Gateway Children’s Charity, a Successful YouthBridge Partnership

When Gateway Children’s Charity approached YouthBridge Community Foundation of Greater St. Louis earlier this year about working together, YouthBridge quickly realized that it was a natural alliance. The charity’s mission to raise “funds to make high-impact, tangible investments in early childhood programs that support children living in underserved St. Louis communities” aligns perfectly with the mission of YouthBridge Community Foundation. The two organizations understand that young people need access to resources and supportive environments to thrive – and their grant programs increase access to these critical supports.

Like a bridge that helps passersby get to their end destination, YouthBridge Community Foundation connects donors and nonprofit organizations to each other with the end goal of community uplift. YouthBridge partners with donors by providing philanthropy planning and services, and it partners with nonprofit agencies by providing operations expertise and capacity building support. In the case of Gateway Children’s Charity (GCC), operations infrastructure was the value that YouthBridge added. Since its founding in 2009, GCC has awarded grants to 21 local organizations, all done without any full-time staff members! Despite its long history of admirable work ethic, in 2023, GCC decided to explore a partnership with YouthBridge to increase efficiency in its grantmaking.

Gateway Children’s Charity (GCC) Founder and President, Mike Todorovich, explained that grantmaking is at the heart of the charity’s mission. Its impact has grown steadily as it remains committed to increasing the amount of funds raised and grants made. Working with YouthBridge Community Foundation enables GCC board members to feel confident that they are identifying the highest impact grant opportunities and supporting organizations that make a meaningful difference for young children and their families in St. Louis.

YouthBridge works closely with GCC to manage administrative details for grants, including publicizing grant opportunities, receiving and reviewing applications, making recommendations to the GCC Board of Directors, and preparing all required tax statements. This administrative support allows the charity to focus on what it does best – raising funds to bolster early childhood programs. Grants awarded this year will support two organizations in need of capital improvements such as new classrooms and playground repair, and three organizations that will establish new Believe Project Libraries, an initiative of St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature.

In addition to providing project grants, Gateway Children’s Charity occasionally works to meet critical community needs more directly. In 2022, for example, GCC operated a successful coat drive that provided warm coats, hats, and/or mittens to 100 children in the region. GCC is always eager to activate its network of donors when needs are identified.

According to Mike, “Working with YouthBridge allows Gateway Children’s Charity to tap into their depth of knowledge, breadth of relationships, and strength of their infrastructure. As a grantmaking organization, we are obligated to our funders to ensure we are wise and efficient stewards of their dollars. Working with the consummately professional team at YouthBridge gives us confidence that we are fulfilling that promise to our donors and the commitment we’ve made to our community to maximize impact for the kids and families who call St. Louis home.” The relationship between Gateway Children’s Charity and YouthBridge Community Foundation is a perfect example of how the strengths of two organizations can come together successfully to meet shared goals.

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.