Partnering for Greater Impact

Annual Report 2021

Photo: LifeWiseSTL. LifeWise, a 2021 YEP STL! grantee, provides relationship-based programming, such as tutoring sessions for struggling students.

Our mission at YouthBridge Community Foundation is to partner with donors to help charities in the St. Louis region, especially those focused on children, through leadership, grants and donor services.

Photo: Lisa Baltz, Director of Operations and Client Service; Sissy Swift, Director of Grants and Community Initiatives; Barbara Carswell, Chief Executive Officer; Cindy Blake, Business Development Officer; and Allison McDonald, Grants Coordinator.

Message from Our CEO

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to share with you the YouthBridge 2021 Annual Report, and I am grateful for our generous partners in philanthropy. As you can see from the following pages, our strong partnerships with caring individuals, families, and businesses have allowed us to support urgent community needs. Our endowment, built over decades by community members wishing to build a legacy for St. Louis’ children, permitted us to support innovative projects in the St. Louis region.

I invite you to take a closer look at this report and reach out to our team with questions, thoughts, or ideas.

Barbara Carswell, Chief Executive Officer

YouthBridge By the Numbers

Total value of grants awarded in 2021

Percentage of grant dollars that stayed in the St. Louis region in 2021

Total value YouthBridge has invested in the community through grants and programs since 2005

Assets under administration (Includes charitable administration of private foundations)

YouthBridge Offers:
Charitable Funds • Private Foundation Administration • Philanthropy for Businesses • Professional Advisor Partnerships • Endowment Building • Grants and Assistance • Charitable Giving Cards

Photo: LOVEtheLOU. Building a stronger community through restoration of vacant properties in the North City area.

Photo: One Classroom. Founded on the belief that every child deserves an education in full community with their peers, the organization creates inclusive Catholic education opportunities for children with special needs in the Saint Louis Archdiocese.

YouthBridge develops innovative solutions that help donors support the causes they are most passionate about, such as One Classroom.

“YouthBridge helps me organize and focus my giving for causes and charities that I am interested in supporting. I can see the impact on families and our St. Louis community.”
– YouthBridge DAF Donor

Year after year, the St. Louis community is active and engaged in giving. Through flexible charitable funds, we help individual and family donors strategically plan and maximize their giving. The majority of our Fund clients invest their charitable dollars right here in the St. Louis area.

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YouthBridge managed The Blues Alumni Assistance Fund, which provided emergency relief for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“YouthBridge understands the power of partnership. Together we were able to strengthen our community and support small businesses during difficult times.”
– Bruce Affleck, President, St. Louis Blues Alumni Association

There is joy and reward in touching lives and being part of the solution. We help your family or private foundation operate more efficiently and effectively, so that you can spend more time experiencing the joy in giving.

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Photo: St. Louis Blues Alumni Bruce Affleck, Andy McDonald, and Jeff Brown; with Elizabeth Arway of Creative Entourage; and Allison McDonald of YouthBridge.
Photo: Nurses for Newborns. Setting the standard for home visiting, Nurses for Newborns ensures families have medical attention and basic necessities, but always lead with education.

YouthBridge provided a three-year, $240,000 Think Big for Kids grant to support the Preventive Services Network, a big idea led by Generate Health.

“If we continue doing the same thing, we’ll continue to see the same results. And I’m not satisfied with the results.”
– Kendra Copanas, Generate Health

YouthBridge encourages innovative thinking by funding ideas that are bold, collaborative and transformative for the community. Generate Health’s big idea is a coordinated, comprehensive, community-based system of support for our region’s Black and brown moms, babies and families.

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YouthBridge provided funding for The Believe Project, in partnership with Saint Louis Public Schools and St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature.

“I’m so grateful that YouthBridge was willing to ‘go outside of the box’ and believe. It’s a dream come true.”
– Julius Anthony, President, St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature

YouthBridge is an active partner in, and provides support for, collaborative community initiatives. As part of our ongoing commitment to youth literacy and its role in developing strong citizens and communities, YouthBridge provided start-up funding for a Believe Project location at Froebel Literacy Academy, the first location in SLPS.

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Photo: The Believe Project. Books featuring Black characters encourage a love of reading and a higher level of engagement for Black students.
Photo: FOCUS Marines. Surrounded by brothers and sisters and free from judgment, participants are encouraged to share their feelings and experiences.

YouthBridge client, the Wayne C. Kaufmann Charitable Foundation, has been a faithful supporter of FOCUS Marines since 2016.

“FOCUS guides veterans to find that one thing that will really have an impact and then set tangible goals to achieve in the next 90 days.”
– Jennifer Jefferson, FOCUS Marine’s Board Secretary and Team Leader

With the administrative support of YouthBridge, members of the Wayne C. Kaufmann family annually support over 40 charitable organizations in the St. Louis community, such as FOCUS Marines.

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YEP STL!, a partnership between First Bank and YouthBridge, teaches the importance of community engagement and philanthropy to young people while also supporting child-focused nonprofits in the region.

“We’re grateful for the support, and I really liked the concept of students helping their peers and learning leadership skills in the process.”
– Sara Paracha, Director of Development, North Side Community School

YEP STL! (Youth Engaged in Philanthropy) is comprised of St. Louis area high school students, who discuss community needs, design a grant program and ultimately award $10,000 in annual grants to area nonprofits.

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Photo: North Side Community School. After schools went virtual, a YouthBridge YEP STL! grant provided students with 70 mobile hotspots.

YouthBridge Community Grant Programs


To honor our mission of partnering with donors around sustainability of nonprofits, YouthBridge provides grants to child or youth serving organizations that are regularly supported by our clients.

Think Big for Kids

The Think Big for Kids Fund provides grants designed to stimulate innovative thinking and fund big ideas from nonprofits that serve children and youth in our community.

Partnerships and Mergers

YouthBridge Community Foundation has developed this grant program to assist nonprofits who are looking to, or have already found, ways to partner or merge with other nonprofits.

Capacity Building

YouthBridge has developed this grant program to assist nonprofits in building, strengthening and sustaining their organizations.


YEP STL! is a group of teenagers in the St. Louis area, with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. We are passionate about helping St. Louis children and youth. We do this by reviewing applications for grant money and evaluating where we think the money will be best spent.

Photo: Provident, Inc. In 2021, Provident was one of three organizations selected to participate in a Risk Assessment Cohort. These organizations worked together to identify potential risks and build contingency plans.