2017 Annual Meeting Press Release

Friday, January 26, 2018
2017 Annual Meeting Invitation text reads Philanthropy Aligned

Gateway Center for Giving convened grantmakers and nonprofits at the Gateway Center’s Annual Meeting today to celebrate excellence in sector leadership. This year’s Annual Meeting theme, “Philanthropy Aligned,” reflects the importance of strategic giving in relation to compelling regional needs and goals. Gateway Center Members collectively represent $5.8 billion in charitable assets, of which more than $261 million is deployed in the St. Louis region each year, creating sustained and meaningful impact.

The annual Gateway Giving Awards reflect an emphasis on best practices in the field and philanthropic sector leadership. Award winners are nominated by their grantmaking peers, community members and nonprofits. Winners were selected in three categories:

Emerging Leader in Philanthropy: The Emerging Leader Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates generosity of spirit and a commitment to social impact both professionally, and personally.  The award winner shows creativity and determination to improve the philanthropic sector, and demonstrates great potential for leading the sector in the future.   


  • Lindsay Matush, a passionate advocate for inspired philanthropy, is the Founder and CEO of Vario Philanthropy, a consulting firm serving foundations, individuals, and businesses looking to ensure that their giving is fulfilling and effective. Vario also equips donors to increase their impact, streamline processes, improve communication, and develop theories of change to move from distributing dollars to making a measurable difference. Lindsay is passionate about sharing her learning through speaking, writing and inspiring others to advance their important work. A member of the Gateway Center for Giving Board of Directors, Lindsay is also an avid paraglider pilot, and is currently the second-rated female pilot in the United States.

Excellence in Collaboration in Philanthropy: The Excellence in Collaboration Award recognizes a grantmaking organization that has made collaboration a central part of its grantmaking strategy, and has shown itself to be an effective collaborator among its grantmaking peers and community partners. 


  • Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) is being recognized for designating $6 Million to address issues highlighted in the Forward Through Ferguson report and accompanying Calls to Action. The MFH commitment extends to funding and co-funding several regional initiatives that are tackling inequities in our region. Many of these strategies embody the Ferguson Commission’s philosophy of a “culture of trying” and “radical collaboration.” Examples include: Better Family Life’s Gun Violence De-escalation Centers Pilot Project, which is focused on intervening and mediating conflicts that are predicted to turn violent; the Shut it Down initiative, which brings together a collaborative network of foundations to address issues of racial inequity in education; and MFH’s partnerships with area foundations, community leaders and nonprofits to address food insecurity in North St. Louis City and County.  While fostering programs that support health and wellness for the entire St. Louis region, and doing so in alignment with the Ferguson Commission’s Calls to Action, MFH has shown itself to be an effective collaborator among its grantmaking peers and community partners.

 Excellence in Innovation in Philanthropy: The Excellence in Innovation Award recognizes a grantmaking organization that has put significant support behind an unproven initiative or project that has the potential to yield great community outcomes, or has engaged in innovative investing strategies.  


  • Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (EMKF) is being recognized for their Inclusion Challenge Grant Program, which funds the St. Louis Equity in Entrepreneurship Collective. In 2016, EMKF awarded BioSTL a two-year, $420,000 grant as part of Kauffman’s Inclusion Challenge Grant Program, which supports organizations helping women and minority entrepreneurs. BioSTL serves as the fiscal agent and backbone entity for the St. Louis Equity in Entrepreneurship Collective, a group of organizations working to advance gender and racial equity in the tech-based, startup community. The grant is intended to support systemic action that helps the entrepreneurship ecosystem intentionally move itself toward equity. The Kauffman Foundation’s innovative approach has the potential to yield great community outcomes by ensuring prosperity is inclusive, and that entrepreneurial success cannot be predicted based on identity.

Business Meeting

Gateway Center Board Chair Jama Dodson welcomed the following three additions to the Gateway Center for Giving Board of Directors for a three-year term:  

  • Vander Corliss, United Way of Greater St. Louis
  • Wendell Kimbrough, ARCHS
  • Julio Suarez, Anheuser-Busch

Board Officers:

  • Jama Dodson, CEO of the Saint Louis Mental Health Board, Board Chair
  • Matt Kuhlenbeck of the Missouri Foundation for Health, Vice Chair
  • Gregory Glore of the Glore Fund, Secretary
  • Vander Corliss of the United Way, Treasurer

Outgoing Board Members:

  • Four Board Members were recognized for their outstanding service to the organization: Keith Brooks, Cardinals Care; Mary Kullman, Caola-Kullman Family Fund; Matt Oldani, Deaconess Foundation; and Amy Rome, The Rome Group.

The Gateway Center’s Annual Meeting was hosted at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and supported by Emerson, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, and Express Scripts.

Visit the Gateway Center for Giving Facebook page to see pictures from the event.

About the Gateway Center for Giving

Gateway Center for Giving helps donors do more. We strengthen philanthropy and promote community impact by providing programming, research, and networking opportunities to grantmaking organizations in the St. Louis region. We also enhance regional leadership through information on community needs and philanthropic best practices, supporting collaborative action to help address our region’s most pressing issues. Gateway Center for Giving was founded in 1970 and our members include corporations, donor-advised funds, foundations, trusts and professional advisors actively involved in philanthropy. To learn more, visit www.centerforgiving.org.

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