About Us

Investing In Black Communities

Founded in 2016, The Black Funders of St. Louis (BFSTL) giving circle is a nontraditional form of philanthropy with a mission that encourages its membership to pool time, talents, and treasures to invest in the Black community and positively impact the well-being of Black children, youth, adults, and families in the St. Louis Metropolitan area.

BFSTL began awarding grants in 2017.

What Is A Giving Circle?

A giving circle is a form of participatory philanthropy where groups of individuals donate money to a pooled fund, decide together where to give these away to charity or community projects and, in doing so, seek to increase their awareness of and engagement in the issues covered by the charity or community project.

In addition to donating their money, members of Black Funders of St. Louis also contribute their time and skills to support local causes.

Some giving circles, like Black Funders of St. Louis, utilize a fiscal sponsor to maintain lower overhead and maximize efficiency, while retaining operational control.

Simplified description of how a giving circle works

Collective Decision Making

Members of the Black Funders of St. Louis work collectively through committees to establish and revisit annual focus areas, issue Requests for Proposals from eligible nonprofits, make grant awards, and follow-up with grantees.

This process allows members from all walks of life to:

  • Leverage their giving power
  • Support Black-led nonprofits that are overlooked or underinvested
  • Ensure Black people have a leadership role in philanthropy
  • Have a positive impact on their community
Awards To Date

Total Number of Grant Recipients

Amount Awarded To Date

Total Dollars Allocated to Black-led Nonprofits


Monetary donations made to Black Funders of St. Louis are re-distributed annually as competitive grants to nonprofits in the St. Louis region.

Eligible nonprofits demonstrate their ability and commitment to serving Black St. Louisians. Eligible nonprofits must be led by an Executive Director or CEO that is of Black descent.

Allies for Racial Equity

While membership is open only to those who self identify as Black, non-Black individuals and institutions can make donations to Black Funders of St. Louis.

By doing so, they serve as allies for racial equity and social justice.