meet those needs.
HOW WE WORK
Everyone gives an equal amount of money. Everyone has an equal voice. Our members commit to an $1,200 annual contribution. $1,080 of each member’s annual contribution goes directly to make grants and $120 to help support our educational programs and operation.
We Are A Volunteer Democracy
We are a volunteer democracy. Those members who have time, give it. Those who don’t are only asked to vote. We respect that women have different demands on their time at different times in their lives. There are no fundraisers, no galas. All of our grant dollars come directly from our member dues.
We Are A Learning Organization
Educational events, including our Discovering Our Community series, inspires women to become an informed source of social change. Social events bring members, prospective members and grantees together to learn from each other and have fun in the process.
We Rotate Leadership
We rely on an active network of members to rotate leadership on our board and through the various committees that lead our organization. We do almost all of the work ourselves so we can put more of our money to the community where it is needed most.
We Partner With The St. Louis Community Foundation
The Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund has selected the St. Louis Community Foundation to partner with for administrative, financial and technical support. The St. Louis Community Foundation promotes and inspires charitable giving in the St. Louis region. It is a trustworthy steward of donor funds, with experienced and knowledgeable staff who guide and connect donors with nonprofit organizations working on the causes they want to support. The Foundation administers over 600 charitable funds totaling nearly $500 million in assets and supports these funds in distributing over $80 million annually in grants and scholarships.