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Turning Good into Greater Good


Women’s philanthropic organization relies on the power of collective giving to make an impact in the St. Louis region.

ST. LOUIS, MO (2023) — One nonprofit, Missouri Energycare, provides utility services to low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities. The funds they received this week from Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund (SOS) will help pay for their new van – a vital part of their program to deliver air conditioners.

Another 2023 grantee, The Kerengende Foundation, will use their $25,000 grant from SOS to create safe spaces and culturally responsive services for victims of sexual abuse and human trafficking. 

Aptly named “HELP,” or St.  Louis Health Equipment Lending Program, Inc., provides free recycled home medical equipment to individuals in need, enabling them to live independently as possible. 

These are just a few of the nonprofits funded this year by grants from SOS. While many may not have yet heard the names of these nonprofits - their staff are already on the frontlines of our communities. 

“These nonprofits are out there, showing us how meaningful, long-lasting change starts in our neighborhoods,” said Katy Dowd, SOS President. “This is why part of SOS’ mission is to focus their investments on small nonprofits – the grassroots organizations and hands-on missions that make the greatest social impact.”

Since 2006, SOS has been a change agent in the St. Louis region, providing focused and informed grants of more than $3.3 million in partnership with nearly 100 small nonprofits in the St. Louis region. 

On May 17, more than 120 women and men gathered at Third Degree Glass Factory in University City for their annual Spirit Awards celebration to honor another round of grantees. 

This year, 11 nonprofits received over $230,000 in funding from SOS, and four of those organizations received SOS funding for the first time this year. 

Prior to the Spirit Awards, each member of SOS is given the opportunity to vote on a ballot of eligible and carefully-vetted nonprofits who have submitted a grant proposal. 

The core philosophy of SOS is simple: “We pool our resources, invest as a group and award grants to smaller St. Louis-area non-profits. By investing collectively, we achieve greater impact.” 

The impact is obvious when observing the work being done by the organizations whom SOS has partnered with through grant allocation. Small nonprofits are often short on staff and money, but big on dedication and vision. 

SOS can give these early-stage nonprofits the credibility to gain larger funding. Several SOS grantees have gone on to become organizations that now exceed a $1.5 million operating budget. 

This is effective collective investing at its finest. And their work continues. 

To learn more about SOS and the difference these women are making in the community, visit

Grant recipients recognized at the Spirit Awards:

Multi-year grant recipient: Lift for Life Gym - $33,333 ($100,000 paid in three installments of $33,333, beginning in 2023). 

Single-year grant recipients: Room at the Inn ($25,000), Welcome Neighbor STL ($25,000), City Greens Market ($25,000), The Kerengende Foundation ($25,000), Girls in the Know ($25,000), St. Louis Health Equipment Lending Program, Inc. (HELP) ($10,000), Urban Harvest STL ($25,000), Books for Newborns ($10,000), Missouri Energycare ($15,000), and MindsEye ($12,000).

See more images by Katherine Bish Photography from the event.

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