FAQ

What is a Women’s Foundation?
Why focus on women?
What does the Women’s Foundation of Greater Saint Louis do?
Who do we fund?
Can anyone join the foundation?
Are contributions tax deductible?
Do I have to make a multi-year commitment to the Foundation?
Can I help determine where my donation is spent?
Are there volunteer opportunities?
What is the governing body of The Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis?
What is the history of the Foundation?
I have additional questions. Who should I contact?

 

What is a Women’s Foundation?
Begun in the early seventies by visionary women energized by the waves of feminism, regional initiatives were seeded to establish these funds. Today there are almost 150 women’s and girls’ funds flourishing in the US and abroad…from the Midwest to Mongolia. Today these funds give away almost $60 million annually to programs that focus on women and girls. Initiatives that are funded include economic development and education, shelters for homeless or abused women, training for women reentering the workforce, mentoring, and many others.

Why focus on women?
According to the Foundation Center, “interest in philanthropy by and for women has intensified, accompanied by the growing acceptance of the idea that philanthropic investments in women and girls can accelerate positive change in communities.” Funding for women and girls is growing, but still less than 7.5 percent of foundation funding is specifically directed towards women and girls. 

What does the Women’s Foundation of Greater Saint Louis do?
We are a solution for donors who want to invest in women’s issues but who don’t have the time or inclination to do the due diligence necessary to optimize their giving. In turn, we hope to increase overall funding for women’s issues. By pooling resources (both financial and human) and bringing them together with groups trying to solve problems, WFSTL creates a major force and voice for change by bringing nonprofit organizations together, so that they can work collaboratively and effectively. By bringing nonprofit organizations together so that they can work collaboratively and effectively, we can serve as a neutral voice for quality improvements and setting community priorities.

We make charitable investments in programs that provide stabilization for at-risk women and their children. We fund community projects that support the educational, socio-economic and health needs of women facing challenges that inhibit their full participation in our communities. We also offer philanthropic education and discussion opportunities for donors.

Who do we fund?
501c3 Organizations in the St. Louis area that are providing services and whose mission is focused on improving the lives of women and girls. We are particularly interested in four areas of service: violence against women, quality education for girls K-12 or Pre-K-12, child care, and Title IX.

Can anyone join the foundation?
Yes, the foundation invites anyone who is interested in supporting issues relating to women and girls to become a member.

Are contributions tax deductible?
Yes, all donations to the WFGSL are tax deductible.

Do I have to make a multi-year commitment to the Foundation?
No, we gratefully welcome gifts of any size. Multi-year commitments are always welcome as they help stabilize the work we are doing.

Can I help determine where my donation is spent?
We invite donors to help us make the granting decisions by participating in board discussions and committee meetings.

Are there volunteer opportunities?
Absolutely. Volunteers help us with programs, grants and events. Let us know if you are interested.

What is the governing body of The Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis?

The Foundation Officers include:   

President
Jan Hendrickson, Senniger Powers LLP

Vice President
Cynthia Curry Crim, Commerce Bank

Secretary
Marie Carroll, Community Volunteer

Treasurer
Jill Nowak, American Association of Orthodontics

Assistant Treasurer
Amy Altholz, RubinBrown

What is the history of the Foundation?
In January 2006, a group of visionary women from St. Louis discussed the need for a philanthropic organization that addressed the needs of women and girls. St. Louis was one of the few large metropolitan areas without such a women’s funding organization. In the Midwest, Kansas City (www.wfgkc.org) and Chicago (www.cfw.org) have had foundations in place for 15 and 20 years respectively. Yet, St. Louis is not without the plethora of social issues that these foundations seek to redress and support.

After studying national models, the women donated seed money and formed the WFSTL. The Foundation is committed to raising funds from anyone interested in supporting issues relating to women and girls. In 2009, the Foundation joined the Women’s Funding Network, a national organization of women’s philanthropic organizations.

I have additional questions. Who should I contact?
Please contact Jan Hendrickson, President, at 314-780-3956 or info@wfstl.org.