2017: A Record-Setting Year for the St. Louis Community Foundation

Calendar year 2017 was a banner year for the century-old St. Louis Community Foundation, officials announced today.

Most notably, the Foundation and its donors channeled $79.1 million dollars through 5,500 grants to nonprofits in St. Louis and around the world. Both figures eclipsed last year’s totals of 4,000 grants valued at $40 million. Nearly 85 percent of the grant dollars stayed in St. Louis helping regional nonprofits in 2017 and 2016.

Previously, the Foundation’s highest grant-making year was 2015 with 1,867 grants, totaling $63.1 million, made to nonprofits. Amelia Bond, president and CEO of the St. Louis Community Foundation finds a strong partnership in the St. Louis community.

By almost all measures, we had an unbelievable year. Charitable St. Louisans understand what sets us apart.

In 2017, new donor gifts to the Foundation also increased. During the year, the foundation received 2,600 gifts valued at $176 million, versus 1,494 and $70 million, respectively, a year ago. The number of gifts received easily surpassed the Foundation’s previous high mark of 1,867 set in 2015, or last year’s total of nearly 1,500.

Over the last five years, the St. Louis Community Foundation and its donors have granted nearly $250 million to local nonprofits, while receiving $410 million in donor gifts during the same period. Not surprisingly, assets held by the St. Louis Community Foundation continue to climb and now stand at $500 million. Five years ago, the Foundation had $211 million in assets. This growth in recent years makes the Foundation one of the fastest growing community foundations in the country.

A Transformational Gift

Among the highlights for 2017 was the more than $100 million gift made to the St. Louis Community Foundation in mid-December by Scottrade founder Rodger Riney and his wife Paula.

“Paula and I are so appreciative of the wonderful, loyal associates Scottrade was able to attract here in St. Louis, and this has also been a great place to live and raise our children and now, our grandchildren,” said Rodger Riney. “We look forward to giving back and supporting the St. Louis community, and the St. Louis Community Foundation will be a wonderful resource to help us.”

The Riney gift is the largest ever received by the St. Louis Community Foundation and helped contribute to the record year in overall donor gifts to the Foundation.

“The Rineys’ generous gift is truly transformational for St. Louis and for the Community Foundation,” said Bond. “This gift – along with the many others we received this year – represents an investment in St. Louis and its vast network of nonprofits that do so much and make our area special. It is also a reflection of the collaborative and informed relationship that we build with each of our donors as we work together to plan and execute their charitable giving programs.”

Donor Engagement and Asset Growth Drive Results

The key to the Foundation’s ongoing momentum is staying close to its donors, Bond observed.

“Our donors enjoy interacting with each other, discussing issues, and coming together to solve problems,” said Bond.

“The Community Foundation facilitates this process by pulling together our donors, community leaders, and nonprofit representatives to creatively partner to find solutions to community challenges. Our growth reflects this, and we will continue to build our services to ensure we meet the growing demands of our donors and our community.”

About the St. Louis Community Foundation

Since its founding in 1915 as one of the nation’s first community foundations, the goal of the St. Louis Community Foundation has been to promote and inspire charitable giving within the St. Louis region and to expand the impact charitable dollars have on improving the quality of life in our area and beyond.