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Letters of Inquiry 2020-08-16T16:12:54-05:00
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Membership in the Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund is open and inclusive. You do not have to wait for an event to join.

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Members pledge $1200 annually.

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LETTERS OF INQUIRY

The Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund (SOS) strengthens the Greater St. Louis community through informed, focused grant-making by educating and inspiring women to engage in significant giving.

SOS COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

  • SOS is committed to equity, diversity, collaboration, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability because all people deserve to live full and abundant lives free of prejudice, discrimination and oppression.
  • We will prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in our philanthropy.

DIVERSITY means full participation of all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, gender orientation, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ability, citizenship status, language, religion, geographic location, and national origin, among other identities.

EQUITY is the condition that would be achieved if one’s identity no longer predicted how one fared in life.

INCLUSION creates a culture and environment for diverse individuals to bring their authentic and full selves. Inclusion results when underrepresented people are seen as fully belonging in a community.

FOCUS AREAS:

Grants are not restricted to issues dealing exclusively with women, but are made to organizations focusing on at least one of the following areas:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Social Services

Single-year grants of $5,000 – $25,000 are awarded to nonprofit organizations in the Greater St. Louis community.   Applicants are encouraged to consider submitting for general operating support given uncertainty during the ongoing pandemic. Project/program support and capacity building support requests are also welcomed. Capacity building 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.

GRANT APPLICANT REQUIREMENTS:

To be considered for SOS grant funding, organizations MUST:

  • Have public charity status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code issued to an organization located in the Greater St. Louis Community
  • Have an operating budget of less than $1.5 million
  • Be headquartered and provide services within the Greater St. Louis Community which includes the City of St. Louis and/or the following counties: St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin in Missouri or St. Clair, Madison and Monroe in Illinois (Organizations can provide services outside this specific area but SOS will only fund the services provided to the Greater St. Louis Community)

Organizations receiving SOS grants for two consecutive years or receiving a multi-year grant must wait one year before applying for additional grant money.

Letters of Inquiry are evaluated by SOS membership to determine whether the organization’s mission and proposed project fit within SOS eligibility guidelines.  Other factors evaluated include the proposed project’s feasibility, as well as the organization’s ability to plan, implement, evaluate and sustain the project.

WHAT SOS DOES NOT FUND:

SOS does not award grants for:

  • Organizations not operating within the Greater St. Louis Community
  • Services delivered outside of the Greater St. Louis Community
  • Chapters of national organizations receiving financial support from their national office
  • For-profit organizations
  • Major building/capital campaigns, although program-specific capital requests may receive grants
  • Conferences or benefits
  • Individuals, for any purpose
  • Scholarships for a named individual, although scholarship funds may receive grants
  • Endowments
  • Projects that promote religious or political doctrine
  • Research (medical or otherwise)
  • Operating deficits/retirement of existing debt

SUBMIT A LETTER OF INQUIRY:

New this year: SOS grantmaking will be executed in partnership with the St. Louis Community Foundation.

  • Letters of Inquiry and required documentation can be submitted online at https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=stlgives
  • Organizations that are previously registered in the St. Louis Community Foundation grants management system may use their existing login credentials.
  • New organizations can create a profile using the Create New Account function on the website logon page.
  • The LOI will be accessible on the “Apply” page.

SOS volunteers evaluate LOIs based on the following criteria:

  • The proposed use of funds addresses an identified community need and is feasible
  • Project or organizational goals are clear and include anticipated numerical results
  • The organization has the capacity to plan, implement, evaluate and sustain the project
  • The organization demonstrates commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

If you have questions about the Letter of Inquiry process, contact soswomensfund.grants@gmail.com

For technical support issues, contact Nikki Martinez at the St. Louis Community Foundation, nmartinez@stlgives.org

  

FULL GRANT APPLICATIONS:

SOS accepts Full Grant Applications BY INVITATION ONLY.

After evaluating your organization’s Letter of Inquiry, you will be notified in late November if SOS invites your organization to submit a full proposal. Full grant applications are accepted from January 1-29, 2021. Grants are awarded in May based on a vote of the SOS membership after prospective grant recipients have successfully completed each step of the SOS grant process.