St. Louis COVID Relief Efforts: A Framework For the Future

Last year, a coalition of  corporations, private foundations, and donors came together to generously support the COVID-19 Regional Response and the Gateway Resilience Funds hosted at the St. Louis Community Foundation.

In fact, these combined efforts raised a total of $8.8 million to help St. Louisans adversely affected by the pandemic — particularly the region’s most vulnerable citizens.

Where did the funds go? A new report just issued by the St. Louis Community Foundation spells it out.

The Covid-19 Regional Response Fund — Intended to fund nonprofits helping underserved populations such as the mentally ill, elderly, homeless, and children, the Fund made grants totaling nearly $5 million to 145 organizations, which provided assistance to nearly 130,000 individuals residing in 321 ZIP codes across the bi-state area. Some of the organizations receiving assistance included:

The St. Louis Area Foodbank used the funds to help provide more than 36 million meals to the food insecure, while Finding Grace Ministries provided safe housing for people like Antonio and Amy, who lost their home after Antonio lost two of his three jobs as a result of the pandemic. A grant to Join Hands East St. Louis helped the group reached out and educate people most in danger of contracting the virus, while also hosting food drives and shifting their teen center to a remote learning center.

The Gateway Resilience Fund — The fund received more than 1,500 individual donations totaling more than $2.1 million. A total of 3,500 grants were made to a combination of small business employees who lost their jobs and small businesses that shuttered because of pandemic-related closures.

In addition, four donors at the St. Louis Community Foundation stepped up to contribute $28,000 to help 76 Foundation scholarship recipients with COVID-related education disruptions.

To help guide grant-making and to ensure the funds allocated generated maximum impact possible, the Community Foundation assembled an Advisory Council made up of corporate, community, and family foundation representatives.

Checks to grant recipients were issued just 10 days after the fundraising effort began and demonstrated collective impact and the generosity of the St. Louis region. To read the St. Louis Community Foundation’s report to the community on its Covid-19 relief efforts in its entirety, please visit here.