Building on Successes of 2023 for More Meaningful Impact in 2024

Words from YouthBridge CEO, Barbara Carswell

YouthBridge Community Foundation of Greater St. Louis has been busy! As the new year begins and we dive into goals and plans for 2024, we want to take a moment to celebrate the growth and successes of last year. More than simply celebrating, we want to examine those successes to determine not only how to recreate them, but how to build upon them.

Our theme of “Partnering for Greater Impact” was realized by:

  • Establishing meaningful partnerships with three organizations (Gateway Children’s Charity, Progress 64 West, and Children’s Trust Fund of Missouri) for whom YouthBridge now manages all aspects of the grant and/or scholarship programs;
  • Embarking on a new Impact Investment with the St. Louis Community Credit Union, bringing YouthBridge’s community investment total to over $1,000,000;
  • Establishing six new agency funds; and
  • Continuing innovative, impactful grantmaking that nurtures both sides of the Mississippi River.

As we reflect upon last year’s activities, we are reminded of YouthBridge Community Foundation’s core purpose – Connecting Resources and Community Needs. We are proud of the bridges we have built across the St. Louis metropolitan region, oftentimes facilitating connections between unlikely parties.

Along these lines, near the close of 2023, we were proud to be ranked 14th on the St. Louis Business Journal’s “Largest Charitable Trusts and Foundations” list. We do not do this work for public recognition or accolades; however, knowing that the pooled resources and philanthropic spirits of our fundholders and agency partners drove our ranking (the best yet in the Foundation’s history), motivates us to move forward with assurance into the new year.

While we have specific goals, our overarching desire for 2024 is to deepen and strengthen our existing relationships to be more impactful. Ultimately, YouthBridge envisions a more empowered St. Louis region, and we know that, through more community connections and collaborations, we can get there.

We are excited to grow our list of partners, especially those for whom YouthBridge can facilitate or fully administer grant programs. We particularly value these relationships because we get to use our complete realm of expertise. This includes drawing on our network connections to match donors and funds with shared goals, supporting fundraising activities, providing “back room” administrative support, collaborating with organizations to fine-tune grant applications, meeting amazing applicants, informing the grantee selection process, and celebrating with everyone involved when awards are announced. Knowing that we can help organizations increase their capacity to do more of the great work they are already doing is fuel for the YouthBridge team. The smiles on the faces of grant partners and the community members they serve make all our work completely worthwhile!

We thank you if you partnered with us in any capacity in 2023. Please continue to journey with us to witness the exciting, impactful developments this new year will bring!

YouthBridge connects donors with community needs. If you are interested in learning more about how we can make charitable giving easier for you, please contact Michele Mosley.