Corporate involvement and investment is critical to improving the region’s health, prosperity and general quality of life. Our Quality of Life Initiatives allow the RBC’s positive efforts to resonate deeply throughout the St. Louis philanthropic community’s large-scale institutions, medium-sized organizations, and small, grass-roots efforts. We seek out strategic collaborations designed to improve effectiveness and maximize efficiency. To this end, the RBC focuses on several key regional assets as conduits for member participation.
It’s Our Region Fund “Small Change Big Impact” Grant Program
The It’s Our Region Fund was started by RBC members Michael Staenberg, John Ferring and Sue McCollum. In 2012, the Small Change Big Impact Grant program was formed to provide funding for capital improvement projects for smaller nonprofits who are serving St. Louis’ neediest residents.
Learn more about the Small Change Big Impact Program
Social Venture Partners
Social Venture Partners provides capacity building grants to nonprofits that support educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth. Since 2001, SVP has given over $1.9 million in grants and in-kind services and more than 15,000 hours of volunteer time to build capacity in 24 nonprofit organizations.
Partners come from a wide variety of backgrounds and include foundations, high-net-worth individuals, small-business owners, and senior executives from many area businesses. Partners contribute $5,000 annually and have an equal voice in selecting investments. The business expertise of the partners, in addition to the funding, helps to strengthen the business operations of nonprofits.
Learn more about St. Louis Social Venture Partners
The RBC supports the United Way of Greater St. Louis as a cost-effective and efficient way to support more than 170 nonprofit organizations helping over one million people across the region. Since 2001, the RBC has raised more than $179 million in contributions for the United Way.
In addition, the RBC started a Matching Gift Program to help women and people of color from RBC companies step up to the Leadership Giving level.
Operation Clean Sweep
Operation Clean Sweep is a multi-year partnership with Better Family Life, Inc. to revitalize North St. Louis City’s most challenged neighborhoods. Previously a single-day event, Better Family Life’s partnership with the RBC resulted in the expansion of Clean Sweep into a summer-long effort in 2018, transforming into an unprecedented public-private collaboration involving the City of St. Louis and 21 volunteer organizations, including 11 construction companies that donated millions of dollars’ worth of labor, equipment, and time to improve the physical conditions and environment of the selected neighborhoods. In 2018, these neighborhoods included Hamilton Heights, Wells-Goodfellow, Jeff Vander Lou, Penrose, Kingsbury, and Walnut Park. The RBC’s commitment to Clean Sweep flowed out of the work the RBC has conducted to reduce violent crime in the region, given Clean Sweep’s emphasis on demolishing abandoned buildings that have long been havens for illegal activity. Operation Clean Sweep resulted in the following achievements:
- 100 blocks were beautified
- 36 abandoned commercial and multi-family structures were demolished
- 90 properties were cleared of dead or overgrown trees, trash, and other debris
- 25 tons of garbage was removed
- 100+ construction vehicles, trucks, and related equipment were used
- 300 employees from the 11 participating construction teams joined 1,500 volunteers and neighborhood residents on the clean-up
- 7 community gardens were established
- A sense of community and hope was restored for the 35,000 residents in the Operation Clean Sweep footprint.
The RBC, Staenberg Foundation and Cultivation Capital are founding partners of Givable, an online micro-giving platform. Subscribers receive an email Monday through Friday prompting them to give 25¢ to one of two featured local nonprofit agencies working to solve issues facing our city. The platform aims to engage a new sector of givers from the entrepreneurial community.
The RBC takes on short-term initiatives to ensure St. Louis has amenities that will improve quality of life for residents and attract businesses and talent to the region. Significant projects include the preservation of Forest Park, lighting for downtown St. Louis, supporting the development of the Arch, and promoting sports and recreation.