From the Board Chair: Regional Listening Tour Completed

Dear Community Foundation friends and neighbors:

When Amelia Bond announced her intention to step down last year as president and CEO of the St. Louis Community Foundation, the Board of Directors felt it important to conduct a region-wide “listening tour” to gain insights and feedback about the Foundation and the qualities needed for its next president and CEO.

We enlisted Kubler-Wirka (KW) to spearhead this effort, which ultimately engaged more than 136 people representing civic, community, nonprofit, corporate, and philanthropic perspectives. Participants were asked about their views on the St. Louis region, the Community Foundation, opportunities for the future, and the ideal role and profile of the Foundation’s next leader.

Everyone spoke candidly with great optimism about the future of St. Louis and the role the St. Louis Community Foundation will play in shaping our region. The participants recognized the opportunity and responsibility for the St. Louis Community Foundation to invite individuals and organizations to join us as we work to foster common cause and inspire new investments in the future. They also addressed the persistent struggles and past failures in advancing the vitality and equity of greater St. Louis, due to complex and inter-related social, economic, racial, and political challenges across the region.

Other key focus areas and findings:

Profile of the St. Louis Community Foundation

  • Give STL Day, the Foundation’s leading role in COVID-19 Relief (Regional Response Fund), and an emphasis on external communications have improved the Foundation’s profile and visibility over the past decade.
  • However, more still needs to be done to heighten awareness of the Foundation, its intensive work with nonprofits and the community, and position it as an accessible resource tool for the entire region.
  • Those who interact with the Foundation describe it very positively in terms of programs, services, people, and current reputation.

Considerations for the Future of the St. Louis Community Foundation

  • Continue to lead, inspire, and shape the conversation about philanthropy in St. Louis.
  • Align activities with community needs, while boosting discretionary and donor-advised giving.
  • Improve visibility and engagement with civic, nonprofit, community organizations and leaders, while also actively cultivating the next generation of donors.

Ideal Role of the President and CEO

  • Imagine, frame, and present the vision that will guide the Foundation’s direction.
  • Sustain and build relationships with donors, funders, community and civic leaders, and regional organizations and institutions.
  • Grow and nurture the Foundation’s resources—including donor funds, initiative funds, and discretionary funds.
  • Increase the depth of understanding of the Foundation across the community while also broadening the audience and awareness of its mission, vision, structure, and role in philanthropy.
  • Evoke a passion and a commitment to an equitable St. Louis, which is reinforced by an understanding of the complex social, political, philanthropic, and nonprofit elements that influence and buffet the region.

We are grateful to all those who took valuable time to participate in this aspirational discussion about the future of St. Louis and the Community Foundation’s role within the region. These insights are currently shaping our nationwide executive search for the Foundation’s next president and CEO.

Finally, thank you. Thanks to your ongoing support, the Community Foundation will continue to grow and evolve, while enhancing and enriching the vitality and equity of our region.


Shelley Seifert
Board Chair
St. Louis Community Foundation