Deaconess Opens “Just for Kids” Funding Opportunities

$5 Million available for Child Advocacy and Racial Equity

March 27, 2017 – In April, Deaconess Foundation will host three public meetings to introduce its funding strategy and grant opportunities to local non-profit leaders. Applications for funding will open on April 17th. Organizations that serve, advocate or organize for children and youth and the issues that impact them should attend to learn about new grant programs, mission-related investments and partnership opportunities.

Deaconess maximizes its giving and generates greater impact for children and families by investing in systemic change through community engagement, policy development and advocacy[TWM1] . Funding will be available to support efforts aligned with the foundation’s policy agenda. Public policy commitments include ensuring that all children enjoy access to early childhood education, receive just treatment under the law, comprehensive health care and family economic mobility. Grants will be awarded to institutions and initiatives with promise to influence systems in electoral, legislative, judicial, administrative, communications and corporate arenas.

One new element in the foundation’s funding going forward is its commitment to applying a racial equity lens to decision-making and grantmaking.  “Our children pay the price for persistent gaps in health and wealth between families and neighborhoods in our region,” Deaconess chief executive Rev. Starsky D. Wilson explains. “We can only reconcile disparities for the next generation if we consider diversity a core capacity, inclusion an asset, and equity as critical for effectiveness today.”

Agencies or initiatives seeking funding should attend one of the three public meetings. The sessions will occur:

Tuesday, April 4 (5:30-7:30 pm) at Central Reform Congregation, located at 5020 Waterman Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108

Monday, April 10 (10:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon) at Southwestern Illinois College, located at 2500 Carlyle Avenue, Belleville, IL 62221

Tuesday, April 11 (2:30 - 4:30 p.m.) at Ferguson Community Center, located at 1050 Smith Avenue, Ferguson, MO 63135

“We’re excited to invite the community to consider how we can partner in a movement for child well-being,” says Tamitha McKinnis, Deaconess’ Vice President of Programs.” Seating is limited, so registration is required. You may register at  For more information, contact Alyssa Curran, Manager of Programs at

Deaconess Foundation invests in the well-being of children, engages our region around the plight of youth, and advocates for change. A ministry of the United Church of Christ, Deaconess has invested nearly $80 million to improve the health of the St. Louis community since 1998 and believes healthy, hope-filled futures for children benefit the entire region. The Foundation’s footprint includes St. Louis, St. Louis, Jefferson, St. Charles and Franklin Counties in Missouri and Madison, St. Clair and Monroe Counties in Illinois.