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Turning Good into Greater Good


President's Message

Our Core Values in Action

The Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund (SOS) educates and inspires women to engage in informed, collective grant making by investing in Greater St. Louis’ small nonprofits to positively effect change in our communities. SOS operates according to a set of guiding core values – our “how.” As we enter our 16th season of collective giving, please join me in celebrating these examples of our core values in action.

Engagement at Your Desired Level:  A great attribute of SOS is the ability to be as involved as you wish. There are opportunities to participate in our grants review process, on committees, on our board, and more.

Philanos, a network that serves to catalyze the movement of women in philanthropy by connecting women’s collective giving grantmaking organizations, is a tremendous resource to SOS.  In turn, we are of service to Philanos. Two of our members offer their time and talent – going beyond their commitment to SOS – by serving Philanos.

    • Thank you to SOS past president and member, Gwen Wesley, for serving on the Philanos Board of Directors.  As Gwen’s term came to an end earlier this year, Paula Perkins of Philanos said, “Gwen has remarkably represented your organization while also leading the national charge in furthering women’s collective giving.  Thank you for sharing her with us!” 
    • And thank you to Amy Conard, the current Chair of the SOS Technology Committee, who just began her term on the Board of Directors of Philanos.   Amy will be an incredible asset!

Another opportunity for our members to engage beyond their investment is through our Outreach Program which matches our grantees’ volunteer opportunities with our SOS member volunteers. One of our grantees, Eye Thrive, recently honored SOS as their “Volunteer of the Year” for providing 100 hours of service this year. This award is attributed to SOS member Marianne Baer for her leadership of the Outreach Program and to SOS Member Pat Crowe for advising the Eye Thrive team on their media outreach strategy. 

Continuously Evaluating Our Approach: Another example of our core values in action is our culture of continuous improvement.  In this effort, SOS applied and was selected to participate in Thinksgiving. This program, to be held November 3rd, connects St. Louis nonprofits and organizations with innovative teams from St. Louis corporations for a day of creative problem-solving focused on the future.  At the end of the day, all are welcome to join us at 4pm for Venture Café, an open-to-all networking session where SOS will have an information table.  Some of our grantees, including The SoulFisher Ministries, are also participating.  

A sincere thank you to our members who volunteer to make SOS operate.  For those members who want to volunteer their time and talent beyond their SOS investment – we welcome you at any time! 

Katy Dowd
President and Proud Member

Girls in the Know Honors SOS as Community Empowerment Champion

Thank you to SOS Grantee Girls in the Know for honoring SOS as their 2022 Community Empowerment Champion.

Why We Give

SOS Impact Report – How our grant impact in 2021-2022

Our grants in 2021-2022 served our community in a multitude of ways. The various services our grantees provide include: healthcare for immigrants; suicide prevention; community development; vision screenings; girls’ empowerment; homelessness services; resources in food desert communities; education; job training and artists working on community messaging.

Please take time to ingest the amazing work our grants provide the St. Louis community. (SOS members will need to sign in to the member side of the website to access this fantastic report).

Philanthropy News - Collective Giving in the Spotlight

TED TALK released

We’re so excited to share that the TED Talk on the power of giving circles was released this week after Philanthropy Together CEO Sara Lomelin gave the talk in April. You can watch it here:

This is a HUGE moment for the collective giving field as we try to expand understanding of giving circles to a much wider audience. 

We hope this TED Talk inspires all of our members to keep pushing forward and spreading the word of how SOS serves as a catalyst for change and is disrupting philanthropy to better serve our community.

Thank you all SOS members for being part of this growing movement.

Upcoming Events

October 18, 5:30 – 7 pm

St. Louis Community Foundation
“Truth be Told: Understanding Media Literacy in Today’s Fragmented World

November 1, 5:30 – 6:30 pm

St. Louis Community Foundation
November Book Discussion

November 14, 5:50 – 7:00 pm

Delmar DivINe
Supercharging Nonprofit Impact at the Delmar DivINe: Fostering Collaboration & Building Capacity
Speaker – Maxine Clark

December 2, 9:00 – 11:00 am

Holiday Coffee

February 7, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Book Discussion: Becoming One of the Grateful Dead: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way by Carol Weisman

April 2, 5:30 – 7:00 pm

Annual Ballot Fair – SOS members only

April 25, 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Book Discussion: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrisson

May 23, 5:30 – 7:00 pm

Annual Spirit Awards

Welcome New Members

Tasha Borglum
Cathy Brown
Mary Ellen Bruenderman
Sue Clifford
Mary Corcoran
Susan Curby
Martha Daly
Courtney Dean
Sharon Dougherty
Kathy Dowd
Barb DuBois
Kim DuerrSusan Gilbert
Jenni Goode
Lorraine Graves Simpson
Linda Haley
Joan Hues
Peggy Huesmann
Joan Humes
Lynnsie Kantor
Kelley Karandjeff
Jill Lewin
Holly Liebig
Carol Lister
Parker McMillan
Barb Meyer
Shannon Moenkhaus
Karen Mullis
Suzanne Nauert
Maria Nisbet
Jennifer Nixon
Cindy Pilling
Katherine Pope
Christy Potthast
Bethany Prange Booher
Emily Rapp
Liz Reeves
Tabitha Reuther
Megan Riley
Deborah Sinclair
Teresa Sunyer
Nancy Tankersley
Katie Tichelkamp
Pam Toder
Catherine Tracy
Debbie Tzinberg
Susan Veidt
Laura Villa
Bobbie Waters
Cami Weber
Caroli Young
Shvetha Zerek

Meet Ally Melvin, Membership Chair/President Elect

Growing up in a small town in southern Illinois, Ally Melvin knew from an early age that she wanted to make a difference in the world, particularly in the area of human rights. In college she spent eight weeks in Ghana studying human trafficking, which ultimately led her to the master’s program at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. As she studied social causes more deeply, it became evident to Ally that money is the access to everything, so Ally turned her field of study toward social finance, to empower both herself and others to make a true impact in securing human rights for everyone.

In 2018, Ally heard Amy Inman speak at the St. Louis Business Journal Women’s Conference and was immediately intrigued. When she realized SOS was a community of women who understood that giving worthy nonprofits the money they need and then letting them decide how best to spend it, she knew she had found her place to give. 

Ally likens SOS to a dandelion. “They are the type of flower that you see all over. They’re not just in one spot and anyone can have them in their backyard. I remember as a kid seeing dandelions growing everywhere, spreading their beauty all across the town.” The one thing she knows for sure about SOS is “no matter what it takes, each year we will be granting money.” As Ally might put it, wildflowers always grow back.

SOS Member in the News

Cortaiga Collings

SOS member Cortaiga Collins was recognized by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for her work with The Good Shepherd School for Boys – a first of its kind preschool education for young  boys. Cortaiga says, “It’s easier to build strong boys than to repair broken men,” she said. Click here to read more about her work.

Were You There?


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