By Laurie Burstein
As the 18th largest metropolitan area in the nation, St. Louis is often in the Top 5 or Top 10 in many national rankings, and charitable giving is no exception.
In 2002, a report on giving in the St. Louis region called Private Dollars for Public Good, revealed that St. Louis outpaces national averages in a number of key areas. St. Louis area households, businesses and foundations gave twice as much to human services organizations (such as the United Way of Greater St. Louis) than did the nation's donors, and gave more than three times as much to arts and cultural organizations (such as the Arts and Education Council).
In St. Louis
Corporations give three times
the national average.
Household giving is 15% higher
than the national average.
David Luckes, president and CEO of the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation, says that these numbers hold true in 2008.
"We have a strong culture of charitable giving in St. Louis," Luckes says "Corporations give three times the national average, and that speaks of a deeply engaged corporate community," he says. "And with household giving 15 percent higher than the national average, St. Louis is one of the more generous communities in the nation."
Luckes adds that in addition to having a generous donor community, St. Louis also has an innovative non-profit sector that works closely with the community to operate more effectively, always seeking to improve operations to help more people.
When it comes to the United Way of Greater St. Louis, St. Louis ranks 1st in African-American giving, 5th in women's giving, and 6th in overall United Way campaign giving. That generosity is key to the success of the annual campaign, leaders say.
The United Way
Next month, United Way of Greater St. Louis will announce the goal for the 2008 annual campaign. Last year's campaign was the largest ever, raising $68.8 million for the community. Ninety cents of every dollar donated goes directly to help the people who need United Way's support, making United Way three times more efficient than most nonprofits nationally.
For the United Way of Greater St. Louis
St. Louis ranks 1st in African-American
giving, 5th in women's
giving and 6th overall
in United Way
90 cents of every
dollar donated goes directly to help the people
who need United Way's support.
About 65% of the annual campaign is raised through
The campaign goal will be announced on August 13th by campaign co-chairs Doug Albrecht, chairman of Bodley Group and former chairman, CEO and president of Centric Group and Andy Taylor, chairman and CEO of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The campaign will begin September 3rd and run through the end of October.
Each year, about 65 percent of the annual campaign is raised through workplace campaigns. Companies interested in running a new workplace giving campaign can contact Michael Broadhurst at email@example.com, or (314) 539-4114.
"United Way's annual campaign is important to the health and well-being of our community, and to the families and individuals who make their homes here," said Gary Dollar, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis.
"The 188 agencies we fund and the one million people they help rely on the great generosity of the St. Louis region. The annual campaign is how the community comes together to take care of one another, and we are excited to help make that a reality again this year," Dollar adds.
As this year's United Way Campaign co-chair, Enterprise CEO Andy Taylor says, "For nearly 25 years, my family, our company and our employees have supported the tremendous efforts of the United Way of Greater
St. Louis. One out of three people in our community are helped in some way by agencies funded by the United Way, and I am proud to be co-chairing this year's campaign to support the vital work the organization does in the St. Louis region."
Enterprise employees, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, and the Taylor family have contributed a total of more than $4 million dollars to the United Way of Greater St. Louis over the past 25 years. Each year, the company runs an active campaign with events to raise money along with an employee pledge drive. Enterprises' Foundation matches 50 percent of the amount raised through employee giving.
Co-chair Doug Albrecht says, "I have tremendous respect for the work United Way does in this community. I have seen how United Way helps change lives for the better, and with Andy and me working together on this year's campaign, I cannot think of a better way to volunteer my time."
Greater St. Louis Community Foundation
Established in 1915, The Greater St. Louis Community Foundation is a public charity with over $150 million in charitable assets that represent more than 400 individual funds that provide nearly $15 million in grants annually to 1,200 non-profits. Each fund represents a unique charitable giving partnership with an area individual, family or business.
As president and CEO of the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation, David Luckes says his organization plays a facilitation role in putting charitable dollars to work.
"We provide a vehicle that helps families and businesses get engaged in the community through charitable giving," Luckes says. "We help them manage the process so their dollars are spent as effectively as possible."
Luckes adds that more corporations and foundations are turning to the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation to oversee their charitable giving. For example, the Foundation manages corporate giving for businesses, including World Wide Technology, Paric Corporation and Alberici Corporation.
"We work with not only high-income families, but with groups and corporations across the board. We serve both as an administrative partner and facilitator," Luckes says.
Luckes points to several new initiatives including a Spirit of St. Louis Women's Fund, where the Foundation is working with 200 women who have pooled their resources for charitable investment. In the Fall, a new regional website is set to launch which will connect the Foundation's grantees and others with potential donors. Luckes says the goal is to create a regional database of not-for-profits to connect more easily with the donor sector.
The Foundation is also getting ready to launch a $1 million dollar initiative to support charter school reform and after school programs in the City of St. Louis.
Arts & Education Council
Established 45 years ago by civic leaders concerned for the arts in St. Louis, the Arts and Education Council enriches the vibrancy of the St. Louis community by investing in arts and cultural organizations throughout the region. The Council provides funding for the arts and arts education throughout a 16-county region in Missouri and Illinois by raising funds during its annual campaign. In 2008, funding was granted to 80 organizations that attract 5.1 million people to 5,006 performances, events and classes each year.
Arts & Education Council:
In 2008, funding was granted to
80 organizations that attract
5.1 million people to
5,006 performances, events,
and classes each year.
The Arts and Education Council annual campaign is now in full swing (and runs through the end of the year), and has three major components—workplace giving programs, individual and foundation contributions, and corporate gifts. New workplace giving campaigns already include Novus International, Pulaski Bank, The Daniel and Henry Co., St. Louis Community College- Wildwood and Normandy School District. All workplace campaigns, individual, foundation and corporate contributions are helping the Council reach its goal of increasing donations by 15 percent in 2008. This ambitious goal received a head start from the Arthur and Helen Baer Charitable Foundation with a new $75,000 grant.
Charley Meyer, president of 1926 Investment Advisors, is the 2008 Arts and Education Council campaign chair. Meyer stresses the importance of getting involved now. "The success of the 2008 campaign will directly impact our community in 2009," Meyer says. "The Council is now reviewing the grant applications for next year. These applications underscore the significant and wonderful work of arts organizations in our community. If we can meet our fundraising goal in 2008, we can fund more arts projects, events, and education and outreach programs in 2009Ñkeeping St. Louis a great place to live, work and play."
As the Council looks to the future and the conclusion of the 2008 campaign A&E Council President Jim Weidman notes, "Engaged and dedicated volunteers, as we have working on the 2008 campaign, almost certainly guarantee a successful outcome for the arts and arts education in St. Louis."
Weidman says donating to the Arts and Education Council is the perfect way to
keep art happening and enjoy all St. Louis has to offer. Those who donate just $50, will receive The CARD, good for 2-for-1 and special discounts at arts events all over town. Visit www.keeparthappening.org for details.