Standing for Community

The Journey to High Performance

As a teen, I worked many jobs to raise money for college.

One of those jobs was as a field hand at a local winery.

Picking grapes taught me many valuable lessons but two in particular:

  • Bees and wasps are happy in the early morning but that happiness does not extend to hornets. Hornets are always out to get you.
  • When you are getting paid per bushel, performance matters.
  • The latter is true for nonprofits.In a world of finite resources and critical need, performance and the evaluation of that performance is key. In his book, Leap of Reason: Managing Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity , Mario Morino explains The Performance Imperative and the importance of building great organizations for greater social impact. High performance leads to more meaningful, measurable change.

    According to Morino and his research team, there are seven pillars of high performance. By pursuing these seven core principles, organizations can create greater impact.


  • Pillar 1: Courageous, adaptive executive and board leadership (the preeminent pillar)
  • Pillar 2: Disciplined, people-focused management
    Pillar 3: Well-designed and well-implemented programs and strategies
  • Pillar 4: Financial health and sustainability
  • Pillar 5: A culture that values learning
  • Pillar 6: Internal monitoring for continuous improvement
  • Pillar 7: External evaluation for mission effectiveness

As we begin the grant review process on our smaller, growing non-profits, it is important to understand that this is a journey to high performance.

Not all of our agencies are there yet but, as funders, it is our responsibility to understand where they are on the performance continuum.

By funding high impact agencies and having the will to fund the activities to continually improve their impact, we can advance the lives of the under-served in the Greater St. Louis area.

All the best,

Amy Inman
President and Proud Member
Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund


The SOS Board Nominating Committee asks SOS members to reflect on how their skills and talents could be utilized by our organization.

If you would like to be considered for future leadership in SOS, please contact Gwen Wesley, . Thank you for taking the time to let us hear from you! We are stronger together!

We Want to Hear from You!

As we ask our grantees to evaluate success, we also are evaluating ourselves.

Make sure to take our SOS Fall Survey that you received on email. Your comments and suggestions help us improve.

RSVP by Oct. 1!!

What: SOS Book Club
When: 12 to 2 p.m. Oct. 5
Where: London Tea Room, 3128 Morganford, St. Louis

Join us to discuss the inspiring book, “Better Together: Restoring the American Community,” by Robert Putnam and Lewis Feldstein. We’ll enjoy a lunch at the London Team Room, with a choice of quiche or chicken Waldorf sandwich on croissant, a scone with clotted cream and jam and your own pot of select tea. Vegetarian options available.

$25 for lunch. Contact Leslie Corey

RSVP deadline is October 1!

Register Now


Who: New members (from years 2016, 2017 & 2018) and board members
When: 11:30 to 1 p.m. Oct. 3
Where: Home of Barbara Bindler, 428 Graeser Road, 63141

Register here


A Kickoff Success – A DevINE Event

Our September 13 th “Celebrate, Reconnect and Engage- A SOS Fall Kickoff Event” was a wonderful way to start our 2018-19 Grant Season!

As a collective giving organization, we are truly the sum of our parts. And we could not do impactful, meaningful good in the world if SOS was not made up giving, dedicated women.

We would like to share a special thank you to Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Founder and SOS Member, for sharing the details of the new Delmar DevINE project.

According to Maxine, “The Delmar DevINE is the backbone of a new vision for transforming the “Delmar Divide” into a divine community.”

By remodeling the previous St. Luke’s hospital into an incubator and inspiratory for St. Louis social service agencies, the Delmar DevINE will redefine the West End neighborhood and support social innovation. If you would like to learn more about the Delmar Devine Project go to their website at

Thank you to all our attendees for a wonderful, inspirational evening.

Join SOS for St. Louis Public Radio –
Your Community, Your World

We invite the voices of St. Louis Public Radio into our lives each day. Now they have invited members of SOS to see their home and meet some of the key people who make the magic happen.

Join us Thursday, Oct. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to enjoy a delicious buffet brunch by Social Affair in the St. Louis Public Radio Space at Grand Center and learn about exciting programming that opens minds & nourishes spirits.

Our speakers will be Tim Eby, director and general manager of St. Louis Public Radio; and “We Live Here” and “Sharing America” team members Holly Edgell, Tim Lloyd and Kameel Stanley.

St. Louis Public Radio exists to help people become deeply informed about the issues that affect their lives, better prepared to make decisions and more engaged in our community.

Event details: $15 per person can be paid in advance or at the door. Click below to register.

Register here



#Hashtag 101

Did you know you can enhance the SOS brand by using hashtags in your social media posts or tweets?

A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#) that is used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitates a search for it.

When you use hashtags, you help people who are interested in your topic find your posts. As an example, you can add #soswomengive to any social media post or tweet which becomes a searchable phrase for anyone who is interested in SOS, women and/or giving.

Once you search for these items on any social media outlet, your post will appear as one of the search results.

Recommended hashtags for future posts:

For any questions about Facebook, please contact Amy Garrison,

Like us on Facebook !!

Membership News Upcoming events

Membership to date:

  • 229 members
    32 new since January, 2018
    48 since May, 2017

New members since our Spirit Awards:

  • Rose Carnes-Bruce
  • Gretchen Curry
  • Jackie Engel
  • Pamela Jordan
  • Karen Kalish
  • Jan Kosmal
  • Pamela Manning
  • Sheri Mistretta
  • Suzie Nall
  • Lisa Oliver
  • Mary Pandjiris
  • Carroll Rodriguez
  • Barbara Summers
  • Jan Wallach

The Membership committee is developing a new program called “00 Class Agents” – agents assigned to each class will contact members for updated personal information as well as send reminder emails before SOS events. Your Class Agent will be in touch soon!

October 3, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
New Member Luncheon
New members (2016,17 & 18) and Board Members
Home of Barbara Bindler
428 Graeser Road, 63141
Register here .

October 5, 12 – 2 p.m.
Book Club Discussion
Better Together: Restoring the American Community by
Putnam & Feldstein
The London Tea Room, 3128 Morganford, 63116
Cost: $25
Register here .

October 11, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
St. Louis Public Radio
Engaging our community
Light brunch and tour – programming brought to life!
KWMU, 3651 Olive Street, St. Louis, 63108
Register here .