GATEWAY CENTER FOR GIVING is now PHILANTHROPY MISSOURI!
Celebrating 50 years of impact and launching statewide expansion plans
St. Louis, January 29, 2021— Gateway Center for Giving has announced a new name: Philanthropy Missouri. This rebrand, driven by a new mission and vision, signifies plans to connect and serve grantmakers across the state in order to strengthen and amplify philanthropic best practices in Missouri.
Philanthropy Missouri, a regional association of grantmakers first incorporated in 1970, provides informative programming, sector research, and peer networking opportunities to grantmaking organizations. Membership is open to corporations, foundations, trusts, donor-advised funds, and professional advisors actively involved in philanthropy. Current Members collectively represent $5.8 billion in charitable assets, and their strategic giving creates sustained and meaningful community impact.
“Building on our 50-year history of service to the sector, Philanthropy Missouri will offer expanded opportunities and deeper value for Members, and bring funders together from across Missouri to engage in learning and collaboration,” said outgoing Board Chair Jenny Hoelzer, Vice President of Community Relations at Commerce Bank.
“Grantmakers across the state have expressed a desire for an organization like Philanthropy Missouri to offer services in their communities. In addition, some of our current Members have a statewide presence, and they are eager to see the organization evolve to serve a broader footprint,” stated Philanthropy Missouri CEO Deb Dubin. “We welcome new Members who are interested in joining the conversation, taking a seat at our collective table, and being inspired in their grantmaking practices.” Newly elected Board Members from Kansas City and Springfield, as well as Philanthropy Missouri staff in Branson, will add their perspectives and leadership to the growth.
Board Treasurer and Strategic Planning Committee Member Angela Fleming Brown, CEO of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission, added, “This expansion in scope means greater impact and leadership on key issues affecting the philanthropic sector statewide, and it comes with our strong commitment to embedding equity in the organization’s work.”
The new name is driven by a new mission: to equip, connect, and energize our members and partners for thoughtful action and greater impact; and a new vision: a thriving and equitable Missouri, served by a collaborative, purpose-driven, and effective philanthropic sector. Along with these changes, Philanthropy Missouri has a fresh logo, evoking the convergence of the rivers that serve to unite and define Missouri and the ripple effects of philanthropic acts.
Q&A with Deborah Dubin, CEO of Philanthropy Missouri, on the reasons for the rebrand and the organization’s plans for the future:
Q. Why the change?
A. The name change supports our plans to expand statewide and invites new Members from beyond the traditional footprint of the St. Louis region to take a seat at our table. It is also in keeping with a national trend among similar philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) to choose a name that indicates they offer statewide services, and reclaims the positive and compelling nature of the word “Philanthropy.” The new name also offers alignment with many of our United Philanthropy Forum peers, including Philanthropy Ohio, Philanthropy Colorado, Philanthropy Massachusetts, and an increasing number of others who have chosen to similarly rebrand.
Q. Why expand?
A. In 2019, our Gateway Center for Giving Board of Directors authorized a year-long assessment by a philanthropic sector consulting team (Vario) and the GCG Strategic Planning Committee to engage in extensive research and thoughtful exploration to better inform our future plans. In 2020, we conducted focus groups and surveys with members in the St. Louis region and in target communities around the state; reviewed reports from other PSOs who have made similar shifts, conducted a feasibility study, and created a strategic plan. Among the top reasons for growth that emerged:
- Accelerated impact for the state & for local communities. The collective power of grantmakers joining forces around key issues creates increased impact. More than ever, our communities have a need to connect and learn from each other. The opportunity to bring funders together across the state to engage in learning and action creates new synergies, statewide and locally.
- There’s a void, and an expressed need. No other grantmaking association affiliated with the national United Philanthropy Forum serves the philanthropic communities of Springfield, Kansas City, Columbia, and other grantmakers who are located in urban and rural communities around the state. These grantmakers have expressed a desire for an organization like Philanthropy Missouri to serve them in their communities. In addition, some current GCG Members in St. Louis have a statewide presence, and they are eager to see Philanthropy Missouri evolve to serve a broader footprint.
- More peers, more collaboration. Funders tell us that they crave thoughtful, meaningful, and actionable connection with colleagues who are engaging in similar efforts. By broadening our membership base, we can connect funders with others working on similar issues, including equity, immigration, early childhood, environment, health, education and a myriad of other topics that benefit from a collaborative approach to action.
- Sustainability. As we build on our 50-year history and look to the future of Philanthropy Missouri, we know that growing our membership base gives us an opportunity to build an even more robust organization, with enhanced offerings and deeper value for all members.
Q. How will this affect current members of the organization?
A. All Gateway Center for Giving Members will now be Members of Philanthropy Missouri. Members located in the St. Louis region will experience no disruption; rather they can look to Philanthropy Missouri for greater impact and enhanced service, more opportunities to learn and connect, and deeper value. Grantmakers can expect the same standard, innovative best practices programming upon which Members have come to rely, as well as new offerings.
Q. When will the expansion happen, and how?
A. The rebrand and expansion was first announced on January 29, 2021 at GCG’s Annual Meeting, where we celebrated 50 years of service to the sector. New branded tools and materials, social media presence, and other enhanced features will be rolled out over the course of the year, and the expansion will initially be piloted by incorporating a new team member located in Southwest Missouri (Branson). Subsequently, and deliberately, staff will be added to the team in order to best serve and connect grantmakers located in the western and central parts of the state.
Q. How can I find out more?
A. Visit us at www.centerforgiving.org (a new website address coming soon, to align with our new name and aspirations.)