Community Foundation Week

Today marks the start of community foundation week, November 12–18. This week, community foundations across the country are recognized for their collaborative and innovative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. 

What is a Community Foundation? 

A community foundation is a grantmaking public charity dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined local geographic area. Community foundations are uniquely situated to improve their regions by enacting innovative solutions and creating powerful partnerships. 

At the St. Louis Community Foundation (STLCF), we are a Foundation for the future of St. Louis: we know our community, its strengths and the challenges it faces. We inspire purposeful philanthropy that connects community and donors to build and preserve a more equitable and vibrant region, now and forever. 

What do Community Foundations do? 

We help solve problems: 
Community foundations play a key role in identifying and solving community problems. The COVID-19 Regional Response Fund was seeded with endowed dollars at STLCF and supported by a coalition of philanthropic organizations. This Fund directed more than $6 million to nonprofits that serve local communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and its economic fallout. The Regional Response Team, elevated by the St. Louis Community Foundation, builds infrastructure to strengthen the resilience and recovery of populations most affected by COVID-19. RRT equips the region with the long-term support needed to promote an equitable and holistic recovery from public health challenges. 

We look to the future: 
STLCF’s Community Endowment Fund (CEF) supports causes and enterprises that provide sustainable, long-term benefits to the community, while achieving capital preservation and measurable financial return. The CEF allows the expert staff at STLCF to address our region’s emerging, vital, and ever-changing needs and opportunities now and in the future. 

We are community leaders: 
Beyond grantmaking, community foundations also play important roles as community leaders. STLCF is involved in community initiatives and affiliates such as Connect STL, a “Digital Divide” initiative focused on creating and implementing sustainable internet connectivity systems, and Invest STL, a regional initiative that aligns investment, technical assistance, and community organizations to build healthy, stronger neighborhoods. STLCF also focuses on access to education through partnership with My Scholarship Central and St. Louis Graduates. 

We get involved: 
STLCF staff serve and boards and committees and volunteer with community-wide efforts such as Forward Through Ferguson and the St. Louis Coalition for Digital Equity and Inclusion. By being active members of our community, our staff bring back knowledge and information that informs our work with our donors. 

You Can Make an Impact 

The St. Louis Community Foundation offers a variety of charitable fund options to meet you where you are on your philanthropic journey. Our talented and dedicated Giving Strategists are here to help you at givingstrategies@stlgives.org. 

If you aren’t ready to start a fund, but want to show your support for STLCF, consider the following: